R.C. Sproul | – The Terrible Truth: Suffering Is Not For Nothing with Elisabeth Elliot

Where is God in our suffering? In this message, Elisabeth Elliot examines the terrible realities of tragedy and loss and considers how we can reconcile them with the truth of God’s sovereignty and love.

This is the 1st message in a series on Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot.

About The Author

Ligonier Ministries Ligonier Ministries is an international Christian discipleship organization founded by theologian Dr. R.C. Sproul in 1971 to equip Christians to articulate what they believe, why they believe it, how to live it, and how to share it. Proclaiming God’s holiness is central to Ligonier’s purpose. Ligonier produces Renewing Your Mind radio broadcasts, the Reformation Study Bible, Tabletalk magazine, books through the Reformation Trust Publishing division, and various teaching series. It also offers academic degrees through Reformation Bible College. In addition, Ligonier hosts national and regional conferences, offers an online learning community through Ligonier Connect, streams twenty-four-hour Christian internet radio through RefNet, and makes available thousands of unique discipleship resources online at Ligonier.org. Ligonier Ministries

Comment (48)

  1. I have never had problems but I prasie God and thank God for everything well I have suffer but as m blessed I believe that God helps people that obey I know God is love I always feel his love well all three of them have help me I am not the best but si
    Since I heard the word I am seeking God with all my heart am blessed do I know it can not be good all the time but I pray for everyone yes you can look at the data it is true those people are stupid people oh God I wish that did not happen poor baby God is my everything God bless you I hate that book I would never read that book yes God loves us yes I know but still obey I have always believed well people have turned there backs on God I trust God I know we can do something but now am going to hear you

  2. How do you get people to hear this I can not people to hear they just don't listen I agree with you we must obey and am nobody yes am crazy I lol that what I am beginning to understand I must go out and tell everyone I agree with you am trying to hear God yes he is always here he helps me look I ask God to help me with my pain and do you know that I ask God to help me now I heard not hear but this stuff I heard get on the floor and I fell he caught me and my pain went away God is love God has help me for every I want to be with God I know God is my rock and I want to meet him I want to see his face that right I want to meet him and say thank you prasie you you are wondrfull

  3. I don't feel this great passion as some of you have given the impression of in your words. Nor do I feel God's joy or His peaceful presence. So I won't try to write some happy I am suffering but I've got so much joy kind of ordeal. I haven't felt that in a long time. But I do think I understand. There is suffering in this world because of our sin nature. God allows it to strengthen us and sometimes to show patience for others. But the point of the matter is that suffering is a result of sin. Sin dwells in us and suffering rids us of it. And those who do not rid themselves of it through God's grace will be held accountable for it. That is all. It exists because we exist. It remains because we allow it to remain. But in time, God will bring it to an end once and for all. We need only to endure it to allow it to purify us so that we may remain with Him as He removes all that is corrupt. This all can be found in the Bible. We just need to calm down enough to really think about it and learn to accept it. No amount of grieving and good works is going to make the bad go away or make God feel pity for us so He will give us a good life. Otherwise we would end up loving this life and not really loving Him. Suffering forces us to run to God and to cling to Him. All He wants is our love. And suffering can do just that. Again, you can find this in the Bible.

  4. This dear woman mentored me through the radio ministry during the 80’s and 1990’s. Her calm and decisive attitude was a picture of strength in my tumultuous life. The faithful ministry of Elizabeth and other servants of Christ were a shining light to guide me through God’s word. Grace and honor, a woman after God’s heart, just as King David.

  5. What a loving Father we have, who gladly allows the Devil to go after his own children "for their better." Thanks God, for all your tests and trials that caused me so much stress that I needed to go on antidepressant medication to make it through my day. I'm not sure how a testimony like that will make anyone want to seek you, but sure! I'll run with that! I'll tell them how much you messed me up!

  6. My favorite quote of hers is simply; "Do the next thing." In times of trial and uncertainty, I simply choose to do the next thing. That is, what I have been trained by my studies and time spent with the Lord. He is so faithful.

  7. This precious lady was a great mentor of mine through her writings and radio program. I bless God for her life and her ministry to so many, many lives over the years. She ALWAYS pointed to our Savior and I know Him better because of her.

