Home > spiritual formation > The Beauty of Suffering

The Beauty of Suffering

More from my friend John who lost his wife to cancer earlier this year.

While in Asia, I spoke one day on what good news is.  I shared that the problem with suffering is the pain.  The beauty of suffering is seeing Jesus Christ formed in me.  The temptation is to retreat from or with the pain into isolation and denial – hiding, burying the feeling and pain or to “medicate” the pain with busyness or some other distraction (fill-in the blank with most any destructive habit).  The pathway to seeing Christ formed is in embracing the pain as the instrument of God’s hand to shape, sharpen and polish the image of Jesus in my life.  Knowing Him, His presence, His comfort and His glory is my hope.  Would you pray that I would do that consistently?

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  1. August 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    David a very timely quote for me, thank you!

    It comes as I and my teammates are facing a very painful situation had trying to embrace Christ in these difficult circumstances, rather than run away.

    Also, I’ve just been reading and reflecting on Ajith Fernando’s excellent article at Christianity Today “to serve is to suffer”

    and I’ve been ESPECIALLY moved by one of the responses to that article, by Libbie Little, (written several months ago), about their family’s choice to remain in a place of suffering and risk – now made especially poignant as her husband, Tom, was among those just killed in A’stan. Her article is MUST reading and can be found here:


    • August 10, 2010 at 4:52 am

      I am so sorry that you are having to face suffering as a team but glad that John’s quote brings some comfort. Looking forward to looking at the references to which you refer. I have not been blogging too much in recent months so glad I am back to reconnect with folks like you

    • August 10, 2010 at 5:54 am

      My favorite quote from the Little response, “His amateur followers, stricken with stage fright, forgetting their lines, were acting out in miniature something of his own Grand Narrative—Immanuel, God with us—in the miserable mess. The scenes set the stage for the Holy Spirit to work in a mighty way.”

    • August 10, 2010 at 6:08 am

      Amazing article by Fernando. Thanks for the link. “My favorite quote, We call our churches and Christian organizations “families,” but families are very inefficient organizations. In a healthy family, everything stops when a member has big needs. We are often not willing to extend this commitment to Christian body life.”

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