Click the "Quotes" button to the left - to read over 500 quotes on suffering !!!
Click the "Stories" button to the left - to read over 40 stories on suffering !!!
Scroll down - for hundreds of items to help you cope with suffering in your life or a friend or family member's life!!!
Welcome to Suffering.net- A website offering Hope to those who Suffer
Intro - click "Intro" to read a one paragraph introduction to this website.......
2011 CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) Presentation
On December 29, 2011, I presented the following to a great group of college students in Indianapolis, Indiana at the annual CRU Conference
Francis Chan - Videos on Suffering
Must Sees - - this guy is so encouraging and motivating!!!
Notes on Norm Geisler's Book - If God, Why Evil?
Norm Geisler, called the greatest living Christian apologist, has written this wonderful book on Evil, Suffering and God. Click here to read notes on the book!
Notes on The Great Debate - - "Does the Bible Provide an Adequate answer for the problem of Suffering ?" Notes on a debate between Dr. Michael Brown vs Dr. Bart Ehrman
On April 15, 2010, at Ohio State University, a debate on the topic between Dr. Brown and Dr. Ehrman took place. Dr. Brown is an Old Testament Scholar and a Messianic Jewish apologist. He has a PhD in Near Eastern languages from New York University . He is the author of 20 books. His books include the highly acclaimed 5 volume series answering Jewish objections to Jesus. He is also an adjunct professor at four leading seminaries.
Dr. Ehrman is the author of more than 20 books. His books include two New York Times best sellers: "Misquoting Jesus" and "God's Problem: How the Bible fails to explain our most important question - Why we Suffer?" He is a professor at North Carolina.
Notes on John Piper's Book - Suffering and the Sovereignty of God
Pastor Bob O'Bannon - Joy in Trials Series
Joni Eareckson Tada - The Theology of Suffering
Peter Kreeft - Making Sense Out of Suffering
Notes on the Book - How Long, O Lord? By D.A. Carson
Pastor Bob O'Bannon of New Life Presbyterian Church, Yorktown, Indiana - The Problem of Evil
A very powerful sermon - click on link below to hear it!!! Pastor O'Bannon provides 3 "theodicies" on the problem of evil. A theodicy, per Wikpedia, is a specific branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to reconcile the existence of evil or suffering in the world, with the belief in an omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), and omnibenevolent (all good) God, (in other words, the problem of evil. ). The issue is - - if God is all powerful, He could stop evil, if God is all good, He would stop evil - - and yet evil clearly exists in our world....So, how can God be both all powerful and all loving?...The 3 theodicies posed by Pastor O'Bannon, supporting God's omniscience, omnipotence and omnibenevolence in the midst of evil are as follows:
1. The "greater good" defense - That God has a good purpose to the evil He has permitted and woven into the fabric of existence..... Evidence includes the story of Joseph and the powerful conclusion of Genisis 50:20, the powerful Romans 8:28-29 and individual's personal testimonies that are too numerous to list. God permits difficulties - - to produce the greatest virtues in us .....
2. The promise of future glory defense - this world is not the whole story - - because if it is the whole story, than suffering is unjust....But, God is not finished with us yet - - there will be a resurrection of the dead - - - there will be a day of reckoning/reward/punishment..... The Bible says Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light thru the Gospel........Jesus reversed the course of death, He suffered for us and brought eternal life (future glory).
3. The cross of Christ - God stepped into the problem of evil Himself at the cross and because of this, a day is coming when suffering will be ceased and evil will be judged. Tim Keller said, "God does not allow evil and suffering to continue because He does not love us, or is in some way detached and removed from us. God takes our suffering so seriously, that he took it upon himself on the cross."
Listen to the sermon
Notes on the Sermon
How Do We Know the Bible is Really True?
This website is focused on suffering from a biblical perspective - - so, a good question is, Is the bible true? The following link is an outstanding writeup on how we know the bible is true.... The evidence is so overwhelming that one could not read this writeup and stay neutral - -- the facts are the facts - - the Bible is the Word of God....You can trust and rely on the Bible as the ultimate and unerring Word of God.
How Do We Know the Bible is True ?
