Monday, August 16, 2010

what I'm reading: the devil on suffering from The Briefing

I really enjoyed the article How to avoid persecution (according to Screwtape) in the last Briefing.

It's written (you guessed it!) as if by an older demon to younger demons on the topic of persecution and suffering.

This bit rang particularly true to me:

For the one who is experiencing it, suffering is a total reality - all-embracing, all-consuming. It threatens to obliterate everything but itself. The presence of pain and the possibility of relief dominate the sufferer's thoughts, emotions and actions. To offset this domination, the Enemy offers a consolation that is based on counterbalancing the long view against the short...

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor 4:17-18)

The present is, well, so present, it is hard to think past it. And it is harder still to think of accepting real, immediate suffering for the sake of a hoped future happiness that can only be glimpsed by faith...Stop him from thinking of ultimate, eternal things. Get him thinking that his suffering is lasting. And whisper into his heart that the Enemy has betrayed him. Rob him of all hope.

When we're blinded by suffering, may God help us to listen to his word instead of Satan's whispered words, and to take the long view, not the short!

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