Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

I would like to recommend a very good book on the issue of God's sovereignty and how it relates to human suffering. The contributors to this book, all of whom have suffered some kind of suffering in their life, address different issues on this important subject.

According to the book, they address questions such as: In what ways is God sovereign over Satan's work? How can we be free and responsible if God ordains our choices? What is the ultimate reason suffering exists? How does suffering help advance the mission of the church? How does God's grace enter our sufferings? and several other needed considerations.

I have only read a few chapters so far and excerpts from others, but I would have to say this is one of the best books on this subject that I have seen. Contributors include John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, Steve Saint, and other notable Christian figures.

"When God Weeps" by Joni Eareckson Tada is still my favorite, but this one is helpful in its own right because it provides input from several unique perspectives and life-events. I would also recommend "Is God Really in Control?: Trusting God in a World of Hurt" by Jerry Bridges, and "The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good?" by R.C. Sproul to get a well-rounded biblical handling of this subject. By the way, none of the books mentioned in this blog are academic or technical so they would be beneficial to even the non-bookworm.

I focus a lot on this important issue for two primary reasons. First, I believe that a majority of Christians do not have even a basic grasp of the biblical concepts involved; myself included until the recent past. Second, many folks we minister to at the local church level will experience events in their lives that will require us to provide a deeper biblical response to their suffering than simply offering a couple Bible verses. Is a better reason necessary to prompt us to delve deeper?

Does it mean we'll have all the answers? No. Does it mean that doubt and depression won't enter their lives? or ours in the face of suffering? No. But, it is vitally important to have a biblical view of this issue so that our faith will ultimately be strengthened and God glorified in seasons of suffering.

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