Joy to the Suffering World

I’ve been thinking so much about you, my dear readers, these weeks since I last posted. I hold various mental conversations with you as I anticipate writing a new blog post. By the time I attempt the new post, most of my ideas are gone or must go. There is just too much to talk and write about!

At this season for celebrating our Savior’s birth and incarnation, I send you my best thoughts for joy in the season to share with those you love. I pray for you — that God, who holds you in the palm of His Hand, will continue to nurture and guide you, and that you will bring joy to His heart as you love Him through your thoughts and actions.

I am attaching chapter 5 to this blog of the book I am currently writing, A Traveler’s Guide through Suffering and Joy.

I had expected to post it a few weeks ago, but I’ve struggled through this chapter. If you have not read any or all of the previous chapters, I think you can approach this chapter as a stand alone for the most part. I lived this chapter, which is why I struggled through it and why it took so much time.  Click below to access it. You may want to print it and write all over it.

Chapter 5- Discovery 3-Formative Suffering & Transformative Joy


I am not going to post any more of my chapters. In mid-January, I will take them down. I’d love your input.

I have a group of ladies who are going to begin the study in mid-January, and I have one or two other groups that may start the study later in the year. Let me know if you are interested in being a part of the trial studies. By the end of 2020, I hope to publish a revised version through a publisher so anyone can then access the material.

This chapter completes the first major section of this book which is a Bible study.  All the other chapters will build on this foundation. Twelve chapters are planned plus five appendices. Of course, many details can be added to this foundation, but these first five chapters provide the framework on which to build.

I should quote a section for you from this chapter. The following is part of page 7- 8. I wrote, “Through our suffering we have profound opportunities to be exposed to God’s glory. Our understanding of and respect for God can explode — if we let God’s Word invade our life experience.” Then I described a recent “explosion” or epiphany that I experienced as I was fussing over something I couldn’t fix:

“I faced that God is ineffable. Ineffability. Infinite competence based upon his infinite wisdom, knowledge…. If I take every attribute of God I know, all my understanding and multiply that by infinity, my vision of God explodes beyond all my horizons. Ineffability is God’s immeasurable, incomprehensible, beyond vocabulary and comprehension capacity for being God. No edges, no boarders, no regrets, no blind spots.

So, I realized that God’s knowledge (as just one attribute) is not “just” infinite foreknowledge, not “just” infinite knowledge of matter and motion, physics, biology, and history, but His omniscience includes infinite insight into every possibility of every turn and choice that could have been, wasn’t and never will be. He contains all the angles. Nothing contains Him.

He’s got everything covered. He is pure, holy-goodness. . . . Ineffable, our collective knowledge of Him and our experience with Him is but a taste of who He is, and a taste of God is more nutrition that I can digest. This knowledge is too much for me, and I’m so glad that it is!

When life makes little sense, I can trust His ineffable wisdom, love, and goodness. He is ineffable in every majestic quality. My triune God is a healthy fixation for me — “fixing my eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:2). This is a healing fixation, putting off anxiety and putting on Christ. This metamorphosis can happen, even when the circumstances are not fixed. Or, maybe that’s when such a personal metamorphosis can happen.”

At this Christmas season,

may we see the Ineffable, Triune God —

just as Isaiah 9:6 reports,

“For unto us a Child is born, a son is given,

and the government shall be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called 

Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God,

the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” —

 in the delicate, fragility of babyhood,

for “Christ the Savior is born.”

Incomprehensible. Ineffable.

Yet by grace to us

a cup full of comprehension


Joy to our Suffering World.




Categories: Being Like Jesus, Joy & Suffering -- Good & Evil, Spiritual Growth, Theology | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Joy to the Suffering World

  1. Louis Mann

    Dr. Karen,

    You touch of such unimaginable truth! To plum the depths of God, His being, His nature, His character, His sovereignty, how wonderful is His essence.

    “But, as it is written,

    “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
    what God has prepared for those who love him”—

    these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”

    1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (ESV)

    You are love and prayed for!

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