Jul 20, 2011

Great Quotes from Surprised by Suffering

2 Min Read

I recently had the opportunity to read through almost all of the books of R.C. Sproul. Along the way I built a collection of some of the best quotes from each one of them. Here are 5 of the best from Surprised by Suffering.

There are times when we suffer innocently at other people’s hands. When that occurs, we are victims of injustice. But that injustice happens on a horizontal plane. No one ever suffers injustice on the vertical plane. That is, no one ever suffers unjustly in terms of his or her relationship with God. As long as we bear the guilt of sin, we cannot protest that God is unjust in allowing us to suffer.

God deserves to be trusted. He merits our trust in Him. The more we understand of His perfections, the more we understand how trustworthy He is. That is why the Christian pilgrimage moves from faith to faith, from strength to strength, and from grace to grace. It moves toward a crescendo.

The bottom-line assumption for anyone who believes in the God of providence is that ultimately there are no tragedies. God has promised that all things that happen—all pain, all suffering, all tragedies—are but for a moment, and that He works in and through these events for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). That’s why the apostle Paul said that the pain, the suffering, the affliction that we bear in this world isn’t worthy to be compared, isn’t worthy to be mentioned in the same breath, with the glory and the blessedness that God has stored up for His people (Rom. 8:18).

When God issues a call to us, it is always a holy call. The vocation of dying is a sacred vocation. To understand that is one of the most important lessons a Christian can ever learn. When the summons comes, we can respond in many ways. We can become angry, bitter or terrified. But if we see it as a call from God and not a threat from Satan, we are far more prepared to cope with its difficulties.

For perfect justice to be carried out, the judge must have the power necessary to see that justice is truly served. He must have enough power to withstand any attempt to disrupt the flow of justice. There cannot be a single maverick molecule outside the scope of his power and authority, lest that single molecule become the grain of sand that brings the machine of justice to a grinding halt. Therefore, the perfect judge must have perfect power. He must be all-powerful, or omnipotent.