4 Traps to Avoid When You Suffer from Crossway on Vimeo.

The 2 Kinds of Doubt

As I thought about my own experience, I wanted to organize my thoughts and experience for others in these two categories of traps that every sufferer faces and the comfort that is offered to every sufferer in the gospel.

The traps are many, but let’s just take the trap of doubt. Doubt gives the devil an opportunity. There are two kinds of doubt. The first is the doubt of wonderment. We all have that because we don’t get the script ahead of time, so we’re always wondering what is God doing and why is he doing it?

Then there’s the doubt of judgment. That’s the doubt that where I’m concluding that God isn’t good and that what he’s doing isn’t good. The reason that gives the enemy an opportunity is because the minute I conclude God isn’t good or I doubt that he is good, I quit running to him for help. You don’t go for help to someone who you no longer trust.

The minute I conclude God isn’t good or I doubt that he is good, I quit running to him for help.

Look Up Ahead, Sufferer

Fear is a good thing on one hand, but if fear rules your heart, there are things that you need to grab ahold of that you won’t grab ahold of. There are things that you need to do that you won’t do because fear is paralyzing.

So, immediately in my suffering, I’m cast into places of temptation that I’ve never been in before. This means that a sufferer doesn’t just need comfort, he needs warning. There are traps ahead of that person that unless he’s warned, he’s likely to fall into.

Don’t Be Discouraged

The trap of discouragement is another. What does that say? What difference does it make? If I’m going through this, why read my Bible? Why pray? Why do the good things I’m doing every day? If you don’t believe that’s a trap for the sufferer, read Psalm 73. That’s entirely what Psalm 73 is about.

I love these words. For no reason have I kept myself pure. That’s the psalmist saying I’ve obeyed you and I get hammered? Forget it. Why am I doing this?

Those traps illustrate how profoundly your responses in suffering shape the experience of suffering.

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.

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