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People: Differing theological viewpoints - Dr. Norman Geisler vs Rabbi Harold Kushner (best selling author of "When Bad Good Things Happen to Good People")
An excellent video debate between a Christian theologian and an accomplished Rabbi. Kushner argues that God could not be "all powerful", because if God was, He would solve suffering - - Kushner argues, God would love to solve suffering , but is not able to. On the other hand, Geisler argues that God is all powerful, all loving, all good and - - evil and suffering still exist. This is a wonderful debate - -
Summary notes on the debate:
Geisler /Kushner debate - Part 1
Geisler /Kushner debate - Part 2
Geisler /Kushner debate - Part 3
Geisler /Kushner debate - Part 4
Geisler /Kushner debate - Part 5
Geisler /Kushnser debate - Part 6
30 Minute presentation on "The Gospel and Suffering" at New Life Presbyterian Church - Yorktown, Indiana - for my friend and pastor of the church, Bob O'Bannon
On 6/8/08, I prepared this short Power Point presentation entitled the The Gospel and Sufferingfor a Sunday school class at New Life Presbyterian in Yorktown, Indiana. Here is the same presentation in a "viewer" file" if you don't have Power Point The Gospel and Suffering
The "Cardboard testimony" video
The cardboard testimony video at my church (after selecting this link, scroll down a bit, click on the volume button to turn it up, it will start on its own)- Becky and I participated in a "cardboard testimony" at our Church, College Park Church. (I'm the only one in a wheelchair in the presentation- - )....... A cardboard testimony is a very clever series of testimonies without words! When suffering enters a Christian's life (whether by a person's own sin or just because we live in a world of sin), God can and does use it for His glory..... This video shows evidence in the lives of believers that Romans 8:28 is true ..."And we know that in all things (including suffering) God works for the good of those who love him (Christians), who have been called according to his purpose. (Christians)" As you'll see in the video, God works for the good even in the midst of something as bad, awful and hurtful as suffering. The question is - - will suffering be a stepping stone or stumbling block to your faith? You decide........................... Are you ready to see the Lord work mightily in your life? Share your cardboard testimony!
Another church's cardboard testimony video
Pastor Mark Driscoll - Sufferingfrom the pulpit at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.
Tim Keller - Summary on "How Could A Good God Allow Suffering?" from his book The Reason for God
A few noteson the Chapter on Suffering from Tim Keller's latest book.......
Keller says: "Just becasue we don't see a reason for evil and suffering doesn't mean there's not a reason for it."
Keller also claims: "Suffering provides a greater evidence for God than for no God......."
Also, Keller says - - - "God does not allow evil and suffering to continue because He does not love us or is in some way detached and removed from us. God takes our suffering so seriously, that he took it upon himself."
"Suffering - Understanding the Love of God": A Commentary of John Calvin's numerous sermons on the topic of Suffering, as compiled and commented on by Joseph Hill
A chapter by chapter study of a book on John Calvin's comments on the topic of Suffering..... Absolutely fantastic notes - - a must read !!:
Chapter 1 - Living under the cross- 13 Purposes of Suffering......
Chapter 2 - Treasuring up bright designs - God's sovereignty in suffering.....
Chapter 3 - Suffering and God's goodness- Sometimes, God gets angry.....
Chapter 4 - Standing on the promises - stand on the promises of God in His Word, despite circumstances
Chapter 5 - Pour out your heart- Prayer..........
Chapter 6 - Waiting for God- Patience..........
Chapter 7 - Continuing by grace - God's grace........
Chapter 8 - Standing in the shadow- Secure under God's care....
Chapter 9 - Joy in the morning- Sorrow...... and then joy!
Chapter 10 - The fellowship of his sufferings - Destined to suffer for Christ....
Chapter 11 - The hope of glory- the return of Christ.....
Chapter 12 - A place where gold is refined - Today - - Cast your burden on the Lord
The Best of the web on Suffering
I just found an incredibly rich site of Christian information regarding Suffering on the web. The site includes hundreds of sermons on suffering from many greats of the Christian Faith....There are sermons, MP3 files, and outlines from people like Luther, Spurgeon, Kreeft, Piper, Martyn Lloyd Jones, MacArthur, Tada and many, many others. It is such a blessing to listen to and read sermons from these Spirit filled believers expounding on God's truth in suffering and trials.
See the Theology of suffering section of Monergism.com's The Theology of Suffering
Russ Blowers - A hero, A mentor, A true man, A friend - (1924 - 2007)
. Hometown: Zanesville, Ohio.
Education: He attended Ohio State University on the GI Bill, studying journalism and commerce before realizing he had a calling to attend seminary. After getting married, he moved to Indianapolis, where he did his graduate work at Christian Theological Seminary.
Military career: Joined the Army Air Forces when he was 18 and was assigned as a ground crewman for the 55th Fighter Group Association based in Albuquerque, N.M. Served in World War II.
Church career: He served as pastor of East 91st Street Christian Church for 45 years. He retired to take care of his wife, Marian, who developed Alzheimers disease in the mid-1990s. She died in 2004.
