How can a loving God allow the suffering of His people? This question is one stumbling block for people truly embracing God. Even those who believe in God and attend religious services regularly cannot really get with the idea of God allowing suffering.
Suffering is universal
We will have to deal with it one way or another. As Burning Spear said: “The Whole a We Suffer.”
Natural disasters, disease, war, violence and other troubles are hard to understand. Yet, suffering is a part of life for everyone. If you liven this world, you will experience suffering.
And because suffering is such a difficult concept for us to understand, it will be the topic of our Lenten study at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Orlando, FL. If you are not in Orlando, but are interested in this study you can join in online: https://plus.google.com/+JahBreadTV/posts. Through Google Hangouts you can participate live at 6:30pm EST on Thursday evenings.
Fr. Seraphim really gets us thinking in this text. He attacks the issue of suffering head-on…demonstrating the value of troubling experiences. He says that embracing temporary suffering now can save us from dealing with it eternally. Which would you prefer?
In this study, we will explore the reasons for suffering and how to gain from it. If God is indeed loving (and He is) then suffering should be meaningful. But our fear of suffering makes it meaningless. And when suffering becomes meaningless, we miss the blessing.
Long ago, Christianity was known as “the Suffering Faith.” It is a faith that embraces suffering. I mean: Jesus Christ suffered for our sins. He was beaten and bludgeoned, although He had done nothing to deserve it. And, He ultimately hung from the Cross while a murderer went free.
The whole a we suffer…
[amazon_link id=”0938635867″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link]And since suffering is inevitable, we might as well learn how to get our blessing from it. So buy the book: The Meaning of Suffering and Strife & Reconciliation, and join us at bible study on Thursdays at noon and 6:30pm at the Church or online at 6:30pm EST. This study on suffering will begin Thursday, February 27, 2014.
Please be sure to download the google hangouts application before signing our start date. See here for more info: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/
The text is easy to read and makes practical sense. I believe you will benefit greatly from reading it and engaging in study with us. So join us as we explore the benefits of suffering!