Denial – never a biblical response to suffering

By Dave Henning / December 21, 2018

“So denial is never a biblical response to suffering.  If you have to deny your difficult realities to obtain some kind of temporary peace, you may enjoy temporary peace, but it’s important to know that you are not exercising biblical faith.”- Paul David Tripp

In Chapter 7 (“The Denial Trap”) of Suffering, Paul David Tripp states that we never find hope in denying the truth.  In fact, denial only brings us more problems to deal with.  Also, Pastor Tripp observes, there’s a harsh reality we all need to face when it comes to suffering.  We swindle ourselves more that anyone else swindles us.

As a result, the author states, it’s tempting to:

  • tell yourself subtle lies in order to create some peace in your heart
  • work at thinking things will be okay that won’t be okay
  • work to convince yourself that you can handle things bigger that you are and beyond your control
  • put on a happy face when you’re not happy
  • give cliched, faith-sounding answers to questions, when inside you doubt God’s presence and love
  • close your eyes when confronted with the hard things before you

Most noteworthy, Pastor Tripp asserts the importance that every sufferer reflect on how utterly, unashamedly, and boldly honest the Bible is.  The Bible presents fallen people living in a broken world.  And in this world, nothing or no one functions the way God intended.  As Pastor Tripp quips, “If you’re looking for escapist literature, the Bible is not your book.”

Therefore, it’s important to recognize the Bible’s honesty about the true conditions we face and are required to deal with.  Furthermore, it’s welcome for us to be just as honest.  Finally, the Bible never, ever:

  1. requires you to deny harsh, dark realities
  2. asks you to minimize your suffering
  3. make you put a happy smile on your face and pretend thins are okay when they’re not okay
  4. asks you to defend God’s reputation by putting on a front that you’re coping with your suffering, doing better than you’re actually doing

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you with a biblical response to suffering?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A first-hand participant in our suffering”

About the author

Dave Henning

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