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Ep. 401 Living Well Requires a Transcendent View of Suffering

Ep. 401 Living Well Requires a Transcendent View of Suffering

Shows Main Idea – A theology of suffering is a theoretical reality with life-transforming implications if we can live it out robustly and practically, with God’s fame and the benefit of the community in view. Of course, the saying is true: “It’s easier said than done.” Learning how to live well with suffering should be every Christian’s desire because the promise from God, in the beginning, was that life would be a suffering one. In this episode, Rick presents four crucial ideas for those who dare learn these lessons.

Show Notes

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Removing Your Ability

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8-9).

Recalibrating Your Faith

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:28-33).

Rethinking Your Value

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you (2 Corinthians 4:7-12).

Refining Your Strength

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

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Call to Action

  1. How do these four points apply to you?
    1. Removing Your Ability
    2. Recalibrating Your Faith
    3. Rethinking Your Value
    4. Refining Your Strength
  2. Will you take some time to think through your life, any personal struggles, and how this podcast applies to you? Perhaps some journaling will help you focus your reflections if you’re a writer. Others are not writers but would benefit from talking to a close friend. The essential key is to have a practical way to “work out your salvation” with detailed conversations and specific plans to change. Will you act on these things today?

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