Transformed Thinking about Suffering

The last two weeks have been difficult ones for personal discouragement.  Just weeks before, I had really good weeks physically, but now again my daily vertigo has worsened (taking turns with immobilizing migraines and nausea), conspiring to make for difficult days and lower spirits.

Sunday morning after spending time in Scripture, I picked up where I had left off reading A Path Through Suffering, by Elisabeth Elliot (who went Home to be with the Lord the same day).  She recounted a phone call in which she was trying to provide comfort to a 30-year-old cancer patient and mother of three young children.  After counseling, encouraging, and praying for the mother.  Later, as she lay in bed, Elisabeth Elliot replayed in her mind the things that had transformed her own view of suffering over the years.  They are separate paragraphs in the book, but I’ll number them hear for ease of grasping each powerful truth:

  1. “Suffering was indispensable for the world’s salvation.
  2. “There was no other way but the cross.
  3. “The servant is not greater than his Lord.
  4. “If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him.
  5. “Shall we not follow the Master in suffering as in everything else, sharing with Him in His work, that the world and the devils themselves [think of the opening chapters of the Book of Job] may be shown in this [day]that we love the Father and will do just as He says?  The world does not want want to be told.  The world must be shown-shown the very guts of faith.”

 A Path Through Suffering

Elisabeth Elliot

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