  8. We all suffer here on Earth. We are here to LEARN and LOVE, regardless of our sufferings, and we are all at different levels of learning. God ALWAYS turns something bad into something good and we should always count our blessings and pray continually. My mother used to say: "When you are feeling sorry for yourself, stop and think that there is always somebody that's worse off than you."

  9. Welcome to the wisdom of Catholicism

    The greatest saints that had borne the greatest suffering were the ones that manifested His glory and the signs and wonders manifested through their hands that showed forth His power

    As one of the greatest saints of the 20th century said “if you knew the value of suffering you would ask for nothing else”

    Pick up your cross daily and follow Me

  10. "There are a good many things in this life that we can't do anything ABOUT, but that God wants us to do something WITH."
    ~ Elisabeth Elliot
    What a profound paradigm shift in perspective that statement creates!!! It takes you immediately from an attitude of helpless victimhood to a dignified place of proactive grace!

  11. You will find the answer to your question concerning our
    human suffering in the pages of scripture.
    But you will not find it in the way that you now seeking, through traditional
    and FALSE "Christianity" that has been propagated on the masses for
    almost 2000 years now.
    Jesus was Gnostic, all the apostles were Gnostic as well.
    The first "christians" were Gnostic Christians.
    The scriptures were written in "code" so that they are only understood properly
    by fellow Gnostics.
    This is how the "Father" preserved these teachings to this day, because the
    orthodox "church" had a nasty habit of murdering all who they condemned
    as "heretics", who would not bow to their FALSE church and FALSE "God".
    It matters not if you believe me or not, because soon this whole world will
    know the "Truth".
    Because He has come again ( Nag Hammadi, Egypt 1945 ), and the "Kingdom"
    though small and unrecognizable to this world, will soon grow large and cover the whole earth. ( Mathew 13:31-33, 44, 45-46, 52, Mark 4:30-34, 15:43, Luke 13:18-19,
    Daniel 2:35……and many, many more scriptures )

  12. My suffering helps me release this world and look forward to taking my place as a citizen of heaven. To my surprise many Christians don't see this as the wonderful miracles it was. I didn't become suicidal, just a woman who could see life after death, free from the ties of this world and graceful to be free. This is salvation, Im
    free and live this life in that freedom. Not looking for heaven on earth anymore, but knowing home through christ is with me. I thank God for the suffering that brought me to christ, just as his suffering made him my savior. Suffering makes us the diamonds God what us to be.

  13. Jezus took all our suffering, sins and disease, Trust His earthly ministery and Word,. Isaiah 53,.He is alive today, give Him your sufferings, and speack His healing Word over yourself, the seed will produce restoration, . God is only good, He wants us well, Suffering forces to seek His Truth,. and to apply it,.

  14. There is no joy in suffering, and there is no joy when God is "with you" while you're in it either. If you believe it's a joy, then you're mentally ill. I will never accept all the horrible things that God does to his own people. I once had aspirations to teach and preach the Word of God. But because of the torrent of sufferings God gave to me, I have changed my mind. That's as far as I go.

  15. My husband has fibromyalgia and was diagnosed when he was 12 and he is 32 today and still suffers greatly, he desires to work and tries to get jobs but can’t hold them down for long before he becomes very sick again. We pray trusting that God is sovereign and he tells us in Romans 8:28 All things work together for good to those who are called according to his purposes. Also Romans 12:1-2. He desires to do ministry but is so sick 90% of the time he is t sure he will be able to work for another 6 months but he does have a few job prospects in the next 2 weeks we hope by God’s grace comes to fruition.

  16. Why was Elizabeth taken off the air? I remember hearing that she lost her radio program. I dont remember if they ever gave a reason. In Boston she was replaced by another lady, Nancy Lee Demoss I think. No offense to her but she could not do a better job than EE.

  17. We REST on Thee. Our SHIELD and our defender. THINE is the BATTLE. THINE shall be the PRAISE. When PASSING through the Gates of pearly splendor. VICTORS, we stay with Thee through endless days.
    Shalom Elisabeth from Peru.