Where is God in My Pain message series

WHERE IS GOD IN MY PAIN?

Part 2 – What Does The Bible Teach About Pain and Suffering?
(Various Scriptures)

February 19, 2023
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor

 

INTRODUCTION

(D.A. Carson – Going Beyond Clichés: Christian Reflection on Suffering and Evil) http://vimeo.com/67021614 (or his book: D.A. Carson How Long, O Lord?  Reflections on Suffering and Evil)

1. FACE THE FACT THAT LIFE ISN’T FAIR.

A. Innocent and powerless people are abused by others.
Ecclesiastes 4:1 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed–and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors–and they have no comforter.

B. The political system is oftentimes unfair.

1. Ecclesiastes 5:8 If you see miscarriage of justice anywhere throughout the land, don’t be surprised! For every official is under orders from higher up, and the higher officials look up to their superiors. And so the matter is lost in red tape and bureaucracy.
2. Ecclesiastes 10:5-6  Here is an injustice I have seen, an injustice caused by rulers.  Foolish people are given positions of authority.

C. The judicial system is sometimes unfair.
Ecclesiastes 8:11  Why do people commit crimes?  Because crime is not punished quickly enough.

D. The wrong people seem to succeed.
Ecclesiastes 8:14  There’s something else,… righteous men who get what the wicked deserve and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.

E. Revelation 21:4  God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

2. GOD GIVES US HOPE IN THE MIDST OF OUR PAIN AND SUFFERING.

A. The Bible says that God only allows injustice so that it may produce a greater good we sometimes, maybe oftentimes, will not understand at this time or even in this life.

B. Pain results from the abuse of our God-given freedom.

1. There is no choice to do good unless there is also a choice to do evil.
2. Injustice happens because it is the down side of freedom.

C. God can produce inner growth from our pain.

1. James 1:2-5  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
2. We always learn more from pain than we do from pleasure.
3. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10  But God said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NIV)

D. God can bless others from our own pain.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  (NLT)

E. God provides a rescuer to ultimately save us from our pain.

1. Ecclesiastes 7:20  There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never sins.
2. Romans 3:23  …for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
3. Acts 23:11  The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage!”

F. God limits the time of pain and suffering.

1. Ecclesiastes 3:17  In due season, God will judge everything man does, both good and bad.
2. Romans 12:19  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

3. HOW DO WE SURVIVE THE UNFAIR THINGS IN OUR LIFE?

A. Accept that unfair things are going to happen.

B. Control your reaction to them.

C. Choose to do the right thing even when you’re wronged.
Romans 12:17-21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right.. 18.as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  19 Do not take revenge… 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink… 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

D. Respond with patience and wait for God’s intervention.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18  For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long.  Yet, they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever.  18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen.  For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”

4. CONCLUSION

When Answers Aren’t Enough, There is Jesus – Scott Wesley Brown

Chorus:
When answers aren’t enough, there is Jesus
He is more than just an answer to your prayer
And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge
When answers aren’t enough, He is there

Verse:
Instead of asking why did it happen
Think of where it can lead you from here
And as your pain is slowly easing, you can find a greater reason
To live your life triumphant through the tears

Chorus:
When answers aren’t enough, there is Jesus
He is more than just an answer to your prayer
And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge
When answers aren’t enough, He is there

 

Click here to get your copy of “God’s Promises For Life, Bible Verses When Life Gets Tough.”