Topic | Suffering & Grief

Posts Categorized: Suffering & Grief

No One is Safe…with God

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Prosperity for the Righteous? We are told early on that old man Job had it all. He had a big happy family, a prosperous business, and was obviously a public figure in that he was “the greatest of all the people of the East.” Along with that, he never missed going to church. From what we know, he was conscientious regarding the spiritual state of his children, he had built strong friendships with others, and he was charitable toward the needy. To top it all off, the Lord Himself, said of Job, “there is none like him on the earth,. . .
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When Trauma Hits Close to Home

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Wrapped in a white cloth with only his blood-covered face visible, my older brother Rich lay unconscious in the hospital bed. Wires and tubes protruded from under the cloth, making it almost impossible to identify him. “Is this Rich?” asked the neurosurgeon, standing in the doorway behind us. “That’s him, alright,” said my Dad. Looking down at my eighteen-year-old brother, I wondered how my Dad could be so sure. The blood and gashes marring his face made him look like someone else. “OK,” said the doctor, “we’re going to take him into surgery now that you’ve identified him. We’ll show. . .
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What do I say to someone who is dying?

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Over the years, people have come to me about how best to approach someone with the gospel who is dying, be it a friend or neighbor or family member. This is usually a situation where the ailing person has kept their distance in the relationship and/or has been antagonistic when it comes to “talking about religion.” Sometimes it all comes down to the Christian being shy or feeling inadequate to present or argue about their faith in Christ which they desire to share. Time is now running out and so they ask me, “What can I do?” The Heidelberg Maneuver. . .
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How Not to Lose Your Faith When Illness Strikes

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Haven’t We Done This Before? Have you ever read a story about the people of Israel and thought, “Why are they losing faith again? Didn’t they learn their lesson the last time?” Hi, I’m Israel. Have we met? I thought I had learned the lesson of God’s grace being sufficient in my weakness during my early years of mothering, but the Lord has shown me that I need this lesson again. I have struggled with health issues off and on for many years. With so many pregnancies, it is inevitable to have fluctuating hormones and my body seems to have. . .
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Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired

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Why do we think that sickness is preventing us from living out God’s best plans for us? How do you deal with loss of control over things you used to be able to manage? The Murphys welcome special guests Mark & Andrea Robinette once again as they discuss how to deal with all the difficulties of illness when it is mom that is sick. Kara and Andrea talk about what to do when your health keeps you from doing all the things you desire to do? How do they care for their families and various responsibilities while struggling with illness?. . .
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Did You Have a Blue Christmas?

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Christmas Bright & Christmas Blue For our Christmas morning breakfast we had waffles, eggs, link sausage, coffee, tea, eggnog, and lots of conversation. A playlist of Christmas hymns and songs played in the background as we ate, talked, and laughed. Later in the day we joined another family for more of the same but this time we were slicing into prime rib and pouring wine. Now all my Yuletides have not been nearly as full. Some late Decembers I went hungry and was mostly alone. I worked on December 25 several times and there was no one to come home. . .
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Bearing Trials & Suffering

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It can be extremely discouraging to experience trials and suffering in your life. Kara shares some of her own trials and and talks about how these trying times can teach us compassion, strengthen our faith, dispel our unbelief, and sanctify us and our families. We can become more Christlike through our own suffering and become a lifeline of encouragement to others as we empathize with their trials.

When a Friend is Hurting

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When I think of relating to friends, I immediately remember times like last New Year’s Eve when good friends were over and we laughed at an inside joke until we could hardly breathe. Fun times are certainly wonderful parts of friendship, but recently I’ve been reminded that we and our friends will also go through seasons of hurt. Sometimes laughter is replaced with tears and we can’t escape the pain. Sometimes life this side of heaven just hurts. It’s usually easy to rejoice and have fun with others when we’re both doing well, but knowing how to relate to a. . .
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Counting it All Joy When You’re Walking in the Valley

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Hiker's silhouette looking down into a deep valley. (Count it all Joy)

Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.—James 1:2–4 Unexpected Trials “I never saw it coming,” we say. “This was so unexpected.” Even though we meet with suffering and trials on a fairly regular basis, they still manage to interject themselves at times and in ways we don’t foresee. How many people do you know right now who are out of work, fighting cancer, mourning infertility, or burying a loved. . .
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Finding Peace On Sleepless Nights

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Man in bed on a sleepless night.

