Posted by: everynation | December 31, 2011

Giving Thanks In Suffering

by Bruce Fidler

We live in a cruciform world that is not reducible to formulaic faith teachings. Our contemporary understanding of the developmental process of life on this planet, when interpreted from a biblical worldview, clearly indicates that the design by which God created the world anticipated the Fall and its cosmological consequences. Cruciformity (bearing the marks of the cross; i.e., suffering for the ultimate benefit of others) is embedded into the very fabric of animated existence in our world.C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain argues that this world may not merely be the “best of all possible worlds” through which God’s specific purposes may be achieved for our benefit and his own glory, but that this world may indeed be the only possible world through which this may take place. It is both illuminating and comforting to know that the ultimate revelation of God is given us in Christ hanging on the cross followed by his resurrection.Both the fallenness of our own constitution and the cruciformity of this world make suffering unavoidable. To be sure, God is glorified when faith toward him is exercised and he sovereignly delivers us from suffering by his great power. Yet he is also glorified when we endure suffering and demonstrate self-denying, cross-carrying trust and obedience toward him as we follow the steps of Christ.In either case, let us be thankful in the midst of our circumstances for this world will soon enough be transformed when Christ returns and consummates God’s eternal plan of redemption. And heaven will likely be our part sooner than that.

Bruce Fidler is a pastor of our Every Nation Church in Franklin, Tennessee in the United States of America. He describes himself as a happy husband, proud father, grateful servant; living in search of truth and in hope of the resurrection, the renewal of creation, and the kingdom of God.

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