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Exalting Pain? Ignoring Pain?

How Do We Counsel Those Who Suffer?

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The incarnation speaks against the shallowness of the stoics. Jesus' presence on earth shows his solidarity with those who suffer.

Human life entails misery and woe. Broken relationships, agonizing illness, the prospect of one's own death, depression, injustice and atrocity, quiet yet paralyzing fear, memories of sexual victimization, the death of a child, and many other painful problems leave none unscathed. It would be impossible to minimize the breadth and depth of suffering both in the Church and the world. Significantly, God's Word acknowledges this pain, stating that "the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth" (Rom. 8:22).

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1 [ Back ] Vincent Gallagher, Three Compulsions that Defeat Most Men (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1992), 29.
2 [ Back ] See also C. S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory," in The Weight of Glory and Other Essays (New York: Collier, 1949).

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Issue: "A Vale of Tears: Suffering as a Mark of This Age" March/April 1999 Vol. 8 No. 2 Page number(s): 30-35

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