Walking with God...

Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering

This is a book by Timothy Keller that we are currently reading and discussing in Men’s Groupon Friday mornings. Keller points out that suffering and pain are everywhere and they are unavoidable. No one is immune. We will all eventually “face the loss of loved ones, debilitating and fatal illnesses, personal betrayals, financial reversals, and moral failures”. He also points out that “we will need something more than our own understanding, competence and power can give us”. We will all need support during these times and this support must be spiritual.

The book goes into ways that various cultures, religions and world views (especially today’s Western secular viewpoint/philosophy) help people face life’s troubles and trials. The book also discusses the “problem of evil” as well as just and unjust suffering. It begins by discussing all of this in some fairly lofty theological ways, but eventually moves “from the philosophical toward the personal” and provides a lot of practical material. Keller makes a great case that Christianity helps people face suffering and pain better than any other. Before reading this book, I hadn’t really thought about how much the Bible deals with pain and suffering. Keller also points out Christ suffered more than anyone else and that he is “the ultimate Job”. He says there is meaning and purpose to suffering and that “if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine”.

If you’ve never had to go through any bumps or potholes in the road of life, then this book may not be your cup of tea. For the rest of us (the other 99.99%), I highly recommend this book. Some of it is a bit difficult to slog through, but most of it is very insightful and practical.

Heavenly Father, we know that you are always near and that you are always with us and can be depended upon in our troubles and trials. We pray that with the help of the power of your Holy Spirit we will be empowered to walk by your side in these times. Amen.

Brad Gauen

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