Take a minute to watch this short address given by Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska at the Gospel Coalition 2017 Conference a few weeks ago in Indianapolis.
Sasse is a graduate of Yale and studied in Oxford. He is a Christian and in this address he sounds more like a pastor than a politician. He has served as an elder in his church and on the board of trustees of Westminster Seminary California.
Here’s an article about him and his faith that was published in World Magazine: Ben Sasse: a Reformed reformer.
Here’s the video of his session: “What Does Washington Have to Do with Jerusalem?”:
It’s been said that if you minister to hurting people, you will never lack an audience.
But one of the things I believe we need to equip Christians with is how to love and care for hurting people. Christians are no different than most people, in that they feel uncomfortable around people who are suffering, and desperately want to make it all better. But as those who have been called to be salt and light in the world, I think we should be prepared and equipped to minister to those around us who are hurting – whether they be neighbors or people we are in community with at church.
In the video above, these pastors talk about what not to say to people who are suffering. A lot of people, because they feel that they should say something, and they want so bad to give a solution and fix the problem and alleviate the pain, say things which aren’t actually helpful. I have been on the receiving end of a few of these before: things like “I know what you’re going through” – “everything’s going to be fine” – and other things people say to try to quickly restore happiness.
But as the pastors mention towards the end of the video: the Gospel is big enough to handle our pain and to accept that tragedies happen and they are bad. The Gospel doesn’t shy away from the blood and guts of the reality of life in a fallen world. The Gospel is also big enough to give hope in the most dire circumstances by pointing to the ultimate happy ending that belongs to those who have been redeemed in Jesus.
Question: What is the most helpful thing someone has said to you or done for you during a difficult time in your life?
I want to hear your thoughts! Comment below!