Lights in the Darkness to Understand Suffering (Part 3)

You can go to part one here

and part two here

There is a fifth beam, perhaps the greatest, namely the power of sorrow and trouble to chisel the spirit and deepen the whole tone of life must temporarily wait.

First we admit that these beams of light can’t brighten the day of someone in the midst of suffering. For what people want most in the hour of trouble is not an answer to a problem, but a power to carry them through.  Even if a satisfying solution to the problem of evil were presented that would not alter the fact that the actual suffering must still be endured.

There is a deeper question than “why?”  It’s not “why has this happened to me?” but “How, seeing it has happened, am I to face it?” The New Testament is not concerned with “why?” but is desperately and magnificently concerned about “how?” It does not offer a theory and explanation: it offers you a power and a victory.

Suffering has a positive and creative function to fulfill.

#5 The gift which suffering brings to character, the molding and shaping and beautifying of the soul.

1) It takes a world with trouble in it to make possible some of the finest qualities of life. If there were no risk and danger in life, where would fortitude and chivalry be? If there were no suffering, would there be compassion? If there were no hardship, would we ever learn patience and endurance? A universe with no troubles banishes some of the finest qualities of character and life.

2) It takes a world with trouble in it to satisfy man’s demand for a dangerous universe. The human heart has an instinct for adventure. We know that a hazardous universe is better than any land of flabby and monotonous ease.

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