Honesty in Suffering: Where the Scriptures Meet Your Pain
Job squarely faces horrendous suffering without blinking.
I had never admitted that to myself, but it’s true. I do like Job. The book squarely faces horrendous suffering without blinking. It acknowledges pain in its multiple forms—physical, emotional, spiritual. It does not give pat answers, but God shows up. Some verses from Job shook my life when I faced serious health concerns many years ago. It reoriented my life.
The book of Job flies in the face of some “head in the sand” philosophies that I have heard. “Just keep smiling, and you’ll be fine.” “If you truly had faith in God, you wouldn’t be suffering.” “Don’t worry. Life is great.” Those un-truisms are not what we need amid heart wrenching circumstances.
Honesty in Pain
We need more honesty about pain. And we need more honesty during pain.
What we need as followers of Jesus is not more clichés. We need more honesty about pain. We need honesty during pain. And we need community that can enter into the suffering to talk about the real anguish we can walk through in this broken world and the real, powerful God who we can still trust. That’s why we are having a track on suffering at Verity Forum.
The women who will speak in this track are women who teach the Bible often. They’re students of the Word, with excellent training and gifting. More so, they are women who have walked the road of hurt. They know what pain is like and what it feels like when your faith hits suffering, like rubber skidding on the road.
We know there is hope.
Our track on suffering is about that. It’s about the fact that life is broken and messy and hard. Chronic pain, broken relationships, the hurt of those you love, stress that leaves you bone-weary, fear for your life, crushing discouragement. It’s real. We may not all have walked through one of these, but if we haven’t, we know dear ones who have. As the sufferers or the companions, we want to be the community that squarely faces suffering together, pulling our heads out of the sand and looking to where we believe there is hope. Because our track on suffering is about that, too. We know there is hope. To find it, we look to our God and what he has said.
Scripture in Suffering
The Verity Fellowship is a community of women who talk about how to use the Bible well. We want to dig deep in it for ourselves and offer its grace to others. That’s what we’re all about. So, when we come to the issue of suffering and we want to find hope, our eyes naturally move to the worn, God-breathed book on the coffee table.
We will address the theology that girds us in hardship.
Thus, we will talk about what Scripture says about suffering in these workshops. We will address the theology that girds us in hardship. We need the doctrine of God and the fundamentals of our salvation when pain hits us. We need to understand suffering from the vantage point of the cross. We need to know it before it comes, so we know how to think. We need a theological framework on which to stand.
Even still, we will also speak of the wrestling that can come with suffering. We wrestle with Scripture when life feels unmanageable. Many of us have stories of when Scripture has met us in adversity. It has been the healing balm for our wounds. There are other times we cling to it, desperate for hope and waiting for change. In those times, the reality that God is still faithful speaks from the pages like a voice we hope to believe.
It’s about Scripture in suffering. So, as women who read their Bibles, come. Come talk about suffering and how you can teach and speak about suffering well. You could be the one the Lord uses to bring the balm of the gospel to those in a desperate place. As women who are hurting, come. Come be encouraged and supported. We see your journey and say that the Scriptures are still here to speak.
The Verity Forum is our day of workshops on May 6, 2017. Read more about our event and register today.