How to Handle Loss with Dignity

book-coverI just received a promotional piece on a new book that deals with a godly view of tragedy and suffering.  I responded to this one because the forward is written by Dr. Stephen Seamands (whom I like) who is from Asbury Theological Seminary (which I like) and the book included a lot of good quotes (which I appreciate because of their pithy depth)

The book is called Tragic Redemption: Healing the Guilt and Shame: by Hiram Johnson

The message is one of hope following a series of tragic losses.

Topics include depression, grief, alcoholism, suicide, childhood tapes, embracing our weaknesses, co-dependency, prayer, blessing, acceptance, intimacy, joy, the value of scars, and finding redemptive purpose and meaning in heartache and loss.  Wow!

The memorable quotes are as follows (I wish I could craft words like this):
“The extreme greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering but a supernatural use for it.”  French Philosopher Simone Weil (1909-1943)
“Repressions are the power that makes one work against all the avowed and willful intentions. They are strong because they are deep in the vows of the child of the past.” Myron Madden
“Hope is a memory of the future.”  Gabriel Marcel
“When we avoid pain, we avoid healing.” author
“We belong to the power we choose to obey.” J.B. Phillips
“A thorn in the flesh is nothing in comparison to a thorn in our conscience.” Charles Spurgeon
“Pity can be described as falling in love with our sorrow.” author
“Many guilt ridden people take an unconscious pleasure from suffering.” author
“What happens within us is more important than what happens to us. We can not always choose the latter, but we can choose the former.” David Seamands
“Within every process of forgiveness, there is enshrined a great agony.” Macintosh
“Shame is a hemorrhage of the soul.” Jean Paul Sartre
“What comes into our mind when we first think of God is the most important thing about us.” A.W. Tozer
“I believe that Christ died for me because its incredible; I believe that He rose from the dead because its impossible.” author unknown
“The church is the only institution in the world whose membership is based on unworthiness.” Morrison
“Forgiving ourselves (or others) is taking a bold step into power.” author
“The problem is that people have enough to live by but nothing to live for, they have the means but no meaning.” Viktor Frankl

All this got me to thinking that suffering is a bummer mainly because it seems like the ruination of everything good and decent, the end of road.  God seems to see it differently, so I add one of my favorite quotes, not from the book, but from Paul in the Book (Romans 5:3)

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame,because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

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