Sunday, Pastor Tim continued with his answer to the question: “Dear God, why is there so much pain, suffering and evil in the world?”
The answer that he gave, was divided into five parts, three of which he explained last Sunday:
1: All pain, all suffering and all evil is a result of the fall of mankind.
2: God is sovereign and is fully capable of stopping any pain, suffering and evil.
3: Satan is evil and is aggressively working to inflict as much pain, suffering and evil in the world as he possibly can.
4: God uses pain, suffering and even evil to accomplish his purposes.
- God uses pain and suffering to produce greater maturity in us. (James 1:2-4)
- Another purpose that God may have in mind is…To produce greater holiness in us. (Hebrews 12:10-11) The How do we know if the pain we are experiencing is being used to arrest some sinful behavior? Ask God to show you the sin he is trying to address. If you honestly ask and nothing comes to your mind in say 24 hours, assume it is for some other reason.
- To produce greater usefulness through us. (1 Cor. 12:7-10) Instead of ‘why me?’ Ask, ‘God, how can you use me?’
- To produce a convert/follower. C.S. Lewis, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is his megaphone to awaken a deaf world.”
5) One day God will make everything right! (Romans 12:19, Rev. 21:1-5)
A sub-question Pastor Tim addressed was: “Why do children experience cancer, abuse, accidents?”
- Unfortunately, part of the effect of the fall (Point #1 from last week) is that the cascade of sin flowed to children as well. The effects of the fall are no respecter of age. They are not reserved for people 12 and older.
- Children may be one of Satan’s most prized targets. Because he knows how it affects us. If he can hurt our kids, he may be able to turn us more easily away from God. He often attacks at our point of vulnerability and that includes our kids. Because of this, pray daily for your kids to be protected from the evil one.
- God is working in their lives as well and sometimes he is going to use pain and suffering to teach them lessons, develop their character and use them for his purposes. And truth be known, God uses their pain and suffering to teach us a lot of things…how to trust, be courageous, forgive, be thankful and sometimes it is to teach us how to handle pain and suffering.
- Children who leave this earth who have not yet reached an age of understanding, do go to heaven! As David said about his child who died when he was 7 days old, “I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” Heaven will be populated with billions of humans who experienced very little time on this earth, perhaps never even exiting the womb! God’s grace is applied in a special way to the most vulnerable!
Although today, the #1 question that people want God to answer is “Why is there so much pain, suffering and evil in the world?” In eternity, that question will never be asked. The reason is because God will have eliminated all of it.
Trusting and resting in God’s sovereign plans and a hopeful future!
~Scott Tilley, Adult Ministries Pastor, 574.875.1152 x103 / email@example.com