on the intersection of faith & suffering

"At the time of [Christ's] crucifixion, the disciples couldn't see how anything good could result; similarly, as we face struggles and trials and suffering, we sometimes can't imagine good emerging. But we've seen how it did in the case of Jesus, and we can trust it will in our case too.

For instance, the greatest Christians in history seem to say that their sufferings ended up bringing them closest to God-- so this is the best thing that could happen, not the worst."

-Dr. Peter Kreeft, The Case for Faith

 

"I'm not saying that we shouldn't expect our lives to be filled with joy and blessing or that God isn't gracious to us in giving us many good things to enjoy. He is kind and has blessed us with abundant temporal and eternal blessings.

But we musn't assume that God's goal in our lives is to make us healthy, prosperous, and victorious in every circumstance.

This modern perspective would make sense only in a context where one had all (or even more than all) one wanted and suffered from a severely myopic faith characterized by the belief that God is in relationship with mankind because He is lonely and in need of love. This lie gives way to the believe that He's our cosmic therapist, dispensing spiritual mood altering drugs focused on self-actualization and self-aggrandizement all in the name of faith and healthy thinking.

The Bible's perspective is that there is something more than this earth and the joys to be found here. There's real joy to be had and a real faith that goes on even when our sight tells us that it's no use...

What God is doing in you isn't fun, but it's precious, it's eternal, it's to be cherished. He's creating in you a faith that's worth more than a world full of Akoya perals."

-Elyse Fitzpatrick, A Steadfast Heart