Preaching About Suffering and Preaching To the Suffering
7 things to consider when preaching on suffering.
Terminal cancer, a chronic illness, rape victims, sexual abuse, a strained marriage, an autistic child, a relative's suicide, dementia, deep doubt—the list of suffering seems endless. Week after week pastors and preachers have a unique opportunity to speak into the vast array of human suffering. How do pastors preach about suffering, and how do we preach to the suffering? How can we instruct our people to "suffer hardship … as a good soldier of Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 2:3)?
In my work as a Christian philosopher and apologist and one who served on the pastoral staff of churches, I have personally encountered how people in our culture struggle with the problem of suffering. So based on my study of Scripture, reflection, and personal experience, here are seven things to consider as preachers who wrestle with the biblical text concerning this issue.
Suffering should not come as a surprise but as an expectation.
All human beings experience loss and hardship, and we should ...