Friday, March 18, 2011

Suffering WITH Meaning?

“Something can be tragic without being meaningless.  Despair is suffering without meaning.” (53).  
Think about that.  Suffering IS easier when we wrestle and come to understand the “why” of our suffering.  Is it as a direct result of our own behavior?  Is it the consequence of our own sin?  or the effects of someone else’s choices?  
Are we suffering due to natural disasters?  a hurricane, flood, earthquake?  
or maybe it is due to the evils of the world?  
Whatever the cause of our current (or future) sufferings, it is our human nature to  want to know WHY.  We believe that if we know why then we will be  better able to cope.  This understanding...this explanation of the “why” is what Randy Alcorn is attempting to explain in his book The Goodness of God..Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering. 
But Alcorn doesn't start with the simple questions.  He goes to the hard ones and he goes to the ones that you have to think about and wrestle with.   Questions like "Is suffering ever in vain?  pointless?"  
Was Christ’s suffering on the cross pointless?  
Did the five missionaries who died that day in Ecuador die in vain?  
More questions he makes you ponder..."Is God Sovereign over ALL things, including evil and suffering?"  and "What is the origin of evil?"  To give you a sample of the way Alcorn handles these questions, here is Chapter 1.  

The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn (Chapter 1)
Alcorn addresses these questions and more.  He makes you wrestle with the issue of heaven and hell and the concept of justice.  He even goes a step deeper and probes you to consider what do you really believe about yourself.  Do you see who you are in Christ?  really?  If so, then this book isn’t for you.  If not and you wrestle with the whys or the purpose of suffering in this world, then this book is for you.  

Listen to what Alcorn says about his experience as he was writing the book....

Before you are finished reading it,  you will hopefully have a new perspective on pain, heartache, and trials.  Alcorn doesn't leave you hanging either...he gives you reasons for suffering.  He also helps you find perspective in your suffering so you know what you can do...and how you can find meaning/purpose in the midst of your trials.

Definitely a must-read for all!

5 Stars

I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah throught their Blogging for Books program. As always, all opinions are my own.