Title: Beyond Suffering Bible (NLT: Where Struggles Seem Endless, God’s Hope is Infinite)
Author: Joni & Friends, Inc.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
What makes this Bible different from others already on the market? It was the first question I asked myself when Tyndale looked for people willing to do some specific tasks. The goal of the tasks I think was to help people know what was included aside from the Word of God in the NLT and to have time to let God speak to individual hearts as they read.
For me, another thought was that we all suffer in some way; some suffering is more easily identifiable than others. For example, we see someone with a cane and can tell there is a probable physical ailment whereas if someone has cancer, that isn’t as easily seen especially at first. One of the benefits I got from reading some of the articles included was understanding how some people suffer through their eyes, which I had neither experiential knowledge nor understanding. Another benefit is reading through the User’s Guide to help know how the extra material was formatted.
Here is a quote as to why this Bible is available: “The Beyond Suffering Bible is for people who want to understand what it looks like to think and live like a Christian in the midst of suffering.” (pg. A11). There are also included aids like “Connection Points”, Topical Guide to Features” that point to topics or an aspect of God’s character for people to look up, read and contemplate.
As a former caregiver, reading through the articles, features and notes in this Bible, I can see where it would be helpful to have this reference with the scriptures when going to help, comfort, or sit with someone who is hurting. Caregivers suffer too in various ways that at times are hard to verbalize at the moment or be able to read even when a task which was hard for me. I would read a Bible verse or passage but be unable to comprehend it or apply it; this Bible would have helped.
Ultimately, in my life I have learned that waiting until the Holy Spirit leads and how He wants me to do or not do something is imperative. Also knowing the Word but just speaking it because silence was uncomfortable has been a big learning curve. Sitting down next to someone who is hurting and just being there brings comfort in a way I cannot describe; in many ways it’s a mystery to me. Other times when a person has shared a Scripture verse as I went through a hard season was like a cold drink of water on a really hot day.
The bottom line is there is no one way to approach or help those who suffer; we must let the Spirit lead us. We must also be self-feeders on the Word daily so we can be ready should a call for help arise. God will prepare you beforehand. He has been faithful to me in that way more than I can express. So, here is a Bible that will help all of us because it is God’s Word. It will also help as we seek to be comforted in our daily life in any suffering we are experiencing or be ready to go and be what someone needs in their moment of pain.
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