Russ Blowers was pastor of East 91st Street Church in Indianapolis, Indiana for 46 yrs (1951 - 1996). In all my days, I have not met a more God fearing and honoring man. Russ has been a friend of mine for well over 15 years - - teaching me many things over that time period. His greatest lesson for me, and most, was his 8 year response to the situation he and his wife of 56 years, Marian, were in. Marian was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1996, and her health steadily declined until her death in 2004. For the last 4 years of her life, Marian was in a wheelchair, unresponsive, with no way to communicate, as helpless as a newborn baby child ! Yet, everyday, you could find Russ Blowers at the Sunrise Assisted Living Community in Carmel, Indiana, holding Marian's hand, talking to her, feeding her, loving her........ for 4 years........all without any real response from Marian.........
On November 10, 2007, at the age of 83, Russ went home to be with the Lord. Next to my father, Jim Doyle, I've not known a better man.
Russ contends he is not a hero, yet I've never seen or heard of a greater display of unconditional love to another - - - just like Jesus' unconditional love for each one of us......... Without fanfare, quietly, all alone, Russ shows us in person the biblical definition of true love from I Corinthians 13:4-8..........
Tim Keller - 9/11 Sermons
A few sermons from Pastor Tim Keller on the 9/11 tragedy in both a transcript and audio formats:
2006 sermon - The Problem of Suffering - a transcript of a sermon on September 10, 2006.
2001 sermon - Truth, Tears, Anger and Grace - the audio version on September 16, 2001from the pulpit at Redeemer Presbyterian Churchin New York City.
Debby Doyle McCalley (1955 - 2007) - My sister
The Debby Doyle
McCalley update page -( December 13, 1955 - July 2, 2007 )- My sister Debby
was in Intensive Care since April 2007 - And
she has now entered her eternal resting place in Heaven.........See
updates on Debby's final days of her life....
"Becky's Blog" - My wife!
Jimmy Doyle - (1928 - 2006) - My dad!
The James B. " Jimmy " Doyle web page - My father Jim passed away from cancer in Nov 2006 - "The best man we've ever known"
Jody Doyle Dolen- (1962 - 2003) - My sister!
The Jody Doyle Dolen webpage - My sister Jody passed away from Muscular Dystrophy and Multiple Sclerosis in 2003 - George Dolen, Jody's wonderful husband said, and we all concur, "Everybody loved Jody"!
Jenny Doyle Walker - My sister!
The Jenny Doyle Walker webpage - My sister, Jenny - Truly, a miracle from God in 2001 saved her life from heart failure caused by Multiple Sclerosis......In the picture at left, Jenny had the "Heartmate" she is holding in her hands, surgically implanted inside her body and hooked up to her heart....... It saved her life by taking over the function of the heart........She had the Heartmate inside her for over 3 months - - - it's a cool story of the miracle healing of God !
John Piper - A video entitled "How Our Suffering Glorifies the Greatness of the Grace of God"
A few notes:
John Piper - Wheaton Lectures on Suffering for Christ - September 9, 2007
John Piper completed a week of lectures on Christians and the call to suffer at Wheaton in early September. You need to hear his four part series, then listen to the questions students are asking today about suffering, American Christianity, and the pure call of Christ.: (I recommend "downloading" the linked lectures below for quicker access - each lecture is about 30 minutes)
Treasuring Christ and the Call to Suffer, Part 1 - If you are a Christian, it is not a question of whether you will suffer, but when. And natural suffering like disease or disasters can be as much for Christ as persecution is.
Displaying Christ in Christian SufferingPart 2 - Whether God is delivering us from suffering or prolonging it, one thing is most important to himdisplaying the worth of Christ.
Displaying the Substance of Sin in SufferingPart 3 God wants the suffering in the world to show us how awful sin is.
Displaying Joy through SufferingPart 4 - How can we have joy amid so much suffering? See a few notes on this lecture.
Piper Q & A - John Piper answers questions from Wheaton students.
Dr. Walter Martin (the "original bible answer man") on Pain and Suffering
You tube audio - Evil and Human Suffering - Part 1 - (11 minutes)
She spent her ENTIRE LIFE worshipping God : The Audrey Joy Malek story
Read the story of a baby who lived her entire life of 36 hours as a testimony to the Sovereignty of God. What a blessing her life was! When complications were discovered in the 6th month of Bess's pregnancy, the doctors declared an abortion was necessary...... The Christian parents, Baher and Bess Malek, would have nothing of it. - - As a result, the parent's suffered terribly - - emotional suffering, anxiety, depression, people questioning everything they said and did - - and yet the baby was born - disabled, blind, deaf, deformed and in pain - - - and absolutely beautiful to her parents. The parents were so thankful to God for Audrey Joy's birth; her death 36 hours later provided the parents a reason to worship Him for His sovereignty and His grace for their faith......Read The Audrey Joy Malek story
Words from Bess Malek (Audrey Joy's mom) on the story of Audrey Joy!- A MUST READ - -to be included in Life Care Ministries magazine
Audrey Joy's life verses- Audrey Joy's parents chose these life verses from Scripture for her.
