Verity Forum: Where Scripture Meets My Suffering
Desiring God ministry recently listed the top most viewed, shared, or commented-on resources from 2106. Many of the top resources were about singleness, dating and purity, marriage and the election. However, the most popular was titled “What Grieving People Wish You Knew at Christmas”. It had eight hundred thirty three thousand shares while most other articles peaked at fourteen to sixty three thousand shares. Clearly, this is an important topic to many people. This is because grief and suffering are so misunderstood, both by those grieving, as well as those watching us grieve.
Suffering comes in many forms: chronic illness, loss of a loved one, depression, loss of a dream, loss of a job, income shortage, etc. Whenever we endure pain, disability, distress, loss, persecution, we are suffering. We are grieving. And we don’t understand why it happened. We don’t expect it. In fact, usually we do everything we can to avoid it.
Don’t Trust Your Feelings
During times of pain, our feelings can range from despair to numbness, from hopelessness to depression, and from isolation to misunderstanding. Though our feelings are very real, they are often based on lies we believe about God. Of course, we would never say we believe these lies. But if we’re really honest, we live like we do. We live as if God is not good, faithful, powerful or caring. We live as if God is against us. We live as if God is not with us. Our hopelessness and despair are often based in the lies.
This is where the Scripture comes in. The truth contained in God’s Word exposes these lies. It tells us what he is really like. Getting to this requires vulnerability on our part and a willingness to submit to the Lord. But it is absolutely worth it in the long run.
Hope in Suffering
Suffering can result in some of the most beautiful and raw moments of our lives. As we grieve with hope, accept loss with thanksgiving, and faithfully walk with Him through the “valley of the shadow of death,” rather than demanding that He walk us around it, things begin to change. It is then that we can experience the Lord’s love, nearness, and peace. Other people take note as well and ask about the hope we have (1 Pet. 3:15). It is truth worth it.
On January 14th, several of us will be sharing about suffering. We will be sharing about our experiences and also how Scripture meets us in suffering. Cas Monaco will teach on developing a theology of suffering. Keri Seavey will teach on having faith under fire.
I’m teaching about overcoming the lies we believe in suffering. This track will benefit you whether you are a sufferer or someone who is walking with someone else. Let’s let Scripture teach us how to help those who grieve. I am eager to meet each one of you.
Due to unexpected weather conditions, Verity Forum on Saturday, January 14 will be postponed until a later date. Stay tuned for more information.