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Suffering

November 6, 2012

A little late this month due to Hurricane Sandy, but right on topic, namely suffering.  Natural disasters aren’t the only cause of suffering, though.  There is physical suffering, relational suffering, and even suffering for the truth. The Apostle Paul calls Christians to “follow him in suffering”.    What does he mean?  How can we do that?  Join us this month as we tackle a topic easier to talk about than to live, and so one in which we desperately need God’s grace.

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Links:

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs

Learning to Be Happy (Modern English version of Burroughs)

Contentment, A.W. Pink

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Geoffrey Parker permalink
    November 17, 2012 10:05 pm

    I’m a long time fan of your podcast. One of your four you often mention ;).

    The last time you spoke negatively on “the pursuit of happiness” – a value of our American political history. My take away was this is not a Christian value. A rethink might be in order. Consider the doctrine of vocation. Many Christians are called to vocations in, for example, the recreation industry. Is this inappropriate? I think not. Recall he leads us besides still waters to restore our soul. If there is an issue here, and as fallen creatures, there always is – it is not pursuit of happiness per say. The issue is when that pursuit becomes, or is seen to become, an idolatry.

    Thanks for all you do for the kingdom!

    • ordinarymeans permalink*
      November 18, 2012 1:31 pm

      Geoffrey,

      Yes! The issue is not happiness per se, but the pursuit of pleasure for pleasure’s sake. This is how we’ve come to interpret “pursuit of happiness” as fallen man is wont to do. In the last days men will be lovers of self. Jesus is clear we are not to store up earthly treasures, but heavenly ones. I think we would be remiss to suggest God doesn’t want his children happy. Is heaven sad?! No! The problem is that we choose that which can’t bring us true happiness — we define happiness in earthly terms. Though some may disagree with me, I believe that even our nation’s original understanding of happiness was fatally flawed because it was defined by earthly pursuits.

      Here is a very balanced look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8FIpoEikHw&feature=player_embedded

      Best,

      Shaun

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