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Summary: God has good reasons for what He does, and His answer to our suffering is NOT an explanation … it is Himself. God’s answers always come from His character ... and His character is unchanging!

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Life Is Hard - but God Is Good

Psalm 107:1

Why does God allow suffering?

God has good reasons for what He does, and His answer to our suffering is NOT an explanation … it is Himself.

Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Introduction

Losing my job at ENI back in the spring of 2002 was a huge disappointment to me. I couldn’t understand how I was going to support my family.

• As I talked with a friend, he reminded me of the truth of God’s character … He was with me and He was working for my good.

o Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

 I was able to remember the character of God … able to trust that indeed … He is Good.

(I’m kind of thirsty … excuse me … DRINK WATER)

Back at Christmas 2003, Alanna, our 5 year old daughter was admitted to hospital after having sunk to less than 20 lbs. Disappointment … that was a mild word to describe my emotions.

• If God was Good, why was He allowing Alanna to suffer?

o Hearing the doctor say she may not come home again … it was very hard to see God as being Good.

HAD GOD CHANGED?

• We asked the questions … WHY? HOW LONG? WHAT DID WE DO WRONG? I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME GOD?

There are good reasons why people suffer

• All things fit together into a pattern for my good and God’s glory.

• Hardships force me to make decisions about God … they help me to be able to “taste and see” what God is like (DRINK WATER)

o Suffering sometimes is the instrument that God uses to teach us more about Himself

o Suffering is not for our torture; rather it is for our teaching! (GIVE WATER … cheers)

• Suffering makes us a lot more sensitive to people who are hurting.

But good reasons don’t always meet our need

• Sometimes the pain seems to outweigh even the best of benefits.

Illustration: Tonight, thousands of people in New Orleans will suffer. No food, no clean water, no hydro … no where to call home!

WHERE IS GOD IN THIS SUFFERING?

 We are all willing to say that God performed a miracle when a plane in Toronto carrying some 300 passengers crashes into the ground and bursts into flames at Pearson Airport and everyone survives. We say … “GOD WAS HERE. GOD WAS GOOD”.

 And if God never changes (like we learned a few weeks ago) IS GOD STILL GOOD WHEN A CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE SLAMS INTO NEW ORLEANS AND CAUSES THIS KIND OF DESTRUCTION?

 GOD REMAINS GOOD. HE HAS NOT CHANGED. HE STILL ANSWERS PRAYER. HE STILL LOVES YOU. HE IS STILL SOVEREIGN. HE STILL HAS THE RIGHT. HE STILL CARES. HE STILL LOVES.

 And He still wants us to share that with those who do not yet know Him.

Suffering hearts need a person, not an answer

• When we are suffering, we plead for our Father’s assurance that everything will be okay.

• God gives us something better than a list of answers; he gives us himself.

Suffering comes to lead us toward God

• God allows us to suffer so that nothing will come between him and us.


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