Surprised by Suffering
The Role of Pain and Death in the Christian Life
Suffering often seems to catch us by surprise. One day we are healthy, comfortable, and happy. The next we find ourselves ill or injured, struggling, and distraught. The pain that invades our lives may come from our own suffering or that of a loved one. But no matter the source, we didn’t see it coming. All too often, our perplexity prompts us to suspect God of wrongdoing.
In this classic book, republished in a revised and expanded edition, Dr. R.C. Sproul argues that we should not be surprised by suffering; instead, we should expect pain and sorrow in this life. Some are actually called to a “vocation” of suffering, and all of us are called to undergo the ultimate suffering of death. God promises in His Word that difficult times will come upon us, but He also promises that He allows suffering for our good and His glory, and He will never give us more than we can bear with His help.
Dr. Sproul offers solid biblical counsel and comfort for those undergoing suffering and for those who minister to the suffering, counsel that helps believers stand in times of trial with faith in a God who is both loving and good.
About the Author
Dr. R. C. Sproul is founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian education ministry located near Orlando, Florida. He was co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida until his homegoing to the Lord in 2017. Dr. Sproul also served as chancellor of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. Ligonier Ministries began in 1971 as the Ligonier Valley Study Center in Ligonier, PA. In an effort to respond more effectively to the growing demand for Dr. Sproul’s teachings and the ministry’s other educational resources, the general offices were moved to Orlando in 1984, and the ministry was renamed.
Dr. Sproul’s teaching can be heard on the program Renewing Your Mind, which is broadcast on hundreds of radio outlets in the United States and in more than forty countries worldwide. Dr. Sproul has produced more than three hundred lecture series and has recorded more than 80 video series on subjects such as the history of philosophy, theology, Bible study, apologetics, and Christian living
He has written more than 90 books, including The Holiness of God, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Everyone’s a Theologian, and has shown his ability to minister to the afflicted also in this volume, Surprised by Suffering.
Dr. Sproul holds degrees from Westminster College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the Free University of Amsterdam, and Whitefield Theological Seminary, and he has had a distinguished academic teaching career at various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and Jackson, Mississippi. He is ordained as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.