Polio and its lingering effects. Loss of a child due to a doctor’s mistake. Infidelity and a broken marriage. Post-Polio Syndrome. These are all hard things for any one person to bear. It’s no wonder Vaneetha Risner titled her memoir “Walking Through Fire” and identifies as a sufferer. Yet, it’s in and through her suffering where she testifies to the goodness and nearness of God. In this conversation, she reminds us that, as believers, we’re not guaranteed an easy life. We’re not promised a life void of suffering. But in Christ, we also know that we’re not alone in our suffering. God remains unchanging; He is good and near and compassionate. We can find comfort and rest in the character of God as we experience our own suffering. By His grace, joy and suffering can coexist in the Christian life. Take heart!
Here are some questions that Vaneetha answers in this interview:
- Could you give our listeners a quick overview of the “fire” that you have walked through? (3:15)
- When we are deeply wounded, we may be tempted to think “God doesn’t love me”. Have you ever wrestled with those thoughts? (7:32)
- How can we find comfort and rest in the character of God in light of our own experiences of suffering? (13:58)
- How have you dealt with those hard feelings like bitterness and anger and maybe even shame? (17:15)
- How can joy and suffering co-exist in the Christian life? (21:59)
- Can you share some ways the local church came alongside you in your suffering? What has the body of Christ taught you about God? (26:23)
- What word of encouragement would you give to the person walking through deep suffering right now? (30:08)
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Walking Through Fire: A Memoir of Loss and Redemption by Vaneetha Risner
The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering by Vaneetha Risner
Ep. 114 The Pathway From Heartbreak to Hope With Mark Vroegop by Daily Grace
“Held” song by Natalie Grant
Aging with Grace by Sharon W. Betters
Providence by John Piper
Reading the Bible Supernaturally by John Piper
Scripture mentioned in this episode:
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The opinions of guests on the Daily Grace podcast do not represent the opinions of The Daily Grace Co., and we do not necessarily endorse the resources that they recommend or mention on the show. We believe it is valuable to hear from a variety of guests, even if we do not agree in all areas. As always, the statements made by hosts and guests on the show should be tested against God’s Word, the only authority on truth.