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Faith and the Future: The Great Crowd
Hebrews 11.32-40

It is said that on one occasion the sixteenth-century Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila confronted God about her own suffering, and received the response: ‘This is how I deal with my friends.’

‘Well,’ she replied sharply, ‘in that case you shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t have very many!’

The suffering of the people of God – as a famous book has it, When Bad Things Happen to Good People – has long been one of the greatest apparent problems in Judaism and Christianity. Those religions that see the world in terms of an endless cycle, a wheel of Fate, with each life rewarding or punishing you for the good and bad you’ve done in a previous life, don’t have the same problem. Each life attempts to restore the balance left by those that went before. This is reinforced, in (for instance) Hinduism and Buddhism, by the belief that the physical body, and the outward circumstances of life, are largely irrelevant, part of a fantasy world that can’t touch the real person who is found deep inside. Sometimes people say things like this intending to express a Christian attitude; but in fact the Christian (and Jewish) view of the body, of physical things and of suffering is very different...

Taken from Hebrews for Everyone – by Tom Wright

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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