The sufferings of betrayal and loss

By Dave Henning / February 1, 2014

Today Timothy Keller continues his presentation of the four kinds of Biblical suffering by discussing the sufferings of betrayal and loss, found in Chapter 10 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering.

Pastor Keller states that the suffering of betrayal is caused by good and brave behavior.  Such behavior, as seen in the lives of St. Paul and Jeremiah, may precipitate betrayal or attacks from others.  The author notes that St. Paul constantly was beaten, imprisoned, or attacked by his own people as well as Gentiles (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-29).  Jeremiah was imprisoned and put in stocks simply for “speaking the truth to power” (Jeremiah 20:1-6).

Because personal betrayals are particularly horrific, there is great temptation to give in to debilitating anger and bitterness, to hide our growing callousness under the guise of being a noble victim.  While the suffering we bring on ourselves requires repentance, the suffering of betrayal entails wrestling with issues of forgiveness.

The suffering of loss can crush is with grief and loss in the face of mortality, decay, and death.  We see this in the Bible when Jesus comforts Mary and Martha on the death of Lazarus.  There are many variations here as well.  For example, it’s one thing to lose your ministry or vocation when you’re relatively young- as opposed to being several years from retirement.  When facing grief, we must be intentional in directing our minds and hearts to the comfort and hope Jesus offers.

Today’s question: How have these two types of suffering impeded your desert, transitional journey?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The suffering of mystery”

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Dave Henning

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