It’s funny how pain shrinks your world. Very quickly pain comes to define you, set you new limitations, restricting what you can do. I’ve already been called a cripple, and I know it is always said as a joke – myself included – but, at night, it reminds me of the all-too-real, painful truth; I’m not the person I was just a month ago. Pain is already changing my perspective. And this got me thinking about suffering and Christianity‘s perceptions on it.
Suffering – a much broader concept than just mere pain – is something seemingly not often discussed in the Church. Many of our songs steer clear of it (or just pay it lip service by at least mentioning it once), and I can count the number of sermons I have heard on suffering on my hands.
After nearly a decade of being an eager and willing church attendee, I find this a little strange, especially since the bible is brimming with the subject.
This subject matter is somewhat close to home for me at the moment, thus it makes sense to look into it in detail. After thinking about it, it boiled down to one question in several parts:
How does a Christian suffer well? How do we live for Christ when we are down and out, bruised, oppressed, crushed or – in my case – just in a lot of pain? What good can come of it? What hope is to be held during it?
With this question in mind, I had a casual skim through the New Testament (since including the Old Testament – with books like Job, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Hosea within it – would have turned my brief skim into an epic quest) to see what it had to say on suffering, pain, enduring such things and how those around can help. My brief skim alone brought up over 50 sections, some passages spanning almost entire chapters. I was amazed at how much there was on suffering within its pages, how much there is there to help us and guide us.
And so, for my part, I will try and contribute some thoughts on this subject, going through some of the sections, passages and verses I have found and looking at them, what they have to say, and how I (and maybe even ‘we’) can apply it to life.
I am currently writing up some notes on Romans 8:18-25 which will hopefully be up here sometime in the next week or so.
Till then, God bless you all
- Part 6: Suffering Together (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)
- Part 5: Groans Too Deep For Words (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)
- Matthew 2 – Psalm 32 – 34 (faithsticks.wordpress.com)
- Songs In the Night – An Article Response Part 1 (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)