Bringing the Text to Life
At a Glance
The problem of suffering is a theological and personal dilemma that has concerned the human community since forever. How do we understand suffering and pain? Can pain be a good thing? We know the arguments, but pain is pain by any name, and those who experience it are not likely to be encouraged by platitudes. Let's look closer.
For material based on today's Old Testament text, see "Jacob's Travel Challenge," July 20, 2014, at HomileticsOnline.com.
Who likes pain?
A few such souls might exist and there's a clinical term for them.
But most people don't. They'd much prefer the opposite of pain.
And what is that? The most popular response might be "pleasure."
Yet, it is closer to the truth to say that the opposite of pain is comfort. Some things can be both a pain and a pleasure.
When you were a kid and your parents were asked, "What is your greatest pleasure?" they said you -- you, their child, was their greatest pleasure.