Summary: Adam and Eve invited suffering into the world. By disobeying God's direct command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they asked for discipline from God. The discipline "I will greatly multiply your pain." Both for woman and man.
Intro: Gianna Jensen is a survivor of a later term abortion. Her mother was in the third trimester of pregnancy when a saline abortion was performed. Through the grace of God she survived and was taken at 2lbs to a hospital and an incubator. Because of this botched abortion she was not supposed to ever be able to raise her head much less walk. Today she walks with a limp and is a testimony to God’s grace in someone’s life. Gianna has cerebal palsey. She calls it “God’s gift of Cerebal Palsey.” In her own words, “The lack of oxygen to my brain is what caused my gift of cerebral Palsey.” What she has done is directed our attention to where it should be. God is the center of all creation not us. When all is messed up, mucked up and out of control and we scream and cry and shout we forget this universe is not about us. It is about God inviting us to be part of His redemption story. We will never understand the benefit and blessing of suffering in this life until we get this truth correct. God created all we see for us. He died on the cross to take away our sin debt. However, it is not about us it is about Him.
The question is often if God is so good why didn’t he make a world without suffering and evil. Answer he did. Remember last week Genesis 1 God looked at everything he created and called it good. It wasn’t until after man rebelled that the curtain of the curse fell on mankind.
So why does God allow the suffering?
I. Suffering and pain indicate something is wrong
Satan’s work is evil and suffering and his deception led to our death. Death is separation. So the Devil’s work was to spiritually separate us from God. But it also served to relationally and physically separate mankind. John 10:10 “A thief comes only to steal, to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
The amazing thing about is that God uses the judgment of suffering to show us that something is wrong. Take for example you appendix getting infected. It causes intense pain in your body so that you know you are sick. If you are having a heart attack you get sick have cold sweats and chest pain. If you have a stomach virus your body heats up and you feel achy all over it is because something is wrong.
Genesis 1.16-19 (Read) “I WILL greatly multiply your pain in childbearing.” To Adam the ground is cursed and you will eat from it by means of painful toil. In case you haven’t noticed Adam and Eve you messed up. Suffering is a reminder of the suffering that was invited into our world by Adam and Eve.
Where did the suffering hit women the most? Where there were supposed to have the most joy. In carrying and caring for children and being the helpmate that God knew their husband would need. The suffering is a direct result of rebelling against God and basically asking Him to exit their relationships. Suffering is a direct result of what many want today a life where God is absent. Where did suffering hit man most, it hit him square in his providing and proper care of His wife. God intended for women to respectfully compliment and encourage their husbands as the husbands lovingly lead the wives.
What did both get spiritual, emotional, psychological, and relational suffering. Broken world leads to broken hearts that are more receptive to God’s grace.
II. Suffering is not always the direct result of personal sin
Job was described in Job 1 as an upright man blameless and the greatest of the men of the east. Yet God allowed Satan to sift Job. Job suffered for the purpose of revealing and God’s greatness.
Jobs world was somewhat normal kids, houses and herds. Then comes death, disaster, and disease. He defends himself to others quietly questioning God. Why is this happening? What have I done to deserve this?
The why questions that Job and we ask are usually an indication of distrust. In Job 38.1-39: 30 God questions job about his whereabouts when God created all things, and his understanding of the natural world. In the middle of it he says gird up your loins stand up like a man and get ready here I come Job. Finally job trusts God and says I will proceed no further I will lay my hand on my mouth. How could Job understand the mind and motivations of God if he couldn’t understand the natural world? He has finally realized that God alone sees the entire picture of life. Job repented and trusted God and his ability to manage creation.