4 Reasons God Ordains Suffering for His People

Brian Cosby | January 8, 2016


When tragedy strikes—the death of a child, hurricanes, a school shooting—we begin looking for an escape from the pain, a way out, or we clamor for answers from a panel of religious “experts” to explain the ever-present question “Why?” We want answers, and we want to believe that our suffering is not meaningless.

Our culture, unfortunately, strives to deny the reality of suffering and death, and we continually long to drink from the fountain of youth—expressed in our endless pursuit of Botox treatments, anti-aging cream, cosmetic surgeries, and hair dyes. We cloak funerals as “celebrations” and convey the empty promise that all people end up in heaven (except Hitler and Stalin perhaps). We cannot handle the harsh reality of suffering, so we hide behind the virtual walls of social media, where we pretend our hearts are safe from rejection, grief, and the evil “out there.” Yet all the while you and I know it’s there, it’s real, and it’s painful.

Maybe you’re in the throes of affliction, or maybe you’re trying to minister to someone who is. One of the great tragedies of the American church is that we’ve lost a biblical theology of suffering—one that centers on the glory, goodness, and sovereignty of God. We’ve lost…


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