Summary: We live in a world where people, even Christians, believe they are entitled never to suffer pain. Yet, God uses suffering for His glory.
Series: Lies Satan Tells
GOD’S CHILDREN ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO FEEL PAIN
Clyde Reid says in his book, "Celebrate the Temporary"
"One of the most common obstacles to celebrating life fully is our avoidance of pain. We do everything to escape pain. Our culture reinforces our avoidance of pain by assuring us that we can live a painless life. Advertisements constantly encourage us to believe that life can be pain-free. But to live without pain is a myth. To live without pain is to live half a life, without fullness of life. This is an unmistakable, clear, unalterable fact. Many of us do not realize that pain and joy run together. When we cut ourselves off from pain, we have unwittingly cut ourselves off from joy as well."
-- Clyde Reid, "Celebrate the Temporary" (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1974), p. 44-45. (Bible Illustator, Pain)
If One Believes this lie then there are two basic responses to this belief...
1.There must Be Something Wrong with God
(this is absolutely wrong)
Thus, God is not all-good or He would not allow pain
God is not all-powerful or He would stop our pain
This is the position taken by Rabbi Harold Kushner in "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"
2. There must Be Something Wrong with me
(This is sometimes Wrong)
God’s Will is not for His children to experience pain; when they do, then they are either not asking or do not have enough faith.
I. GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF PAIN AND SUFFERING
A. God is Perfect In All Things
- Character (Holiness)
- Wisdom (Omniscience)
- Power (Omnipotence)
B. God Created a Perfect Man and Placed Him in a Perfect Environment
-Genesis 1:31 "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."
"...once God chose to create human beings with free will, then it was up to them , rather than to God, as to whether there was sin or not. That¡¦s what free will means. Built into the situation of God deciding to create human beings is the chance of evil and consequently, the suffering that results. .... He created the possibility of evil; people actualized that potentiality. The source of evil is not God’s power but mankind¡¦s freedom" (Peter John Kreeft, as interviewed by Lee Strobel in "The Case for Faith," p37)
C. Pain and Suffering are Direct Consequences of Man Living in a Fallen World
-Genesis 3:16-19 "Unto the woman he said, ’I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’ And unto Adam he said, ’because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Personal Wrong Choices
Other Person¡¦s Wrong Choices
Living in a Sin-Cursed World
The Question is not....
Why do bad things happen to good people, but
Why do good things happen to bad people.
II. GOD¡¦S ULTIMATE PURPOSE FOR MAN IS TO BE CONFORMED
TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON Romans 8:29
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
A. God’s Ultimate Purpose for Man IS NOT....
For Man to Happy
For Man to be Comfortable
B. God Desires to Conform Us to the Image of His Son to Bring Him Glory by...
1. Restoring Man’s Character which was lost in the fall
2. Restoring Man’s Fellowship which was lost in the fall
3. Restoring Man’s Hope which was lost in the fall
III. GOD IN HIS SOVEREIGNTY USES PAIN AND SUFFERING TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSE IN MAN
God is transcendent and works outside the thoughts and Ways of Man. He teaches us in ways that at first we do not understand.
"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscious, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world" (C.S. Lewis, "The Problem With Pain").
God uses Pain and Suffering to...
A. Protect Man from Himself (2Cor 12:7)
B. Strengthen Man In His Faith (2Cor 12:8-9a)
C. Reveal to Man God¡¦s Strength and Man’s Weaknesses (2Cor 12:9b-10)