Dreading Sleepless Nights I had a tough night last night. I’m sure you’ve probably had a similar night yourself. I was up at least three times during the night, just walking around the house. Going back to bed. Up again a couple of hours later. You’ve probably heard of Restless Legs Syndrome? While my legs were pretty restless, I don’t think that was my problem. My restlessness was in my heart. Reasons for Sleepless Nights We’ve probably all had nights like that at one time or another. On the surface, the reasons may vary, but as you probe deeper, they. . .
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It’s an Abundant Life

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Sunlight through snowy trees. Abundant life.

It’s a Wonderful Abundant Life You see, George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. George Bailey needed the wingless angel Clarence to teach him that, despite all his difficulties and unfulfilled dreams, he was a blessed man. George was so consumed with all that was “wrong” with his life that he missed the wonderfulness of it. He failed to recognize the abundance of his blessings during his time of trial (which seemed to him to be perpetual). We are able to identify with George. Failure to Believe the Promise How often do we fail to believe the promise of Christ. . .
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Count the Cost of a Faithful Life

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Count the Cost

Count the Cost of Following Jesus When was the last time you heard of someone witnessing like this: Pick up your cross/noose/electric chair and follow me. Die daily. Sell all your worldly possessions and follow me. If you choose to say that Christ is Lord you will not know a moment’s peace the rest of your days which will be few by the way. Apostles Suffered The apostles were such evangelists. And they then suffered the fate that they warned about. They were persecuted, beaten and ultimately killed. Only John died a natural death. The rest were crucified, burned, stoned. . .
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Join the Great Cloud of Witnesses & Run

By in Highlands Fellow on

Great Cloud of Witnesses “Timothy, a deacon of Mauritania, and Maura his wife, had not been united together by the bands of wedlock above three weeks, when they were separated from each other by the persecution. Timothy, being apprehended, as a Christian, was carried before Arrianus, the governor of Thebais, who, knowing that he had the keeping of the Holy Scriptures, commanded him to deliver them up to be burnt…[which he refused to do]. The governor being much incensed at this reply, ordered his eyes to be put out, with red-hot irons, saying, ‘The books shall at least be useless. . .
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To Live is Christ

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Teach Them to Live is Christ “Charlie is dead.” Charlie was our pet Beta fish who didn’t make it more than a week in our house. “Where is Charlie?” she asked again. “He is dead, sweetheart; he isn’t coming back.” I have known parents that have tried to hide the idea of death from their children. Others have tried to push off the conversation and thought the idea would simply scare them. Death in my church community is, however, something that I cannot hide from. I have buried five friends (not acquaintances, actual friends) in the last three years. My. . .
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In Defense of Mourning and Dancing

By in Highlands Fellow on

As many of you know, Kim, my bride of almost twenty-four years, passed into glory this April after a relatively brief, but intense, struggle with cancer. Besides myself, she left behind six children, all of whom still are at home. In the months that have passed since then, we have started along the road of mourning and grief that R.C. and his children started just ahead of us. Even though we are still relatively new on this path, I have learned a few lessons. First, it is healthy and necessary to mourn. Denial of grief or pain achieves nothing good.. . .
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Suffering and the Sovereignty of God: An Interview with R.C. Sproul Jr.

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In a recent interview with Ligonier Ministries President, Chris Larson, R.C. Sproul Jr. speaks candidly about his recent hardships, his new teaching series on God’s sovereignty in the midst of suffering, and updates us on how he and his family are doing. Questions What was it that prompted you to attend worship the morning your wife, Denise, died? (00:49) What enabled you to teach a series on suffering after having just experienced so much? (03:11) Why should we try to “own” the sovereignty of God in the context of suffering? (05:03) Why are those in the contemporary church struggling so much with suffering. . .
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Together in Suffering

By in Highlands Fellow on

It is perhaps the deepest challenge and, in turn, the greatest lesson for a man when those whom he loves suffer. Everyone is tempted to wonder about God’s will and the why of suffering. Everyone tastes the bitterness of that first fruit, pleasing as it was to the eyes and desirable to make one wise. Everyone feels the sting of suffering, the shared pain of shared lives. But a man, a husband, a father—he feels something else: impotence. There comes, when the doctor gingerly delivers the bad news, a horrible, gnawing, piercing pain because you are the fixer, and you. . .
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