The Memorial Service for Audrey Joy Malek - March 25, 2005- an outside service in the freezing cold celebrating Audrey Joy's 1 day of life. The link includes the songs that the attenders sang in memory of Audrey Joy. The songs glorified the Father and included:
Audrey Joy's "footprint card" - Audrey's "life verse" on a card given to all who attended the funeral - - - the card includes the tiny footprints of Audrey Joy - which are absolutely precious!
Audrey Joy's obituary- Audrey Joy makes the newspaper!
John Eldredge - Notes on his book: Waking the Dead
In his book, Waking the Dead, Eldredge states the purpose of the Christian life is that our hearts may be set free so that God can give us LIFE. While God made the awesome promise of forgiveness of ours sins through belief in Christ, Eldredge states that forgiveness of sins is only part of the story - -but here's "the rest of the story" - - He came to give us LIFE. And this life started when He gave Believers a new heart - - a good heart......Eldredge states that any true Christian that says his heart is "desperately wicked" is actually desperately wrong!!!! He claims the heart of the true Christian is good, and matters deeply to God, and he uses his book, Waking the Dead to prove his point. Eldredge states that because satan is so effective at waging his spiritual war against Christians, he has most Christians duped into believing their hearts are bad. Eldredge uses Scripture and mythical stories to make his point that we are in the midst of a savage spiritual war between satan and God for the treasure called our hearts. Our hearts, which Eldredge claims, are good, definitely matter to God and are His treasure, the wellspring of the LIFE He promises. "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23.
See my notes (which doesn't include any references to Eldridge's "mythical stories" - - I didn't care for them and didn't find them useful) on Waking the Dead.... His thoughts - - the author is differentiating the good things - which come from the heart ( a good heart as a result of becoming a Christian) and the bad things - from the flesh, the devil and the world.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 - 1945) On Suffering
Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, preacher, radio broadcaster, and prolific writer in the 1930s and early-1940s, during the rise, rule, and downfall of Adolph Hitler. He was involved in plots planned by members of the the German Military Intelligence Office to assassinate Adolf Hitler. As a result, he was arrested in March 1943 and imprisoned. On the morning of April 9, 1945, he was led out of his cell, and was observed by the prison doctor, who said: "Through the half-open door I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer still in his prison clothes, kneeling in fervent prayer to the Lord his God. The devotion and evident conviction that I saw in the prayer of this intensely captivating man moved me to the depths." As he calmly walked to his death, he could hear the American artillery, the liberators who would arrive just 11 days later and end World War II. The prisoners were ordered to strip. The 39 year-old German Lutheran pastor was led naked to the gallows at Flossenbürg concentration camp in Bavaria. Naked, under the scaffold, Bonhoeffer knelt for one last time to pray - - - five minutes later, he was dead.
Bohoeffer was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ. He penned, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." Although only 39 when executed, Bonhoeffer left a rich legacy of books, and in them, certainly, a controversial theology. Phrases like "cheap grace", "costly grace", and "religionless Christianity" are common coin, because they come from Dietrich Bonhoeffers two best-known books, The Cost of Discipleship and Letters and Papers from Prison. The Cost of Discipleshipwas written in 1939 and is an interpretation of The Sermon on the Mount, calling for radical living, if the Christian is to be an authentic disciple of Christ. Letters and Papers from Prisonwas a manuscript smuggled from jail and published. These "Letters" contain Bonhoeffer's consideration that organized religion and "securalization" had undermined genuine faith in Believers.
John D. Godsey : Bonhoeffer's Theology of Suffering
Todd Kappelman: On Bonhoeffer's "The Cost of Discipleship"
Meeting Joni Eareckson Tada !
Joni Eareckson Tada and I met at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Christian Council on Person's with Disabilities at College Park Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1998. At left is a picture of her and I at the Conference. Spending time with her was one of the highlights of my life - she is truly a spiritual giant with a true heart for our Lord Jesus Christ ! At the Conference, I made the following presentation: Power Point presentation
The Book of Job - John Piper
John Piper spoke at Billy Graham's training facility, The Cove, on the Book of Job. John Piper is the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1980 and is one of the great teachers of Jesus Christ of our time ! Check out these notes I wrote on his sermons !
