The suffering we bring on ourselves

By Dave Henning / January 31, 2014

“Life is pain, Highness.  Anyone who says differently is selling something.”- The Princess Bride (1987)

“The same sun that melts wax hardens clay.”- Old saying

Timothy Keller begins Chapter 10 (“The Varieties of Suffering”) of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by noting: (1) that people who haven’t suffered much are almost always fragile and unresilient, unacquainted with their weaknesses as well as their strengths; and (2) that suffering doesn’t automatically deepen and enrich us.  Furthermore, just as there are many varieties of suffering, there is no “one-size-fits-all” response.

Pastor Keller continues by discussing four types of suffering that the Bible speaks of, each having its own cause and set of peculiar challenges.  The first type is presented today.

Suffering we bring on ourselves is seen in the lives of Biblical figures Jonah and David.  In both lives, God used adverse circumstances to show Jonah and David the evil that existed in their hearts.  Pastor Keller comments that God often appoints some aspect of our broken world to come into our lives to wake us up and turn us to Him.  The severity of our wake-up call is dependent on the particular need of our heart.  In the process we are humbled and awakened to our own shortcomings.  Generally, it is only adversity that sparks this revelation.

Today’s question: How has your ministry downsizing or vocation loss served as a wake-up call during your healing, transformational journey?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The sufferings of betrayal and loss”

About the author

Dave Henning

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