Matt Smethurst published the article last year on the Gospel Coalition’s website. He summarized a lecture given by Dr. D.A. Carson, who is a highly regarded New Testament scholar at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS). Suffering remains one of the most difficult subjects to address in the church today. In fact, there are doctrines being taught, which avoid the place of suffering in the believer’s life and witness. The fact remains that the New Testament contains many passages about suffering as a crucible for producing Christlikeness within believers and the church. One surefire way to lose congregants is to adequately deal with biblical texts on suffering. Up and coming church leaders would do well to follow in the footsteps of men like Dr. Carson, who exhibit courage and love for their parishioners as they deal honestly with what the Bible contains about suffering.
The following scripture passages are excellent reminders about suffering in the believer’s life:
2 Cor. 1:1-11; 6:1-13
2 Thess. 1:3-11;
2 Tim 1:8-14; 2:1-13
1 Peter 2:18-25; 3:8 – 4:19 (This is the most comprehensive letter in the New Testament on suffering as it relates to believers.)
Last but not least, there’s the entire book of Job.