The Book of Job - A few other studies
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - Study Notes
Here are some study notes I wrote on the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The focus of these notes is to show that Christ and the Word of God are prevalent throughout the book the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. What is also clear is that suffering is throughout the book and throughout the Word of God and foundational to the life of Christ - - Check out these 18 pages of Notes.
Phillip Yancey's book - "Disappointment with God" - A few notes on this excellent book
Phillip Yancey writes excellent books - - especially related to the topic of suffering. Check out these notes I wrote on his book, and more importantly, read the book yourself - it will help you when you're in need of comfort !
Here's a point made in his book: "Is life fair? read the story of Jesus and ask yourself, "was life fair to him?" The cross has demolished for all time the basic assumption that life will be fair ! No one is exempt from tragedy or disappointment - - God himself was not exempt. Jesus offered no immunity, no way out of unfairness - but rather a way through it to the other side. The cross of Christ has overcome evil, but it did not overcome unfairness."
Notes on Yancey's "Disappointment with God"
Tony Dungy - On the death of his son James Dungy, 18 yrs old
Family and friends, players, coaches and colleagues came to Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida on Tuesday, December 27, 2005, to mourn the passing of James Dungy, the eldest son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren. Tony Dungy had a message for all. "I urge you not to take your relations for granted," Dungy told the gathering of about 1,500. "Parents, hug your kids each chance you get. Tell them you love them each chance you get. You don't know when it's going to be the last time." Tony had a much stronger message of faith in Jesus Christ for all......
Tony Dungy's comments- Remarks of Faith by Tony Dungy on his son, James (Jamie) Dungy.
Can a person who "takes their own life" go to heaven? - My Q&A on the issue of suicide, Heaven and that taking one's own life is not the "unpardonable sin"..... In addition, here's Billy Graham's response to the issue of suicide, that was recently included in the local, Indianapolis paper.
Tony Dungy's testimony- As written on thegoal.com, a website that includes the "life stories of hundreds of world class athletes."
Tony Dungy Makes Super Bowl Stop to Speak at Athletes in Action Breakfast- As written on Eternal Perspectives Ministries website, on a speech given by Tony Dungy before Superbowl XL, at an Athletes in Action awards ceremony. Tony's message on his Christian witness in the midst of amazing suffering is a must read !
Tony Dungy - Speech given at the Athletes in Action NFL Super Bowl Breakfast- Dungy's speech entitled "Valuable Lessons from My Sons"
A Sports Illustrated Rick Reilly piece on Dungy - "Coaching the Grief - Stricken" - 5/07- In the midst of his terrible loss, Dungy consoles a father who also lost his son. The father's response was, "Dungy helped me keep my faith"........ Praise God !
An Indpls. Star piece - "My son's death was a test" - Dungy says "sometimes when you have disappointments, it makes the final destination that much sweeter."
Tony's book - "A Quiet Strength" website- The official website for Tony's book - - includes alot of good stuff!
The Book of James: My verse by verse study of the Book of James - Hereunder is a verse by verse study I prepared on the Book of James. It is very different than other studies in that it "flowcharts" each verse, showing that the Book of James is not a Book that jumps from topic to topic but is very consistent in its flow and presentation. This is a very helpful, very detailed study that allows users to go to specific verses of interest and gain tremendous insights on the verses and related biblical references. The Book of James includes an introduction by the author in Chapter 1 and verse 1 and then, in verse 2 states, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of various kinds." James teaches us in his Book that if our faith is real, we can and will consider it pure joy (or with pure "confidence in God"), in the midst of terrible trials. The difficult issue to grasp is that we can never know if this faith is real unless its tested; it is the only way to determine authenticity. It must be tested by God and must be continually tested by ourselves. And, we have received God's approval or blessing in the midst of trial when we live out these trials in accordance with the Beatitudes.
"Sickness" - A comforting pamphlet by JC Ryle (1816 - 1900)- This comforting, excellent, in depth pamphlet on a biblical view of sickness includes topics like the universal prevalence of sickness, the "general benefits of sickness" and the special duties of those with sickness. Included in the "general benefits of sickness" are paragraphs explaining the following:
"Suffering into Joy - What Mother Teresa Teaches about True Joy"- No modern day person has exemplified the response of joy to suffering more than Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997). In 1950, she founded the Missionaries of Charities in Calcutta, India with a goal to serve the poorest of the poor.
She said, "This is perfect joy - to share in the sufferings of the world as Christ did."
