Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Living with Mystery

One of the problems about dealing with suffering is that it has no easy, pat answers. And we want pat answers. The Bible repeatedly repels the idea that all suffering is based on what we deserve (Job 1,2; John 9:1-3; Psalms 73). There is a Biblical case for God disciplining sin (Hebrew 12:5-11; 1 Corinthians 11:31-32; Acts 5:1-11). But nice, neat, easy-to-understand suffering seems to be the exception rather than the rule. And I am convinced that without the clear revelation of God, we should be very careful of concluding in any particular case that suffering is discipline. Now God can use suffering in the life of believers to make them stronger (2 Corinthians 4:17,18; Romans 8:28; James 1:2-4). But that does not mean we will understand it while it is happening or even afterwards. Did Job ever understand the reason for his suffering? We do not know. I suspect that one of the points of suffering is that we do not understand. If we understood, we would not be forced to trust God. Also, with all suffering there is a choice. We can trust God through it, or we can reject God because of it. This is why the whole issue is so complicated. But I believe there is fundamental truth in the message of Christ that is worth living in mystery to hold onto.


  1. Replies
    1. I highlighted this post today on my blog. Hope that is okay.

  2. Glad to share Mike. I got some good responses/comments on Facebook too.