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Sometimes we can know the answer; more often we cannot. What we can know is that God is with us, sustaining and strengthening us to bear what must be borne. It is not that affliction comes from God. Rather, he uses...
Sometimes we can know the answer; more often we cannot. What we can know is that God is with us, sustaining and strengthening us to bear what must be borne. It is not that affliction comes from God. Rather, he uses it to help us grow in faith, to make us sensitive to the pain of others, and to teach us to trust in him alone. We learn how to be patient and comfort others as God comforts us.
This book will open your heart to the ways of God with his people. Edith Scaeffer brings light from biblical truth and shares her own experiences as well as those of others. She does not offer easy answers, but shows you a way to find answers for yourself.
Posted April 2, 2013
Do you have books that have been in your library for years, but overlooked. This is one such book in my library. I must have had it for over 40 years, but have never read it thoroughly. I'm glad I happened upon it recently, for it is a gem. Edith Schaeffer tackles the tough, tough questions: why suffering? why do the innocent suffer, what causes suffering? And in the book she grapples with the pain and mystery of suffering with unusual warmth, profuse illustrations from her own experience, and a mastery of the biblical material.
We can seldom trace the why, but we do know that God overrules affliction to help us grow in faith and in ability to help other sufferers. The original cause is traced to the action of one man, Adam. The ramifications of that sinful choice are manifold. Schaeffer points out that God is not the cause. Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazurus. He was angry. Death is an enemy. The last enemy.
The causes of suffering may be the wiles of Satan, our own failures, the sins of others, the nature of human existence and may be either emotional, psychological, physical or spiritual.
Perhaps the best way for me to give the potential reader some insight in this volume is to quote here and there from the text. Let me say up front that the book is not a superficial or easy read. Sometime paragraphs are long, something 21 century readers are not accustomed to. However effort expended will be well rewarded.
A few quotes.
• True hope changes sorrow, but does not obliterate it. Death is not to be taken as a 'normal, beautiful release' but as an enemy. It spoils the beautiful creation God.
• The Word of God is very fair in giving us realistic examples of God's servants throughout history--Job, Paul, Stephen, etc.
• We can understand ourselves better if we think of ourselves as earthen vessels and repeat from time to time, 'There's another carck!', Or 'Oops! there goes my spout.'
• The compassion and the tenderness of our loving Heavenly Father will take forever to learn about.
• Personality as a whole is affected by the physical condition, and the physcial condition is affected by the mental and emotional condition.
• Patience is not a neat package to be received in a basket or bowl...learned through affliction.
In two chapters, Edith Schaeffer invisions two museums in heaven where God will display for all eternity the troubles His people have endured and victories they have won through His grace.
Throughout the book she counters the sad advice that modern 'Job's comforters' give afflicted saints; you need to repent for the sin that caused it, you just need faith in prayer, and so on.
Her chapter on cracked teapots beautifully portrays our common humanity, the weaknesses we all share. 'There is no elite group which has better or more marvelous answers to prayer.'
She has illuminating chapters on how we learn to be comforters of others, and how the way we bear trouble affects others in an evangelistic way. Another chapter compares our modern lust for freedom from inconvenience and trouble to abortion, an aborting that cuts us off from patience, steadfastness, experience and hope.
A very helpful and inspiring book.
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