"Joy is indeed the fruit of the Holy Spirit and a characteristic mark of the Kingdom of God, for God is joy. Christ wanted to share his joy with His apostles "...that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." (Jn 15:11). Joy is prayer, the sign of our generosity, selflessness, and close and continual union with God. Joy is love- a joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love." See Mother Teresa's Christ-like responses to suffering she encountered personally! Click here for summary
The Prophet Jeremiah
-For almost 50 years, the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah preached a very unpopular message of repentance to the people of Judah. For this same time period, there was no measurable change in their lives. He was shunned, rejected, imprisoned beaten and persecuted - FOR 50 YEARS !!!!.He had few, if any, friends, no sympathizers to his cause, never married or had children because God instructed him not to (Jer 16:2) and lived a life marked by constant sadness. Click here for a summary
Fox's Book of Martyrs
After the Bible itself, no book so
profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even
in our time it is still a living force. It is more than a record of
persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well
as a source of edification. Unbelievable suffering on behalf of the Saviour by
or early brothers and sisters.
incredible stories of suffering on-line.....
Paul's "Thorn in the Flesh" - - - Analyzed !!!
"Thorn in the Flesh" - An outline by Rich Vincent http://www.theocentric.com.
The Ecstasy and the Agony - Ray C. Steadman
Paul's Theology of Suffering- from the blog of Jeph Guinan, seminary student....
Pastor Rich Vincent on Suffering-
Articles from Theologian Rich Vincent. After 10 1/2 years of serving as Associate Pastor on the pastoral staff of College Park Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, Rich was the Senior Pastor of NewLife Christian Fellowship in Glastonbury, Connecticut for 2 years and in 2006 moved to pastor a church in Wisconsin. His outstanding website is ( http://www.theocentric.com). A few articles on the topic of Suffering follows (and Rich has a page sorted by topic to include his latest on suffering - : http://www.theocentric.com/spirituality/suffering
A Cry In the Dark: preserving Prayer Amidst Unending Sorrow- A look at Psalm 88
When God Seems Distant - A look at Psalm 13
The Problem of Evil and the Cross of Christ - Can these all co-exist? (1) God is all-powerful; (2) God is good; and (3) Evil is real. Consider the Cross of Christ!
Fear no Evil- Rich analyzes Psalm 23.
How can God be good when the godless prosper and the Godly suffer?- Rich analyzes Asaph's Psalm 73.
A Groaning God in a Suffering World - I- How does human suffering reflect upon God? Where is God in the tragedies and human suffering? How is God related to the endless flood of misery, heartache, and despair? Why does God allow these things to occur?
A Groaning God in a Suffering World - II- When considering the problem of evil and suffering, we must not simply speak of human suffering. We must also speak of divine suffering... God loves us passionately and lives with more pain from that love than we could ever imagine
Hopeful Groaning - It is the Spirit that prompts our groanings. Far from being a result of sin, our groanings are evidence that Gods Spirit is at work in our lives.
On the eternal condition of babies who die or are aborted......- A question to Rich on this difficult topic...........
God's will as a way of life.........even in the midst of suffering-A detailed sermon on a critical topic.
Charles Stanley writes on suffering (Go to Charles Stanley's website)-
2 beautiful articles on suffering; on turning to Christ in our sufferings........
When We are Afflicted article
Can you thank me???
Lee Strobel - The Case for Faith
Strobel's new book answers the top 8 objections that keep people from faith in Jesus Christ........ The top objection - - Objection #1 - - addressed in his book is this - -
Since evil and suffering exist, a loving God cannot.......
The topic of suffering continues with Objection #4 - - God isn't worthy of worship if he kills innocent children.....
Check out some notes on Objection 1 - Since evil and suffering exist, a loving God cannot
The Brutality of the Cross
One section of the book The Case for
Christ, includes a description of the events leading up to the cross and
the crucifixion itself. I caution you - the truth of the events paint such a
brutal picture, it may not be appropriate for younger visitors to this website.
If appropriate, take a look at each section of Jesus' incomparable
A Farewell to Payton Leyden
Payton Leyden is the 13 yr. old son of my dear Christian friend and co-worker, Todd Leyden. On February 2, 2001, Payton went home to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..........The Leyden's have been forced to cope with two seemingly contradictory concepts - suffering and joy....... And yet, the Lord, in his infinite wisdom and sovereignty, has joined these concepts and asked Todd, Robin and the entire family to glorify His name in the process.....No words can describe the suffering resulting from the loss of a child ..........and yet, this child was chosen, before any of his days of life began, he was chosen........to be God's child.........and now, Payton is in the arms of his all holy and all loving Father.......where there is no sickness, no suffering, no pain, and no tears........ Payton is home - - - and for the Christian, that is the cause for inexplicable joy........ No eye has seen, no ear has heard - - no mind has ever, ever conceived the beauty and boundless joy of heaven......and the gifted and creative Payton - our son, grandson, friend, classmate, teammate, student, music-man, and Christian brother - - is HOME !!!!
