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5 Stars Out Of 5
Great Discussion Points
February 22, 2014
This review is from: God's Sovereignty: God's Hand in Our Hardship pamphlet by Joni Eareckson Tada (Pamphlet)
The pamphlet, "God's Hand in Our Hardship" by Joni Eareckson Tada is a very thought-provoking tool to use as a beginning discussion to many individuals suffering from various issues in life. Specifically I can utilize it as I speak with individuals infected with HIV regarding God's involvement in their journey. Tada discusses God's role in the suffering of His people and how suffering can occur from a loving God which many people grapple with; especially individuals who were infected while they were following God's commands in their life.
Tada discusses the reasons that God does not eradicate suffering or even heal those who are suffering from illness not due to their own behavior. I have been asked many times why God doesn't just heal those who are infected with HIV, which God could do if He desired. Tada answered this question with a hard but true answer: "If God were to eradicate suffering from the world, he would have to get rid of sinnersâ€”suffering is inextricably linked to our rebellion against God back in the garden. But God does not want to obliterate sinners; he wants to save them".
How about those who are already "saved"? Tada discusses some hard questions and provides hard biblical answers. "There is hidden mercy here! By tasting suffering in this life-hell's splash-over-people are driven to ponder what may face them in the next life. In this way suffering may be our greatest mercy". Tada explains that suffering reminds us that it is a "heaven to be reached for Christ's sake, and a hell to be avoided". Instead of looking at who we are in our own standards we need to view who Christ is and His standards; He is the measuring stick.
Tada who is a quadriplegic after a diving accident discusses what good can come from suffering. I believe she is qualified to speak on this subject because it is from an authentic point of view. Tada reflects on Apostle Paul who went through various sufferings and delighted in his weakness because of his relationship with Christ (2 Cor. 12:10). God allows events to occur in life for our benefit and His glory; Satan can only do what He allows.
Finally, Tada has a list of the good that can come from our suffering which I love because there is always a benefit-finding component in our sufferings. As Tada says, "suffering pushes us to let go of the sins that Christ suffered to forgive".
I recommend using this pamphlet especially for individuals as a beginning discussion piece in small group study.