Today we’re going to talk theology, especially the theology of suffering. If the church is ever going to become a healing community it needs to have a solid theology of suffering. A pastor who has a theology of suffering prepares his people for times of hardship and also empowers his people to serve one another when one member is hurting. All of this has to come out of a deep and committed understanding of the gospel.
The church committed to the gospel is a church that will understand the role that suffering has in God’s purposes. I have the privilege today to talk to someone who could not have survived deep suffering had it not been for the gospel of Jesus. She talks a lot about the gospel because it’s been her and her family’s lifeline. My guest today is Michelle Bates who in the span of several years faced unbelievable loss. Michelle wrote a book titled Beyond The Shadow, How Suffering Led Me to the Deep End of Grace. It is an excellent book and something we spent a lot of time talking about in this interview. Michelle lives in Humansville,MO where she and her husband Mike and their three children run an Inn.
Some of the most beautiful stories that we hear today are those kind of stories that help us understand the gospel. The gospel story is simply the story of us, people made in the imagine of God who rebelled against him, but he because of his great love pursued us by dying for us, Jesus dying in our place, taking on himself the wrath of God we deserved, and then exchanging our sin for his righteousness. The most amazing verse I think about when I think of the gospel is 2 Cor 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. READ MORE
One morning, as I often do, I was scrolling through the news on my iPad as the sound of coffee brewed in the background. The accompanying smell of the coffee usually excites me, but this morning I groaned. The coffee READ MORE
The enemy will do all he can to interrupt the mission of the church, usually in the form of conflict. I have on many occasions brought people together who were involved in petty, or major conflict, and said, “Folks, this READ MORE
It is common when facing hardship to lose our gospel-drive. Self pity, and just the attention that grief needs can, and often does, take our eyes off the proverbial gospel ball. We can easily forget who we are and why READ MORE