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1. God’s children are not supposed to suffer pain.
2. If I hurt, there must be something wrong with me.
3. If I hurt, there must be something wrong with God.
B. WHY PAIN?
1. “If God were good, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy and if God were almighty He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures suffer pain; therefore does God lack goodness or power, or both?” -C. S. Lewis
2. God created us with a free will. “God saw that it was good” (Gen.1:25).
a. God surrendered His free will to control everything.
b. Man has power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not the impossible.
c. Man can use His free will foolishly to produce pain.
d. We live in a world of free souls, independent from God.
e. God decided not to correct every wrong independent action when it was done. He decided to wait to see if man’s independent nature would choose to love and follow Him.
f. God intends to give us what we need, not what we want.
3. Free will includes the possibility of evil, and men become evil when they do evil.
a. We think that time cancels sin, since we were not immediately punished, we got away with it.
b. We think that if everyone is doing it, (sin) it is normal and okay.
4. The human spirit will not surrender to God as long as all goes well.
5. God can use pain to bring us to Himself and perfect us.
a. Pain insists on being attended to.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain.” –C. S. Lewis
b. Pain shatters our illusion of self-sufficiency.
c. All arguments to justify pain provoke bitter resentment.
d. Christians reject the principle, “Being made perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10).
6. Pain is not good in itself, but a tool of God.
a. God still fills our life with moments of joy and pleasure.
b. God’s wonderful plan of Heaven doesn’t include pain. “I John saw the holy city . . . God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be
no more pain” (Rev. 2, 4). “The sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed” (Rom. 8:18).
C. HOW TO RESPOND TO PAIN
1. Accept what you cannot change. “David got up from the ground . . . he said, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept . . . but now that he is dead, why should I fast’” (II Sam. 12:22-23).
2. Don’t exaggerate your pain, play it down and pray it up. After David’s baby died, “he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped.” (II Sam. 12:20).
3. Focus on the good you have left, not the bad that was lost. “David comforted his wife . . . she gave birth to a son and they named him Solomon” (II Sam. 12:24).
4. People will hurt you, but God replaces grudges with blessings. “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Luke 5:22).
THE POWER OF “I”
The difference between bitter and better is the letter “I”.
I can choose how to react.
“If I allow pain to make me bitter, it blinds me to the truth of what God wants to do in my life.” –Martin Luther
5. Let God do His job. This is earth where God allows pain for a purpose. This is not Heaven where He rights all wrongs and eliminates pain.
6. Jesus wants to
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