Thursday, January 21, 2010
Life, wisdom, and suffering
This was First Baptist Gulfport, now gone completely after Katrina.
In recent years my teaching and preaching have been clustered around subject or topic studies. I feel that you can touch more areas of truth when you spend time looking at what we learn from scripture and life in a certain area.
Since September the subject has been wisdom, which to me means the understanding of life and the ways we learn to relate to God and man. Closely related to this is the reality of suffering that enters our life in many ways and disrupts the regular enjoyments of work, family and play. Disasters, accidents, sickness, violence, war, broken relationships, crime, job loss. It is a long list.
I really enjoyed the last decade and all I experienced and learned, yet for many it was marked by disaster, suffering, and recovery. 9/11, Katrina, Asian Tsunami and with the turn of a decade the Haitian Earthquake.
One of the conclusions of my reflections that I want to share is the importance of your view of God. If you believe God is loving and compassionate, then you feel His presence in your suffering, not condemnation or judgment. It has for me been on of the greatest shifts in my worldview to believe that God identifies with us in our suffering and cares for the suffering, asking us to care with Him and help as we are able.