Responding to Suffering - Radical

Responding to Suffering

As followers of Christ, it’s difficult to know just how we ought to respond to the recent horrors displayed by ISIS. The Bible calls us to take an active stand against unjust abuse, oppression, and persecution; we’re called to defend the defenseless. And there is a place for government and even military action. However, the Bible is also clear that personally, our reaction should always be marked by love, mercy, and a desire for justice on behalf of those suffering. Everything we do (and everything we refrain from doing) should be because we love our just God with all that we are, and our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27), not because we hate evil people and want to personally “teach them a lesson.”

Here are some more specifics on how we should respond to suffering:

Respond To Those Who Cause Suffering

  • Bless them. (Luke 6:35)
  • Pray for them. (Matthew 5:44)
  • Forgive them. (Matthew 6:14-15; Luke 23:34)
  • Do not seek revenge against them. (Matthew 5:38-42)

To Those Who Are Suffering

  • Feed the hungry. (Matthew 25:34-35)
  • Give water to the thirsty. (Matthew 10:42)
  • Reflect the grace of God. (Matthew 18:35)
  • Demonstrate the mercy of God. (Luke 10:27-28)
  • Express the love of God. (John 13:34-35)


(from Secret Church 12: The Cross and Suffering, 122-123)

In submission to God’s Word, even as we call for justice, may we strive for loving hearts that are focused on God’s eternal kingdom.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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