Summary: Why do we suffer? What is the cause of suffering?
The Problem of Suffering
By Kenny McKinley
(Read Lamentations Text)
Have you ever looked around at your life, or just life in general and asked, “WHY?”
Have trials and hardships ever come into your life for seemingly no reason? Of course they have. If you’ve lived on this earth for any amount of time, then you have seen and endured all sorts of trials, pain, and suffering.
And if you are a Christian, no doubt you’ve wondered why God allows these things to happen. I mean we come to church every Sunday, and you all hear me talk about how God is sovereign, how He is in control, how He is all mighty, and then tragedy strikes, or we go through some kind of trial, or tribulation, and if you’re a normal person you have probably asked the question, “Why is this happening? If God is omnipotent, and He is the sovereign ruler of all creation, then why is He letting this happen to me? I mean, doesn’t Matthew 10:29 says that not even a sparrow can die apart from God’s will?”
Well if you’ve ever asked that question, I want to tell you that its not necessarily wrong that you did. It’s a normal thing to do. But where a lot of people get messed up is that they ask the question, and then never get it answered completely. They come to a wrong conclusion about God, and that has been the cause of many people turning their backs on the Lord; and what about us as Christians? There are some who say that Christians should not be suffering, they say that we should be walking in the abundant life, free from suffering and hardships.
So this morning we are going to be talking about the problem of suffering. Now this is a pretty deep issue, and so I’m going to be discussing it today and next Sunday.
Today we’re going to talk about Christians and suffering, and next Sunday we are going to talk about why we suffer, what causes it, and why it happens.
Now there are a lot of people today, even some so called preachers, pastors, and teachers who say that if you’re a Christian then you shouldn’t be going through any kind of suffering. They say that if you have enough faith you can avoid it, or rise above it. They say that you should be walking in the blessings of the Lord, and suffering and hardships should not be coming your way. They even say that you should be healthy, wealthy, and perfectly happy.
They say a lot of things, but when I hear one of these preachers say something like that then I immediately know that they have no clue what the Bible says.
Turn with me to the book of Luke chapter 1 and let’s read verses 39-42 (Read). Now we all know this story about Mary. We know that an angle came to her and told her that she and her Child would be richly blessed. Then we read that passage that we just looked at where Elizabeth said that Mary was blessed among women. But what do you think Mary thought of her being blessing when it caused her heartache and misunderstanding with her fiancé Joseph? And how much did she want to be highly favored of God when she had to take a long trip by foot to the town of Bethlehem while she was pregnant? And would it seem like God had blessed her while she had to lay on a straw floor and give birth to her first born Son with the stench of manure and the filth of a manger all around her? And what about when she had to flee to a foreign country because soldiers wanted to kill her Child, do you think she felt blessed then?
Do you think that Mary still wanted to be blessed when she was no doubt ridiculed by the Jewish leaders for following her Sons teachings rather than the Jewish traditions? Or how much would she want God’s blessings when it included a night that was filled with screams from an angry mob that was crying out for her Son’s death? And what about the Cross? How blessed did Mary feel as she watched her first born Son slowly being tortured to death on a Roman cross?
Now let me ask you a couple of questions; did Mary have faith? Was she blessed of God? Well if she had faith, then why is it that she had to go through all of those things? According to many of today’s preachers Mary should’ve been able to “rise” above those hardships if she had enough faith right? And what about her being blessed? Did Gabriel lie to her when he called her blessed and highly favored of God? I mean if she was blessed of God then why did she have to endure all that pain, anguish, and suffering?