Suffering With Hope
DAY 1 OF 8
Hard Thoughts About God
How does God look upon us in our weakness, even in our sin? Is God really angry or wrathful with us, his children? His bride? What picture of God is really warranted by the Scriptures? How do passages like Zephaniah 3:17 and Isaiah 62:5 intersect our own experience? How can we then deal with the “hard thoughts” that tempt us to image God as cruel or indifferent, especially regarding our suffering? How do we develop a profound and affectionate trust of God rather than a sense of alienation? Our journey is to learn why such hard thoughts don’t reflect the triune God. Our hope is to learn to hear him singing over us, to trust his presence in the middle of the pain. Some will immediately object that this is wishful thinking based on a few obscure verses here and there. However, we will see that we are not talking about a few scattered biblical texts but are diving into the heart of the gospel, the heart of the good news discovered in the Messiah. Only here will we unquestionably discover the very heart of God.
To understand God and his relationship to our pain, we will need to examine the case of Jesus of Nazareth, a man who walked the dusty roads of Galilee over two thousand years ago. Only by listening to his words and by following the movement of his life, death, resurrection, and ascension might our very human struggle be seen in different light. Because he was and is God’s revelation of himself to us, it only makes sense to start there. In this endeavor it is to be hoped that our view of the God of heaven and earth will deepen beyond our current understanding. But to see Jesus clearly we need to stop defending our preconceived notions of who God is.
If you are plagued by “hard thoughts” of God, don’t give up. No easy answer will suffice, and no pill can make everything instantly well. Still, I hope that what follows will give genuine encouragement and glimpses into the heart of God. Along the way we will be reminded not only how much we need God but how much we need his people—we need each other. This, as we will see, informs how we might start to address questions about our suffering.
From Embodied Hope by Kelly M. Kapic.
About this Plan
What are we to make of our suffering? Kelly Kapic invites us to consider our Lord Jesus who has taken on our embodied existence—who “took on flesh.” Because Jesus suffered alongside us, died, and has been raised again, w...
We would like to thank Kelly Kapic and InterVarsity Press for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://www.ivpress.com/embodied-hope