Soon - - brothers and sisters in Christ will be reunited with Him for all of eternity.......... Now, we celebrate his life on earth and rejoice in his eternal life with Christ !
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." II Timothy 4:7-8
Why did God cause Payton's sickness, suffering and eventual death? - Well, He didn't........ click the link for more
Why was Todd and Robin's response to Payton's sickness and death so God honoring?- Because it was a model response........click the link for more
What is Payton's new home, Heaven, like?- Let's look at what the bible says.........click the link for more
getwellpayton.com- the Leyden's website for their son Payton
paytonsplace.org- Fort Wilderness, a Christian Ministry Camp in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, was a favorite place of the Leyden's and Payton. For the past five summers, the Leyden's have gone to family camp at the Fort. To honor Payton's memory, we are raising $75,000 to build a medical health facility, which will be called "Payton's Place."
suffering and joy- quotes on suffering and joy
What Will You Do When Disaster Comes ?
Billy Graham develops a "Spiritual Survival Kit" in this article - to prepare us for a day of disaster......... A day that is promised for everyone who calls themselves a Christian in this verse of the bible (1 Timothy 3:12)- - - "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." ........Be prepared !!!!! And who better than Billy Graham to prepare you for that day?
Billy Graham - What will you do when disaster comes ?
Chuck Colson - - Where Does Evil Come From ??
Russ Blowers provided me this article from Chuck Colson on Evil........Some of the points in the article are:
See - Where Does Evil Come From article.....
Stories Page !!!
A father asks a group of people, ""Where is the perfection in my disabled son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection in my disabled child?" .............. See this beautiful story
Check out the 25 other beautiful stories at The Stories page!
Jesus Freaks - A Book of Modern Day Martyrs
This is a fantastic book of short stories of modern day martyrs for Jesus Christ - termed "Jesus Freaks" by the authors dc talk, the contemporary Christian music group. The faith of these men and women, their single focus of carrying out God's will for their lives at any and all costs, is incredibly uplifting and encouraging. The stories have helped me to be more focused on Christ despite the difficulties the Lord has given me (see My Testimony).......
Check out one of the stories from this fantastic book - "Die With Us" - the story of Haim and his family (Cambodia - 1970's)
How can I get JOY ?????
Check out these notes based on a study of Philippians 2:5 by Warren Wiersbe in his book "Be Joyful" . Wiersbe begins by mentioning "joy stealers": People, Circumstances, Things, Worry.........(don't you agree with these - - think about them in your own life !)
Then he shares points on "joy attainers/maintainers":
Check out these notes on Philippians 2:5 on Joy !!
Understanding the Long-Term Effect of Jesus' Miracles.............
Do you need a miracle from Jesus today to believe in Him or strengthen your current faith?
My feeling is, and the Bible supports, that it probably wouldn't make a lasting difference. Take a look at this short commentary on the subject, and let me know your thoughts via e-mail. address- firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding the Long-Term Effects of Jesus' Miracles
Excellent Q&A with the Priest and Rabbi on the IMUS radio show ! (provided by my friend Tom Olinger)
An excerpt from the discussion:
IMUS: Where did God come from?
Rabbi GELLMAN: It always surprises me, astounds me really, and it surprised me when I taught kids, how people who are really smart about other things, can't see the reality of God.
I teach kids all the time. I take out my watch and I say, "Do you know there's a watchmaker when I show you this watch?" And they say, "Yeah sure, of course there's a watchmaker." And I say, "Are you just sort of sure or are you absolutely sure there's a watchmaker? And they say, "We're absolutely sure." And I say, "Why?" And they say, "'Cause, something like that couldn't just happen. And it works so good".
So then I say, "Well, hello? Look at the world. Look at the human brain. Look at the eye. Look at the way the planets move. Look at the way the laws of nature are infallible and perfect. And the way birds fly south when it's cold and fly back when it's warm. And the way our most advanced computers are nothing compared to the human brain. It's so much better than a watch. It works so much more perfectly than a watch. Now, if you're sure, and you accept, without ever seeing him, that there was a watchmaker because you see a watch, you absolutely should accept that there's a God when you see the world.
Click here for the entire discussion !
The Fischer 26 !!!! Principles of Christian Suffering
Thomas M. Fischer provides 26 excellent principles on Christian Suffering that we all must know in order to properly respond to trials in our lives ! Excellent summary !!!! Click here for the Fischer 26 !
