Summary: Where is God in the midst of suffering?
If God is Loving, Why is there Suffering?
Man’s Sin causes Suffering and Pain
Both Personal Sin
And Original Sin
God’s Mercy ends suffering and pain
God’s Grace replaces suffering and pain
Probably the most asked question, in regards to there being a loving God is why is there suffering in the world?
I mean you don’t have to look very far to see suffering.
Turn on the news and you can see a report of a murder every day in Chicago. That is someone’s child or brother or parent suffering through the loss of someone they know, someone taken from them before there time.
Around the world, we see people starving, suffering through diseases that come from lack of basic necessities like clean drinking water.
We see kids excited to get a bowl of rice for the day.
We see earthquakes and tsunami’s killing thousands and hundreds of thousands.
In our own lives on a daily basis, we face heartache, financial crisis, sickness, death. All we have to do is open our eyes in the morning it seems to experience suffering.
Where is God in all of this?!
Is God really in control?
Does God care?
We have seen evidence that there is a God, as we talked about a few weeks ago, but what kind of God is He? Is He really loving if all of this world deals with pain and evil and suffering?
This morning, we are going to seek to gain some perspective on this issue as we seek to understand if and how we can reconcile that there is a loving God given the suffering and pain and evil that goes on in this world.
To do that, we need to start at the beginning. We can never have proper perspective until we start from the beginning.
So, if you would, turn with me to Genesis chapter 3.
God has created the universe and everything in it and has created mankind and placed him in the garden, a paradise where man actually walks and talks with God, and He has given one stipulation. He gives this stipulation, because for His glory, He created mankind with a free will to be able to make choices. Therefore He had to give some kind of choice to be able to make.
So he says in Genesis 2:15-17 - 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
So He tells them they are to tend the garden, have dominion over all the earth and animals and they can eat from every tree, except for the tree in the middle of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
One clear stipulation and one clear result from disobeying that stipulation, you will surely die.
Now, in chapter 3 it says,
3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, ’You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ’You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’"
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."