Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Living and Suffering

"I discovered later, and I'm still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world. That, I think, is faith."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I am on a bit of a Bonhoeffer kick right now.  I am intrigued by the concept of a man who would willingly surrender his life for the gospel as he sought to deliver the oppressed.  When I think of the daily stresses of life, the losses great and small, the hopes realized and crushed, I find great comfort in knowing that this is how God makes disciples. We aren't born holy.  We are born evil and broken into perfection.   Just as we think we are doing well, avoiding sin and doing good, God reminds us that Christianity isn't just about being good.  It is about being like our Savior who was well acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3).

This week, I have spoken to several friends who are in the midst of trials.  Their trials aren't brought on by their own sin.   They are simply facing great pain.  As is often the case, they are doubting their way to increased faith.  One friend told me that in his hurt, he wondered for a while if there was any benefit in being a Christian.  Then he said, "Who else is worth of worship?  He's the only thing worth living for."  That's a great response to suffering.  I'm honored to have friends like that.

Do you have any stories of suffering and increased faith to share?  A few good stories might really encourage my friends.

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