Be Still........and know that I am God
Do you ever mistake activity for accomplishment? This world tells us to stay busy or "idle hands are the work of the devil." God replies, "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10). Is our time with God a period of requests, quick reading, and a focus on "just getting it done." God certainly prefers quality to quantity! Even though we know this, we don't do it. And then, perhaps, something tragic or difficult enters our lives ; our priorities radically change and we turn to God....... I had a special time with the Lord as I lay motionless on the ground -- -- exhausted, in pain and in silence before the Lord. See Story
Why, God, Why?
Where is God when disaster strikes, when murders are committed by children, the atrocities of wars take place????? Why doesn't He do something?????? Why does He allow this to happen???
Take a look at a short article on this topic !
Why All the Suffering ?- (Voice of the Martyrs)
A sufferer once came to a pastor and asked him many questions.
The pastor answered, "Kneel here in the church and ask Jesus for the answers."
The man replied, "Do you really think I will hear a voice from heaven?"
"No," said the pastor, "but by keeping quiet in prayer for several hours before God, you will realize that you can go along without answers to all your problems.
This would have been Jesus' answer and it will quiet you."
You do not need more than His peace, which surpasses all understanding.
A wonderful article: Why All the Suffering ?
The Storms of Life - An excellent witnessing tool !!!!
I came to faith in Christ because I saw three people respond to tremendous trials in their lives with great poise, dignity, thankfulness and even joy. I didn't understand how or why they responded that way, but I just knew I wanted to do the same. Diana Brown, Laura Byers and Frank Malek all responded in a like manner in times of tremendous difficulties because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Their witness resulted in my testimony.
But there's so much more to it than just an admirable response to suffering.....
Check out the 1 page summary that addresses:
In the same vein, check out Campus Crusade for Christ's approach to the Great Commission - The Four Spiritual Laws- Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws which govern your relationship with God. An excellent tool explaining the importance of your relationship with Christ!
Pastor Charles Ware - "The 7P's "
Pastor Charles Ware, President of Baptist Bible College in Indianapolis, IN, is pictured with his teenage son Matt. Matt Ware was paralyzed in a 1998 basketball practice at Heritage Christian School in Indianapolis.
Pastor Ware gave an inspiring sermon on Feb 20, 2000 on "The 7P's" to responding to those who are suffering. The Ware family has displayed a true Christian response in the midst of painful and difficult trials. It was an honor to hear Pastor Ware speak from his family's experiences!
So Why Worry Now ?
We should never worry about anything........... Period ................ Most of us think it's our role and purpose to have something to worry about. Think about it ! What are you worried about right now? How about yesterday? If we ever took the time to write down all our worries and looked back on the list in hindsight, I think we'd be ashamed....... What a waste of time and energy. Most often - it's selfishness.........because most, if not all, of our worries focus on ourselves..........Our purpose is not to focus on ourselves but to glorify God ...........You know what God has to say about worry? Take a look ...... and be humbled !
Why is There Suffering in the World ?
Lee Strobel, pastor at Willow Creek Church in Illinois, the largest church in America, conducted a poll asking, "If you could ask God any question, and knew you would get an answer, what would it be?" The number one response from respondents in the United States in America was .........Why is there Suffering in the World?
Strobel does an outstanding job answering this question in a sermon (tape available by calling 1-800-570-9812; tape number is M9928; the date is 07/11/99) entitled "What Would You Ask God ? Part 1 - Why is There Suffering?. Here are my notes on the sermon
which addresses 5 major points:
Why God Allows Pain and Suffering - Lee Strobel - checkout this youtube video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVD5-fF_VmA
My story in the book "Prayer, Faith and Healing; Cure the Body, Heal the Mind and Restore the Soul" by Kenneth Winston Caine (1999)
Can you imagine how excited I was when the editors of an upcoming book saw my website last year and wanted my input for a chapter of their book??? Well, we had a few interviews and I provided my thoughts. Months later, the book was completed and I ordered a copy off amazon.com. Upon receiving the book, I quickly went to the chapter on Pain, where it began........."Tim Doyle is a thirty-something accountant in Indianapolis....... The book continued with an accurate (yet, incomplete) description of my response to suffering as well as a few Ph.D. type people who disagreed strongly with my approach.......Disagreement on the topic of a proper response to suffering..........huh..........who would've thought............
My ideas on a Proper Response to Suffering!
I have a theology on a proper response to suffering that includes 4 parts.....Protocol is critical, that is, we must start with step 1 and go in order thru step 4. Well, here it is........... !
Check out the "Archives" button below for more good stuff ! Don't forget the buttons on the left side of the page either --- Over 250 Quotes on the topic of suffering, over 650 "Suffering" bible verses, a few Stories of Hopeand much, much more !!!!
Questions, concerns, feedback, ideas for additions to this website??? Please e-mail me :
I Thessalonians 5:16-18