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Summary: Satan uses pain to make people doubt God’s goodness. He wants to inject doubt into our minds until we distrust the character and behavior of our heavenly Father.

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25 January 2006

Title: Pain and Suffering?

Scripture Reading: Job 1:13-22

This evening I am going to talk about pain and suffering and how to face trouble, because from the cradle to the cemetery, we spend much of our existence trying to avoid pain and stay out of trouble.

The longer we live, the more likely it is that we will have physical problems.

I know that many of you are sick and hurting.

When you get up in the morning your body begins to tell you; maybe you should have stayed in bed.

So you are all familiar with the topic of our message; “How do you face trouble?”, because you have all experienced pain and suffering and overwhelming trouble.

If you watch television commercials, you have probably noticed that many of them offer advice about how to manage pain; they advertise Tylenol, Advil, and a dozen other pain relievers.

However, such solutions are only temporary.

Some people try to escape pain through drugs and alcohol, but they find that their pain increases rather than disappears.

Still others patiently just “grin and bear” their pain, and act like everything is alright.

Satan uses pain to make people doubt God’s goodness.

He wants to inject doubt into our minds until we distrust the character and behavior of our heavenly Father.

Satan seeks to promote bitterness and hate because of pain.

We must beware of the strategies of the evil one; he is out to destroy us because he is the enemy of God and our enemy as well.

If Satan can make us angry at God or make us react with bitterness and hostility toward either God or others, he is leading us down a path of self-destruction.

I want to ask a question: “Is there any good news for those who suffer?”

In times when trouble strikes, we need to take an inventory to see if there is any good news that can cheer us up and help us to bear the burden of pain.

Trouble and suffering are facts of life that all of us must cope with sooner or later.

An incurable disease may afflict someone we love or even us personally.

A financial disaster may wipe out our savings and take our homes.

The things we worked all our lives for can be destroyed by fire in a matter of minutes.

A domestic tragedy, such as divorce, may tear apart our home.

There are fatal accidents on life’s highways.

There are dead-end streets where all hopeful expectations are brought to a stop.

So, “How should Christians cope with suffering and trouble?”

When trouble comes, some people turn to religion, hoping it will deepen and strengthen their faith.

Others turn away from religion in disappointment and despair.

Still others turn against religion in hate and cynicism.

How do people cope with pain and trouble?

Some bluster and bluff and cuss, and act like there is nothing wrong.

Some develop a headache and take an aspirin.

Some drink or take drugs that enable them to escape the pain of reality temporarily.

Some pray and trust God.

What will you do when trouble comes?

Will you turn to God?

Will you run from God?

Will you turn against God?

Let’s take a look at Job, the ultimate example of a man who struggled with suffering in the times before Christ.

Job 1:13-22 is our Scriptures for today.

I am going to read from the New Century Bible, but first I will give you some background.

The Bible tells us that—

One day the angels came into the presence of God, and Satan was with them.

God asked Satan, “What have you been doing?”

Satan replied, “I have been claiming the earth for myself.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Do you know about my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him. He is an honest and innocent man, and he honors God and stays away from evil.”

But Satan answers back, “Job honors God for a good reason. You have put a wall around him and his family, and everything he owns. I can’t touch him. You have blessed the things he has done. His flocks and herds are so large they almost cover the land. But if you would destroy everything he has, he will curse you to your face.”

So the Lord accepted the challenge and said to Satan, “All right, then. You can do anything you want to Job, but you must not touch Job himself.”

Then Satan left heaven and returned to earth.

The Bible says-

13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house;

14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,

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