Blog Posts on Suffering

Great Losses, Severe Mercies, Tearful Joy

John Piper

Do you have a view of God, and his severe mercy, that is robust and biblical enough to flourish with tearful joy, under heartbreaking losses, which he ordains as discipline?

What if you thought God took your child? Or what if you thought he cancelled a dream you had had for forty years?

Not until recently did I notice the difference between God’s response to the sin of Aaron’s sons…

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Seven Things That Transform Suffering

Vaneetha Rendall

I can’t carry my plate to the table.

Last month I could do it easily. But with post-polio, things deteriorate rapidly. Every week, I face new challenges, discover things I can no longer do, give up more things I love.

The doctors told me this would happen. But as a young mother, there were other things to worry about. I assumed the real struggle would be decades away. Back then…

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The Wintry Soul: Four Lessons from Suffering

Jason DeRouchie

Seasons of suffering in life are as sure as March snow flurries in Minnesota. And such climate shifts test trust, materialize maturity, and make us long for spring.

In the not so distant past, God let a blizzard of pain hit my home that drained our fuel and tried our faith. While the season of deep sorrow covered months, not years, the grief was real and the scars permanent. The…

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God Is with You in Depression

David Mathis

Depression is often illusive. Some dark cloud gathers and hangs overhead. You feel constantly ill at ease. Whether triggered by negative events, or some undefined cause, you know despondency when you experience it, even if you find it hard to describe.

Sometimes it’s circumstantial, but often you’re left scratching your head, wondering, Where did all the joy go?

God Is There with You

Author Randy Alcorn is no foreigner to…

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Looking to Christ in the Loss of a Child

Jason DeRouchie

The loss of a child is painful, deeply painful.

Fifteen years ago, my wife and I experienced our first certain miscarriage. I was a new dad, and then, just like that, it was over. The loss was so unexpected. The ache went deep, to my soul’s core. And in the midst of my own sorrow and weeping, I was attempting to care for my grieving wife. For two years and…

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When Life Hurts

Michael Horton

Monks go looking for a cross, thinking that they are pleasing God by their stoic resolve. We encounter this sometimes in our own circles today, as believers often feel obliged to smile in public even if they collapse at home in private despair.

John Calvin counters, “Such a cheerfulness is not required of us as to remove all feeling of bitterness and pain.”

It is not as the Stoics of…

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When God Does the Miracle We Didn’t Ask For

Vaneetha Rendall

Countless childhood surgeries. Yearlong stints in the hospital. Verbal and physical bullying from classmates. Multiple miscarriages as a young wife. The unexpected death of a child. A debilitating progressive disease. Riveting pain. Betrayal. A husband who leaves.

If it were up to me, I would have written my story differently. Not one of those phrases would be included. Each line represents something hard. Gut wrenching. Life changing.

But now, in…

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Is There a Point to the Last Minutes of Suffering Before Death?

John Piper

I’m still thinking about Ronnie Smith’s death in Libya, followed by Christians and the mainstream media alike.

Two days before he died, my mind turned, at it so often does, to the reasons for suffering. This time the thoughts were triggered by the difference between suffering that refines in this life and suffering that leads to death.

Suffering That Refines

Often, when counseling people who are walking through suffering, I…

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Living with the Loss of a Loved One

David Mathis

For Lyle Dorsett, it was the sudden loss of his ten-year-old daughter Erica. She came down sick one night, and she died the next morning.

Years later, Dorsett and his wife Mary still are healing. Losing a child is a long, painful journey. There have been times, Dorsett says, when he’s thought, God, if I were in charge, I wouldn’t have done it this way. But his ways are…

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Prepare Now for Your Pain

Bryan DeWire

Suffering has a way of pressing us to go deeper with God.

It’s sadly not the case for all, but many have testified that their embrace of God’s sovereignty and goodness was catalyzed during a season of profound suffering.

Sometimes it’s fresh truths about God intersecting with our lives in the hardest of times. But often suffering becomes a testing ground for what truths we’ve already built into our lives…

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