The intent of this publication is not to answer the perennially-nagging Why question related to suffering. Rather, this book is designed to direct the reader toward recognizing the larger and more important who and how factors overarching the dynamics associated with coming to terms with personal afflictions.
By focusing on the who factor relative to the place for suffering in this world, one is led to appreciate that God is and will remain unquestionably good and trustworthy and that his gracious will (Eph. 1:5-11) allows for suffering and hardship in accordance with the integrity of his heart and in the outworking of his inscrutable, but all-wise, purposes for time and eternity.
Having properly engaged the indispensable who aspect of the matter, we can more easily segue into the how factor or the ability for processing and coming to terms with our trials and afflictions.
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About the Author
Chris Goppert was born and brought up in Southern California in a predominantly WASP culture. As a teenager, Chris assumed he was a Christian because he attended church.Chris Goppert was born and brought up in Southern California in a predominantly WASP culture. As a teenager, Chris assumed he was a Christian because he attended church.However, when he heard about the grace and love of God for him as revealed in Jesus, Chris realized there was more to being a Christian than just attending church, and it was at that point he trusted Christ as his Savior at the age of nineteen, while attending university.On the night of his conversion, Chris sensed the call of God upon his life to take the Gospel to others, whom he envisioned were waiting for someone to bring the Word to them, as it was brought to him through the faithful witness of a cousin.After completing studies in college and an internship program, Chris and his wife, Joyce, went to what was then Rhodesia, Africa, (now Zimbabwe) in 1973 to commence missionary service with TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). In 1977, the Gopperts returned to America so Chris could complete his master's degree at seminary.From 1978 to 2003, Chris and Joyce continued to serve full-time in Zimbabwe in various pastoral care, church establishment, and mentoring ministries.After presenting with clinical depression and PTSD in 2003 (owing to their personal experiences of living through a liberation-struggle war, having observed protracted episodes of suffering and ministering in a pastoral care and nurturing context to those who suffered varying hardships), Chris and Joyce returned from Africa to America for a time of reflection and healing in a Christian restoration community. It was under the gracious and professional care of pastors and counsellors that Chris and Joyce were able to process in a structured way the emotional pain and grief they had absorbed during the course of their pastoral ministry to commercial farmers and their workers, who had been disenfranchised from their productive livelihoods and driven from their homes.While spending some time away from ministry in Africa, the Lord directed Chris to begin writing Drawing Strength from the Right Sources. As a series of devotional and theological studies, Chris's book is designed to assist one to better comprehend some of the dynamics associated with personal suffering and hardships, to discern possible reasons why God may allow believers to suffer within the context of His will and what they can learn of God's essential goodness and integrity of heart through the process.The Gopperts have two grown daughters whose husbands' employment has led them to serve in the beloved land of their birth and beyond.Chris and Joyce are now retired from full-time ministry in Africa, having served in Zimbabwe under the auspices of TEAM (www.team.org) for over forty years, providing language acquisition skills for mission colleagues, members of the ex-pat community (NGOs), and friends in the community, whilst also teaching at a theological institution, speaking in local churches, and ministering in music and medicine, youth camps, and writing. Having many friends and family still in Zimbabwe, Chris and Joyce plan to return there each year to provide assistance in various ministry initiatives.