Message Recap | 4.12.2015
Speaker: Aaron Taylor, Lead Pastor
Pain and suffering are not topics that people enjoy talking about. At least that is my perception. Pain and suffering is everywhere. I’ve felt its sting in my life. Perhaps you have as well. It is unavoidable, and its scope often overwhelms. I remember family and friends coming to grips with tragedy in their lives. The pain on their faces spoke volumes about what they were enduring. Especially when the suffering comes from the loss of a child. I remember my cousin Erin, who lost her battle with leukemia before she was 6 years old. Her mom and dad were overwhelmed with grief. Her grandfather carried that loss with him until the day he passed away. Erin was everything to him.
This series will help each of us take an honest look at the unavoidable reality of pain and suffering and then help us learn to live life well and even joyfully against the backdrop of these terrible realities.
The loss of people we love, debilitating and fatal illnesses, personal betrayals, financial reversals, and moral failures will eventually impact our lives or the lives of people close to us during the course of our life span. No one is immune.
No matter what precautions we take, no matter how we have put together a good life, no matter how hard we have worked to be healthy, wealthy, comfortable with friends and family, and successful in our career, something will inevitably come along to ruin it. No amount of money, power, and planning can prevent bereavement, dire illness, relationship betrayal, financial disaster, or a host of other troubles from entering your life. Human life is fatally fragile and subject to forces beyond our power to manage. Life is tragic.
Jesus said it this way in John 16:33 (NIV): “…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus tells us to expect trouble. But why? Doesn’t it seem that if God truly loved us He would intervene and spare us from the suffering and pain? Is He not truly all-powerful and all-loving? How can a loving God allow these types of things to happen to people? And “why?” I think that we have all found ourselves asking this question at times in our lives?
And yet when we ask these questions, we often find that God doesn’t rush in to provide us with answers. It’s true. The Bible gives many references to this fact. You can find it in Proverbs 25:25, Isaiah 45:15, Deuteronomy 29:29, Ecclesiastes 11:5, and Isaiah 55:8-9 to name a few. Scripture is clear that we lack the capacity to grasp God’s infinite mind or the way He intervenes in our lives.
Look at what it says in 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NIV), “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him?”
If you want to learn more about Walking With God Through Pain & Suffering Part 1 – The Unavoidable Path, listen to our podcast at http://painesvilleag.com/walking-god-pain-suffering for the entire message.
Friend, in life there will be pain and suffering. The Bible tells us this. How does the Christian prescription for sufferers compare to that of the secular culture? There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine. This week in your time of prayer and meditation ask yourself have you experienced pain and suffering? Have you struggled to make sense of it, perhaps even falling prey to the deception of worldviews? And finally, do you need for Jesus to reframe your perspective and to help you find healing, meaning, and growth through your pain?