Three Words of Counsel to Sufferers

Three Words of Counsel to Sufferers

3 Words of Counsel to Sufferers from Crossway on Vimeo

You’re Preaching to Yourself

I think the most powerful way to be a good soldier in your own suffering, to fight the temptations that every sufferer greets, is to be aware that you’re always preaching to yourself some kind of gospel.

It’s the gospel of God’s absence, of his unfaithfulness, of his distance, of his lack of actual care, his weakness, or the gospel of his presence, his goodness, his love, his care. You need to become more self-conscious of the gospel that you preach to yourself.

Invite Others In

Secondly, invite people to interrupt your private conversation and to ask you what have you been thinking, what have you been saying to yourself? You need to become more self-conscious of the gospel that you preach to yourself.

When I would despair in my suffering, my wife, Luella, would say to me, “You know that’s not true.”

That was something that I needed. She was interrupting my conversation with myself and saying “Paul, you know better. This is not what you know is true.”

Maybe the best way to say it is your suffering is a community project. You even need people who will, at moments, preach to you what you need to hear and you in your moment of weakness are not able to preach to yourself.

Don’t Stop Praying

Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray without ceasing.

How about instead of going with those waves of doubt, those waves of fear, those waves of discouragement? When those waves come, begin to pray.

This may sound surprising to you in those moments, but pray prayers of thanksgiving. Think of everything, anything, you can possibly think of for which to be thankful.

This is a guest article by Paul David Tripp, author of Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense. This post originally appeared on crossway.org; used with permission.

About The Author

Paul Tripp

Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries. He has written a number of popular books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect?, Dangerous Calling, Parenting, and New Morning Mercies. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Luella and they have four grown children.

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