While editing a manuscript this week, I came across a basic but important list of maxims about suffering. The content was written by a man named Cornelius J. Rempel, a Mennonite churchman and hospital chaplain. Certainly he saw a lot of suffering through his service, so with some authority on the subject he offers the following for our comfort:
- Suffering is not God’s desire for us, but occurs in the process of life.
- Suffering is not given in order to teach us something, but through it we learn.
- Suffering is not given to us to teach others something, but through it they may learn.
- Suffering is not given to punish us, but is sometimes the consequence of sin or poor judgment.
- Suffering does not occur because our faith is weak, but through it our faith may be strengthened.
- God does not depend on human suffering to achieve God’s purposes, but through it God’s purposes are sometimes achieved.
- Suffering is not always to be avoided at all costs, but is sometimes chosen.
- Suffering can either destroy us or add meaning to life.
- The will of God has more to do with how we respond to life, than with how life deals with us.
Any you would add?