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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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This Week's White Horse Inn

Why Suffering?

After surveying the book of Job and especially its message on suffering, we’ll continue our series on Suffering & the Christian Life by tackling some of the tough questions that come up with this topic. Should we see suffering as a form of divine punishment? Is God trying to teach us something? If God really loves us, why does he allow us to experience so much pain and difficulty? Those are the crucial questions we’ll deal with on this edition of White Horse Inn.

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Reader Comments (3)

Dr. Riddlebarger,

I've been listening to the series on Job (haven't yet listened to this one), and one of the takeaways I've gotten is that we can't and shouldn't try to determine God's purposes in our suffering. In light of this understanding of Job (and maybe it's a bit more nuanced than that), how should we handle Hebrew 12, and the idea that God disciplines his children? Can I know when God might be disciplining me based on the circumstances of my life, and should I ask those types of questions? Thanks.
March 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermboss

Hebrews 12 is written to those weary folk who were considering going back to Judaism. The struggle with sin is the discipline they were experiencing, and the author tells them the struggle is hardly a sign that God is against them, but that rather he disciplines his children, i.e., they struggle with sin. This is an appeal to those considering giving up and going back to Judaism because they had grown weary. A loving father does indeed discipline his children.

Whatever we make of the struggles of the Christian life, we must remember that Jesus died for all of our sins, so that we are not being punished retributively. The reason for the struggle may never be given to us, but it proves God's love for us, not his absence from us.

That is a start, anyway.
March 24, 2014 | Registered CommenterKim Riddlebarger
Dr. Riddlebarger,

I should have listened to this episode of WHI before I asked my question. Your response and that discussion was spot on. The impulse to determine cause and effect is everywhere, even the Christian world. And usually it doesn't end up as a source of great comfort, but can drive people (like myself) crazy with speculation. Thanks again.
March 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermboss

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