Summary: What do you say to someone one who is suffering? How do we respond to the cry if God is real and loving, why does he allow so much pain and evil into our world? This message seeks to help answer those questions.
Where is God When You Have to Suffer?
Part 3: Being God Centered
Introduction: A couple of weeks ago, we started this series on discipleship titled “Where is God?” It’s all about how to grow in your personal relationship with Christ. Unfortunately life has a habit of throwing things at us hoping to get us off track. So Two weeks ago we did a message titled “Where is God when things are hard?” Last week we did a message on “Where is God when we have to wait? This week we want to look at… “Where is God when you have to suffer?” Of course as soon as you say the word suffer… all kinds of things come to people’s minds… because… There are all kinds of suffering…
• Some is just inconvenient suffering
• We have physical suffering…
• We have self-inflicted suffering (He might be smiling… but I think he looks like he is in pain.)
• Some of us are in situations… where suffering is ongoing because we never know when something is going to go wrong
• Some of us suffer because we are made to do things we don’t want to do!
• Regardless of why we suffer… it affects everything about us… how we feel about ourselves… how we look… Life is a mess!
• Unfortunately, there are many times we can see that we will be going through a season of suffering… and we are powerless to stop it! (By the way, this is latest fad sweeping the country call bunny bowling!)
Needless to say, suffering is just part of life. We all have suffered… and whether we like it or not… we all will suffer sometime in the future. As Dr. Scott Peck would say… Life is Pain.
• Yet interestingly, when it comes to the whole topic of suffering and religion… the number one objection that people bring up for not coming to faith… for not trusting in God… is Suffering! They have done surveys upon surveys over the years, and have asked people… what is it that is keeping you from putting your trust in Christ? And the answer is always suffering!
• Why? Because they have bought into the idea that… If God is real and loving… there should be no suffering in the world?
• And if you haven’t noticed… there is a lot of suffering going on around us… so either there this no God… or this idea is a total bunk. Yet obviously, people buy into it… meaning that every time we read about some tragic event in the world… those people say that’s just another proof that God doesn’t exist.
• So when you read crazy stories like about the man who was having sex with two mentally ill disabled children for years and one just gave birth to his baby… supposedly that’s evidence that there is no God!
• Or every time an innocent person is killed by a drunk driver…
• And every time you hear how innocent children are dying of malaria and malnutrition… in Africa… this is seen as solid evidence that there is no God… or if there is a God… he certainly doesn’t care or is powerless to help us.
• Then add to that… our own suffering, the loss of a job, or going into chemo treatments, or losing your house… and the list just goes on and on.
• Experiences like these… become the great objections to faith! And not just for those who don’t believe. Even for the believer, suffering poses a challenge.
• Let’s be honest here, the more pain you are in, the harder it is to cling to your faith. Have you ever tried to have faith in God’s goodness when you have the flu? I have… and it’s not easy!
• So question becomes… what do you say… to someone one who is suffering? How do we respond to the cry… if God is real and loving… why does he allow so much pain and evil into our world? Why does He allow the innocent to suffer so… while so many of the unrighteous seems to go untouched? Now all these are good questions…
• And to find the answers to those questions… today we’re going to look at the book that deals with suffering and God more than any other book in the Bible, and that is the book Job. But first let’s pray… thank you that the word of God does not shy I away from any subject
Prelude to Suffering… So what do you say to someone who is suffering?
• Before we begin to address all these big questions concerning suffering and God… let me say something in regards to how we respond to those who are suffering…