Beyond Resilience: Post-traumatic Growth, and Self-Care [Siang-Yang Tan]

Siang-Yang Tan (Fuller School of Psychology) discusses suffering and spiritual formation, going beyond the psychological perspectives and empirical findings on resilience, posttraumatic growth (or stress-related growth or benefit-finding), and self-care by covering more substantially a biblical perspective on suffering and spiritual formation, or spiritual growth into deeper Christlikeness. He elaborates on sanctified or redemptive suffering as a crucial process for becoming more like Jesus in spiritual formation. He focuses especially on a Christ-centered and cross-centered sharing in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings (Phil. 3:10) that does not make benefit-finding the ultimate end or outcome. Instead, it emphasizes outcomes such as brokenness, humility, spiritual formation or growth into deeper Christlikeness, and God’s power being made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9, 10), rather than greater self-reliance and independence. Sanctified suffering is ultimately for the “display of the greatness of the glory of the grace of God” (Piper, 2006, pg. 89). However, suffering is not the ultimate end; it is eternal life and joy in Christ now and forever in Heaven to come, where there will be no more suffering or pain (Rev. 21:4; cf. Ps. 16:11; John 10:10, 15:11).

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