This article was originally posted at my site. I’m married with three children, an SBC pastor, a PhD student at SBTS, and an average Southern Baptist. I’ve authored two books. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube.
Mike Leake in his book Torn to Heal (Published with Cruciform Press) seeks to help his readers understand “God’s good purpose in suffering.” Leake’s book is biblically accurate, an easy-read, and helpful to the local church. With a mother who is suffering with Parkinson’s disease and as a pastor of a church with an aging congregation, suffering is a daily reality where I’m challenged to think biblically as I encourage others. If one is a good minister, he will have real empathy and love for fellow believers who suffer. Leake’s book encouraged me, for it helps Christians balance God’s absolute sovereignty over all creation–including suffering–and our humble yet honest emotional plea to God for relief.
Leake’s work is timely, for Satan has deceived millions of Christians into thinking God wants every Christian to be healthy, wealthy, and “materially-blessed” in this evil, cursed world. Even a cursory glance at Scripture reveals the opposite. Leake points out the clear teaching of Scripture: if you have God through the finished work of Christ, you have Who you were created to enjoy forevermore. Our suffering is always for His glory and for our good, and eternal joy is just around the corner for those who trust in Christ alone for their salvation. Then, “death and tears and mourning and pain and sin and grief will be utterly decimated by the resurrection power of the redeeming Son of God” (83). In the midst of suffering, look to Him alone while pleading to God for relief. The wonderful reality is that relief is coming for all those who repent and believe in Christ. He has conquered, is conquering, and will conquer the results of the Fall. Rejoice friends, rejoice!
I highly recommend this book. I’m purchasing a bulk order from Cruciform Press to hand out to the church I pastor. I think this work will encourage all Christians to think biblically about God and suffering. Christian, read this work and be encouraged.