A Few Thoughts from Reading Suffering Is Never For Nothing

This article series presents Pastor Erik's Twitter posts as articles, making them accessible for everyone to read, regardless of their access to Twitter. You can find Erik's original Twitter thread HERE

 The week my son died (3 years ago at the time of this twitter thread), I was reading “Suffering Is Never For Nothing” by Elisabeth Elliot. I can’t disconnect that book from that week in my life. Yet it is one of my favorite books. A few thoughts from it:

▸ She knew suffering and loss. Elisabeth buried two husbands. One was murdered, and the other died of cancer.
I was profoundly comforted by the fact that I knew she was acquainted with sorrows.
When we suffer, we find a kinship and camaraderie with others who know our pain.

▸ She challenged sufferers to receive whatever God puts in our hands with a “thank you.” This image is powerful.
The idea of receiving our lot from God with a humble submission is powerful.
But learning to add “thank you,”regardless of what He puts in our hands, takes growth.

This isn’t easy. It takes a great deal of trusting God’s wisdom and goodness. But her challenge to say “thank you” is a recognition that our Father knows what we need. Anything He puts in our hands is for our good. Even the hard stuff.

▸ She encouraged using what God puts in your hands to glorify Him. I didn’t know when I started reading her book that week that I’d say my last goodbyes to my son. His death was put in my hands.

How do you glorify God with that?
• By seeking to be faithful through it
• By proclaiming God’s promises and goodness to my family and friends
• By helping others who are suffering We don’t control what God places in our hands, but we do control our response.

I highly recommend the book. God used it to comfort and help me in the most difficult week of my life. Perhaps in sharing this thread, and this book, I’m being faithful with what God put in my hands, to help you be faithful with what He puts in yours.

If you don't know the story of my son, you can read more HERE

Erik is the Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon. He also founded Knowing Jesus Ministries, a non-profit organization which exists to proclaim timeless truth for everyday life. He is married to Katrina, and has three children: Kaleb (who went to be with the Lord), Kaleigh Grace, and Kyra Piper.


  • Anxiety,  Death,  Depression,  Grief,  Worry