Free Chapter Download and Video: Suffering

Published on November 16, 2009 by CT in Blog, News

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Suffering

This week’s free chapter download is titled Suffering, and it deals with the implications that suffering has on the life of a believer.  Why evil or suffering exists is one of the hardest issues people have to deal with when they consider whether or not they can embrace the existence of God.  And it’s a hard issue for the Christian too, one that becomes even more difficult in light of Scripture which calls suffering a gift from God.

This chapter has one of the better stories in the book (I’ll never forget the spider bite guy), but more importantly, it challenges us to deal with our own definition of what a good gift from God looks like.  Thinking about these things has been transformational for my understanding of God, and I’ve been challenged to deal with the heart implications as well as the head ones.

If you’ve ever wrestled with how suffering fits in God’s purposes, this chapter may help give you a bit more to consider.  You can go to the downloads page for more information, or you can download the chapter and watch the chapter video below.

Books are best experienced by the writer and the reader in community, so I would love to hear your thoughts about what you’ve read in this chapter.  You can share any comments or stories in the comments section below.  You can also send this chapter to friends or family using the email, Facebook, Twitter, and other icons at the end of this post.

May God grant us the grace to embrace His sovereign goodness in all things, including suffering.  I hope you are challenged and strengthened by what you read.

Trembling Before His Good Gifts,

ct

Suffering (from Crave: Wanting So Much More Of God) from Chris Tomlinson on Vimeo.

  • Adam Allison

    I enjoyed the raw honesty and perspective shared in this video. It brings up questions that many people wrestle with if they’ve grown up with an understanding of things the way the world would teach it and then had to learn that it’s not exactly what God says. I have been a Bible student at home and part time at a Calvary Chapel Bible College and full time at Bethel’s School of Ministry and only a few times have I seen it handled in such a real, personal manner. Thanks!

    I’d like to offer a bit of a teaching that has helped me put it in to perspective. It is the side of the balance, you might say. It’s a message mix that can be found on the jesusculture.org website.

    Link –
    http://www.jesusculturemedia.org/media/download.php?file=MessageMix_Bill_Johnson_GodIsGood.mp3

    Another that goes with it -
    http://www.jesusculturemedia.org/media/download.php?file=MessageMix_Invitation_to_victory.mp3

    They are similar in nature to this video as they are short messages with music in the background.

    Well done. I appreciate what you’re doing.
    Blessings,
    -Adam

    • CT

      Adam,

      Thanks for the encouragement, and thanks for sharing the links. I’ve downloaded both and will check them out. Thanks again…

    • CT

      Adam,

      Got a chance to go through the first link; thanks again for passing them along. Seems to come at the issue from a different point of view to be sure =). If others want to check out the links, please do so. But consider some of my thoughts in typical CT fashion (as you’ll come to know):

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      Bill Johnson: They [depraved ways of thinking] deny the very nature of God and then they embrace sickness and disease as a gift from God to help us become better people. It’s a lie from hell…it’s blasphemy to attribute to God the work of the devil.

      CT: It is blasphemy to attribute to God the work of the devil. But Bill’s comments assume sickness and disease are solely works of the devil. God tells us otherwise: “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11).

      “And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” (John 9:2-3)

      Paul’s thorn in his flesh–some disease or ailment–is described as a message of Satan. And as Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove it, Jesus answered him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

      Job, in reflecting on the suffering that befell Him, and in consideration of the testimony of Scripture that “Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores,” says, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” And to make the point clear that his suffering was ultimately from the hand of God, the writers says, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2: 7,10)

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      Bill Johnson: The cross is not bearing up under physical affliction. The sufferings of the Bible is not physical affliction. The sufferings of the Scripture is living in between two conflicting realities and living with trust and praise at the same time.

      CT: I’d refer him to Noah (persecuted), Abraham (made to wander, estranged children and grandchildren), Moses (persecuted, made to wander), David (persecuted, loss of his first son), Hezekiah (sickness), Job (sickness, loss of property, loss of children, persecuted), John the Baptist (imprisoned, beheaded), Peter (imprisoned, beaten, persecuted, crucified), James (imprisoned, beaten, killed with the sword), John (imprisoned, beaten, exiled), Paul (shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, thorn in his flesh) to note that God’s saints often endured suffering by means of physical affliction for God’s glory and their joy (“Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” Acts 5:41).

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      There’s much more, but I’ll stop for now =). Adam, I do appreciate you sharing a different perspective, and I hope you come back to this site often to engage. I’d love to continue the conversation. Thanks!