EChurch@Wartburg: 11.12.22 Pete Briscoe: Is There a Purpose for My Pain?

Forest in autumn


Prayer of St. Benedict link

O gracious and holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
and a life to proclaim you;
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A Prayer of Ambrose (c 339-97) link

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore thee,
a heart to delight in thee,
to follow and to enjoy thee,
for Christ’s sake.
In Jesus name,

Prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi link

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
where there is injury, pardon
where there is doubt, faith
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy

O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love
for it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life



Jude 1:24-25 (NASB Bible Gateway)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
and to make you stand in the presence of His glory
blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority,
before all time and now and forever.


EChurch@Wartburg: 11.12.22 Pete Briscoe: Is There a Purpose for My Pain? — 5 Comments

  1. Can I be a lone voice of dissent here?
    I think that Briscoe’s thesis of God engineering pain as a teaching aid (like spanking) for wayward humans is sick.
    There is nothing ennobling or life affirming about human pain and suffering (my opinion).
    For those interested in what I think is a much better view of human pain and suffering, I would suggest a book by Shmuley Boteach:

    The Fed-Up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Suffering and Tragedy

  2. Muff Potter,

    I don’t believe Jesus valorized suffering per se; not sure that Paul did, either. The writer(s) of Hebrews, OTOH, did. All I can say is that what’s described in ch. 11 sounds like abusive behavior to me.

    We really have to read the canon with open eyes; be willing to look into why things were said, what common attitudes (from their era and culture) they reflect.

    Even in parables like the one about the prodigal son, the suffering he experiences isn’t punishment. He simply got to a very bad place on his own. And when he returns home, is he made to suffer/punished in any way? Nope! Just love and rejoicing on the part of his father.

  3. The pain of yesterday is the strength of today (attribution unknown). The core of the Letter to Hebrews message is ch 13 v 16, 18, 20-22 because our God knows our peers’ integrity needs saving.