Sunday, April 19, 2020

Why Does God Allow Suffering (Asking for a Friend Series)

This is a question many of us ask all the time, even seasoned Christians.  The question is "Why does God allow suffering?"

My pastor helps us answer this question in his sermon titled "Why Does God Allow Suffering?"  The following are my Bible study notes based on his sermon.

You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Why Does God Allow Suffering?



My pastor refers us to Romans 8.  You can read those verses here.

Let's focus on Romans 8:18 for a moment and hold onto its truth.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. - Romans 8:18

Romans 8:18 Wall Art
This Romans 8:18 wall art is available here.

Suffering is temporary.  Glory awaits us.

When we experience suffering, we tend to point fingers at God.

When things are good, we say God is good but when things are bad, we blame God.  Some people think God allows suffering because He doesn't care about us.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. - Matthew 10:30
The Bible tells us that God cares about us so much that He even knows the number of hairs on our heads.  

The Bible also tells us that we are to love others because God first loved us.
We love because He first loved us. - 1 John 4:19
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 Artwork
This Scripture artwork is available here.
 
God doesn't just care about us.  He LOVES us.

But still, why is there suffering in the first place?  Suffering is brought on by:

- Our sinful choices.
- Other's sinful choices. (drugs, suicide, affair, etc.)
- Satan himself brings havoc into our lives.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. - John 10:10
John 10:10 is the verse on which I am building this blog.  Satan intends to steal, kill, and destroy us but Jesus came so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

Our world is deeply broken.  Ask God what He wants to tell you through your suffering.

How do we make sense of suffering?

Truths About Suffering


1.  This world is not right.  It is broken and in need of a Savior.
2.  We are not innocent.  No one is guiltless.
3.  God is not indifferent.  His grace is sufficient.
4.  This life is not ultimate.  Heaven awaits us.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. - Romans 8:28

5.  God never wastes our hurt.  He can use our hurt for good.

Good Things That Come Out of Suffering


Suffering can turn us back to God and eternal things.
It is good for me that I was afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes. - Psalm 119:71
Suffering can grow us and prepare us for greater things.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance. - Romans 5:3
Suffering produces perseverance,  character, and hope.

Suffering can be used to help others.
Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. - 2 Corinthians 1:4
We can disciple others out of suffering because of our own suffering.

God can take our suffering and brokenness and turn it into beautiful things.  We need to stop wallowing in past grief and let God us us.

Suffering can bring our worst or our best to the surface.  Do we love God when things are good AND when things are bad?

Job is a good example for us.  He didn't curse God through his suffering.

We don't need an explanation for our suffering.  We need a Savior.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. - Romans 8:1
All the suffering we have gone through doesn't begin to compare to the suffering of Jesus.  

How do we prepare for suffering?  We cling to Jesus.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:14-16

We are all fellow sufferers.  We ALL need Jesus.

Without Jesus, your suffering will never end.  

With Jesus, you can look forward to an eternity in Heaven.

Are you ready for eternity?  Learn more here. 

Read all posts in this series here.

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