Happy Friday everyone! Today’s free download, usually $9.95, is The Silence of God by Robert Anderson. Click here to download.
Please note: The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Have you ever lived a life so filled with pain and despair you begin to wonder why God would allow you to survive a lifetime of suffering? What did you do to deserve this pain? As Job cried out, “If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watcher of men? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?” (Job 7:20) For me the irony dug deep as a man with bipolar disorder, over the years I began to feel the pull into ministry. It seemed ridiculous at first; that I, a man with so many issues, should become a shepherd of Christ. The words of James in particular become a stinging conviction; “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:6-8)
Have you ever sat in worship and thought to yourself, “This is getting old”? Sometimes even the most devout Christians can find themselves in a rut, feeling as if all they are doing is spinning their wheels spiritually. The answer is not to give up on worship, but rather to explore ways in which our worship experience can inform our “real-world” experience.
Take for instance, the issue of suffering. Some have asked me what to say to those in the midst of great suffering. The one thing I can say for sure is that no course or internship at a seminary can provide the words to say to those who are hurting. Many times we only make matters worse when we try to mend deep wounds with shallow words, all the while inadvertently minimizing the pain felt by those who grieve. The only answer that I can give, and the only answer that I feel gives us any hope, is that God in the person of Jesus Christ knows what it is to suffer. Normally in worship, if we speak of suffering it is in relation to what Christ endured.