Marsha left a comment on Monday's post saying,
"Can you recommend some Bible passage and/or books that would give me a foundation on glorifying Him in the midst of suffering? I am having a difficult time with the question who is the author of suffering, etc.
Thank you for your blog which makes me want to dig deeper."
Marsha is not the only one struggling with these questions; when afflictions come to our lives, if we are not well grounded in the Word of God, our faith trembles and many times it falls, like a fine piece of China, into thousand pieces to the ground.
I was never taught about afflictions in the Church I grew up. For 20 years I only heard from the pulpit about the joyous, peaceful, and victorious life that we should be enjoying as children of the King. I heard all these years how we should confess to receive, and bind and loose; and claim promises and fight for them. How far I was from the teachings of the Word of God! But God had mercy on me and my family; and he opened our eyes to see and our ears to hear, and 9 years ago we started to really learn what the Bible teaches in many areas including suffering and affliction.
Our Father knew what was ahead of us. Last July we experienced the hardest trial ever, the loss of my sister's precious baby girl, an infant. The suffering and affliction has been hard to bear, but many years before this event, God starting preparing our hearts to endure the fire that tests our hearts, as we learned to abide daily in His Word, as we grew in prayer, and as we studied about the purpose of why affliction and suffering come to the lives of the Children of God.
So Marsha, you are not alone; and even though I don't you, nor your trials or afflictions, I pray God will give you a humble heart to receive from Him, not only the sweet providences, but also the bitter ones, knowing that even those proceed from a loving God.
Here are some good books and articles that have been helpful to me and my family; hope you find this list helpful.
How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil by D.A. Carson
Surprised by Suffering: The Role of Pain and Death in the Christian Life by R.C. Sproul
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper and some friends
Facing Grief by John Flavel (1627-91)
A Place for Weakness by Michael Horton
Help Heavenward by Octavius Winslow
Grieving, Hope and Solace: When a Loved One Dies in Christ by Albert N. Martin
Does Grace Grows Best in Winter by Dr. Ligon Duncan
A Word in Season to Suffering Saints by Thomas Brooks (1675) (ebook)
Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings
Hope in Suffering
Why do we Suffer?
The Faithful Endurance of Suffering
A Refuge for the Weary Soul
Suffering Saints by Arthur Pink
Blessed Suffering by Bonar
In Affliction Look to Jesus by Winslow
Trisha wrote this, words that pierce and bring grace.
Rebecca Writes wrote this post today with some important links that deal with our suffering.
In this Blog:
Seeing God's Hand in Our Affliction
Preparing Our Hearts for Affliction
Peace Under His Sun
Doctrines in Action -Beyond the Kitchen-
Learning to Count Trials a Joy
Trial a Help Heavenward (on Chapter 5 of Winslow's Book)
"We also rejoice in our afflictions, because
we know that affliction produces endurance,
endurance produces proven character, and
proven character produces hope."
"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will glory all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak--then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
May the Lord of all comforts be your Hidding Place today,