The suffering of mystery

By Dave Henning / February 2, 2014

Today, in Chapter 10 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller discusses the last of four types of suffering spoken of in the Bible.  The suffering of mystery fits in the “none of the above” category, although it may overlap with one or more of the three previously described kinds of suffering.  People most often refer to the suffering of mystery as “senseless”.

Pastor Keller states that it can be argued that the Bible pays particular attention to the suffering of mystery.  Job most typifies this kind of suffering.  The author explains what it is like to experience this “senseless” suffering:

“When people experience horrendous, unusually severe suffering, it leaves the sufferer not so much filled with guilt, or resentment toward others, or pure grief- but with anger toward life and God himself.”

Referencing Job, Pastor Keller posits that God wasn’t after any one particular thing in Job’s life,  God was leading Job to the place where he would obey God simply for the sake of who God is- not in order to receive something from God.  This, the author adds, is a long journey that “requires a process of honest prayer and crying, the hard work of deliberate trust in God, and what St. Augustine called a re-ordering of our loves.”

Today’s question: Which of the four types of suffering spoken of in the Bible best describes your vocation loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Diversities of temperament”

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Dave Henning

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