Susie discuss suffering and how we should respond with Pastor Per Nilsen of North Heights Lutheran Church.
Susie and Per talk through the difficulties of trying to talk with someone going through suffering. Though we might be struggling to understand and trying to explain to ourselves why a time of suffering is happening, it’s not best to voice those explanations.
“Sometimes there’s nothing to explain. Just being there and encouraging someone is absolutely the best thing you can do.”
Looking at Job, one amazing thing is that despite all he was going through, he did not sin. Job was even able to express to his wife that they needed to love God despite all of the suffering.
Susie and Per also talk about how we often feel like some of our righteous deeds should get us out of suffering. This trusting in righteousness is based on a misplaced trust in ourselves.
“Our righteousness is imperfect, let’s just be honest about that.”
Really, Per emphasizes, all our righteousness flows out of God’s work in our life. It never comes from us. Thus, we have no case for clinging to righteousness as a “get out of suffering” card.
“The nature of sin in our live is to always turn things towards self-righteousness. So, eve n as we are walking in God’s righteousness, the nature of sin works to turn it towards self so that it becomes all about me over time.”
We take God’s gifts and make them our own–which ruins them. The problem with sin, Per explains, is that it turns us away from the humility of confession. We get up from being on our knees at the foot of the Cross and try to do it on our own.
Per and Susie also talk about the five categories of suffering and differentiating from sin-induced suffering and testing.