Growth Through Suffering Summary & Video

This week at the Soul Garage we wrapped up our 6 week series on Growth Through Suffering: A Biblical Theology of Suffering.  During this series we examined various Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation that address the topic of suffering.

The goal was to build a solid platform upon which we could live out our faith in light of the suffering that exists in this world and the suffering that we will personally experience as followers of Jesus Christ.

Below is a summary of the 6 pillars we examined.  Below the summary is a video of Dr. D.A. Carson lecturing on this topic.  I developed this serious pulling largely from his lecture as well as from a paper I wrote for his Biblical Theology class when I was in seminary.

  1. Part 1: Insights from the Beginning of the Bible Storyline (Gen 1-3)
    • God created the world good, even very good.  In the beginning there was no suffering.
    • In Gen. 3 sin came into the world and from that point forward, suffering has characterized the human experience.
  2. Part 2: Insights from Innocent Suffering (Job)
    • Suffering is not necessarily a sign of God’s judgment.
    • God cares more about our trust than he does about our understanding.
  3. Part 3: Insights from the Mystery of Providence (Joseph)
    • Two seemingly contradictory truths are taught in Scripture:
      • God is absolutely sovereign.
      • Humans are morally responsible.
  4. Part 4: Insights from the Incarnation & the Cross (Isaiah 53)
    • God uses suffering to save us through God the Son taking on flesh, becoming fully human and suffering and dying in our place to pay the penalty for our sin.
    • When we are suffering, we must remember that serve a God who truly understands our suffering.
  5. Part 5: Insights from Taking Up Our Cross (1 Peter)
    • Don’t be surprised by suffering.  Rather, we should expect suffering as a Christians.
    • Know that suffering will not last forever for those who trust in Christ.
    • Remember that God uses suffering to shape us into who He wants us to be.
  6. Part 6: Insights from the End of the Bible Storyline (Rev. 21-22)
    • For those who trust in Christ as Lord and Savior, we can have GREAT HOPE that one day there will be no more suffering, no more crying, no more pain, no more sickness, no more goodbyes
    • For those who have not trusted in Christ, eternal suffering awaits and this reality should compel us to repent and lovingly encourage others to repent as well.

Check out this video of Dr. Carson teaching more fully on this important subject:



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