A note from Kelly King: If you missed Part One of Kaye’s article on “What Is Your Theodicy?” click here before reading today’s article. It will give you the background to the Scriptures she outlines in today’s article. As always, we welcome your comments.
As we mentioned last week, a theodicy is “an attempt to answer the question of why a good God permits the manifestation of evil.” My pastor many years ago defined it as your “theology of pain.” In construction terminology, it is the part of the “framing” of your theological/doctrinal house. What you believe matters, and how you minister to hurting women flows from what you believe about pain and God’s relationship to it.
It would be fun to sit around a table as a group and discuss this. I hope you are willing to share your thoughts in the comment section; I believe it will help us all grow in this area. Last week I said I would give you the Scriptures I have used to develop my own theodicy. In the interest of space, I will not write out each one. I hope you will take the time to read them prayerfully and see how they might fit into your own framework. This is not an exhaustive list, but I narrowed it down to these:
Job 2:11-13; 6:10; 35:13-14; 36:15
Job 38; 39; 40:1-5; 42;1-6
Psalm 23 (specifically verses 4-5)
2 Corinthians 1:3-11
2 Corinthians 4:7-18
2 Thessalonians 5:14-22
2 Timothy 2:3
1 Peter 1:6-9
1 Peter 2:19-25
These Scriptures and the ones you use are the lumber and nails used to build the framework for what you believe about suffering and pain. They are not necessarily helpful to use prescriptively with someone in pain. Allow me to be super practical because we can actually harm people with Scripture. For example, if a woman came to me with a painful circumstance she was facing, I would not pat her knee and quote James 1:2, “Consider it a great joy whenever you experience various trials…” While this may be true, to quote it to her would be harming, dismissive, and unkind. Would I minister to her from that truth? Yes, but I would not prescribe it for her in the moment. Does that make sense?
If you lead people in any capacity, then you are around people in pain. Allow me to conclude with a passage that breathes fresh air and renewed hope into our pain-filled places.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (Revelation 21:1-5, NIV).
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.