Intense. Information overload. Unexplicable. Indescribable. Secret Church 2012 was 7 hours of intense Bible study exploring what the Bible has to say about suffering. Looking at 75 key texts from the Old & New Testament....from Genesis to Revelation. The study was a live simulcast led by David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills. The speed at which information flowed from his mouth was unexplicable. There really are not adequate words to describe this life changing experience. It was like getting an entire seminary course in one night. I am very thankful for the notes that were provided so I'm able to go back and actually in time process the information.
One of the immediate takeaways that jumped out at me is that God uses our suffering to accomplish His purpose. Sometimes suffering in our lives is part of the working of God in our own lives and sometimes our suffering is part of God's working in someone else's lives. As Christians we can be certain that we will suffer and in our suffering we can know that God is sovereign over it all. The starting point for understanding suffering is realizing that God is the center of the universe....not you. J.C. Ryle said "There is nothing which shows our ignorance so much as our impatience under trouble. We forget that every cross is a message from God, and intended to do us good in the end. Trials are intended to make us think -to wean us from the world-to send us to the Bible-to drive us to our knees. Health is a good thing but sickness is far better if it leads us to God. Prosperity is a great mercy; but adversity is a greater one if it brings us to Christ. Anything, anything is better than living in carelessness and dying in sin."
So the next time a sickness, disaster, struggle, or persecution comes my way, instead of whining "Why me?" "Why now?" I need to embrace the suffering with joy knowing that God is using it for His glory and my good.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.