Last week I read chapters 8 and 9.
Chapter 8 is titled "Building Relationships by Identifying With Suffering". In this chapter, (pages 143-144) the author identified 5 things the Bible has to say about the reality of personal suffering. They are as follows:
1. The Bible clearly declares that God is sovereign over all things--even suffering. (Exodus 4:11, 1 Samuel 2:2-7, Daniel 4:34-35, Proverbs 16:9)
2. The Bible clearly says that God is good. (Psalm 25:7-8, Psalm 34: 8-10, Psalm 33:5)
3. The Bible clearly says that God has a purpose for our suffering. (Romans 8:17, 2 Corinthians 1:3-6, Philippians 2:5-9).
4. The Bible explains the ultimate reasons why we suffer (because we live in a fallen world, because of our flesh, because others sin against us, because of the Devil, because of God's good purpose).
5. The Bible is clear that God's sovereignty over suffering never:
- Means the suffering isn't real (2 Corinthians 1:3-9, 2 Corinthians 4: 1-16).
- Excuses the evildoer (Habakkuk, Acts 2:22-24, Acts 3:14-23).
Chapter 9 was titled "Getting To Know People". I found this chapter extremely helpful. The author offered a lot of advice on how to listen to other people. I would say the theme of this chapter could be summed up in this phrase, "Don't assume--ask." After presenting this idea, the author spent several pages giving concrete examples on how to go about this task. This was my favorite chapter so far.
So, have you been reading this book? Please weigh in and tell us what you think via the comments section.