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May 13, 2021 2:00 am
To some, that poses a huge roadblock to faith in a good God. In the message "The Dos and Don'ts of Suffering," Skip addresses how a loving God can let such unlovely things happen all around the globe.
This teaching is from the series Rock Solid.Links:
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Whenever you say there is so much evil in the world are you say why is there so much evil. You only ask that or say that because you have some notion that there is supreme good to see if I if I him in a class and I say this student gets 90. This student gets a 60 and this gets afforded.
It presupposes there's a real standard of 100. There is perfection by which everything else is measured. So if there is no God, then where did we get the standard of goodness by which we measure evil often rejects God with the question, why would God allow suffering and evil effect, but the reality is, God is the solution to him today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip shares how you can face personal suffering and still have an abundant life in Jesus. Now we want to tell you about a resource that will spur you want in your own faith journey as you explore the inspiring stories of women in the Bible you know. Proverbs 3102 passage that describes the ideal Christian woman in life. To be honest ideal as intimidating as it is inspiring. Here Skip Heitzig with more can I just tell you it's exhausting to just read that letter law. However, women could you ever do that. Let me say first of all, you can't do that in a day is not giving the 24-hour description of the virtuous wife.
This is a woman over time to know some of the most incredible women in the Bible and in history with two inspiring resources six message collection from pastors and prominent women in Scripture seven women by best-selling author Erica Texas.
This bundle is our thanks when you get $35 or more to help expand the Bible teaching outreach of skip. I think charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Call now to request these captivating resources. Thanks for your generous gift 800-922-1888. Get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer first Peter chapter 4 Skip I took starts today study can imagine how puzzled some were in the community when they open up the newspaper and saw a little while. That section the lost and found section of the want ads and add that read the following lost dog with three legs blind in the left I am missing right here tail broken, recently injured answers to the name of lucky. Sometimes we feel about as lucky when we struggle with suffering measurement. This would be like you get up tomorrow and you want to go to Starbucks bright and early and make it their first before all the selfish people get their and so you're driving on the street here breaking the speed limit by let's say 2025 miles an hour. You just dip and by going on the road you notice on the corner of your eye that police officer and he sees you and so you look at the police officer in your amazed as he smiles and waves that you and you make it there without a ticket. You wondered you said that strange but me ask you something. If you're in line at Starbucks after that happened, would you be like filled with remorse. Would you be there going that that wasn't right. I deserve the ticket, I'm to turn myself and after I have this cup of coffee.
Now you kidding, you'd say thank you Jesus.
But if you're on your way to church and you break the speed limit by 5 miles an hour and you get a ticket for that. That's when you go God I can't believe you would allow that to happen. I was wanting to serve you see suffering in our world makes us want to be avoided at all costs suffering in our personal world makes us want to question God's love.
Most people would probably look around the world and say God did a pretty good job in making this universe, but he made one mistake and that's pain. He allowed so much pain and suffering. I remember reading that sentence in the book I read years ago by the great author Philip Yancey.
The book is called where is God when it hurts and it begins in the first chapter with that idea that most people would say God made a good world with one mistake, that's pain.
I thought about that this week because I read an interview, an article where he was being interviewed. Philip Yancey is written a new book is called why the question that never goes away. And in this interview he was talking about how he received a phone call to go back to the East Coast to speak to the parents of Newtown, Connecticut. After the Sandy Hook shooting were 26 people were gunned down 20 children, six adults, they wanted him to come and talk to them about pain and suffering in God and something dawned on him because he had been researching for his new book, and even reading some of the books of the new atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris all those New York Times best-selling atheistic authors and so here he is on the phone being asked to speak to the Sandy Hook school parents and a dawned on him.
He said there is a question that's much harder then where is God when it hurts, and that is where is no God when it hurts and explains this. The atheist will tell people that the universe is random and there's just sort of this blind indifference other than a meaning and a purpose behind it and he said, I noticed that these atheists are never asked to speak at such places, like Sandy Hook elementary school because whatever they would have to say would never be of comfort to the parents.
Can you imagine somebody standing up say well universe is random bad things happen. Get used to it. Your children don't live anymore.
That's just what happens still comforting and asked the pastor of acid Christian author like Yancey to speak at those places because the Christian will stand up and say what happened was tragic should not have happened. We should be angry at that kind of evil. However, we believe there is a good God who will make all things work together for your good, if you trust him and there's hope in that and you see that's the reason I've always loved being the pastor I love walking through the gamut of life experiences with people from birth to marriage to raising children to getting sick and even death. I get tickled at the fact that somebody walks up to me and says will you dedicate my baby. Oh and by the way you dedicated me when I was a baby. I love being able to see that cycle and we see a lot of death and suffering along with joy and we wonder why Peter is a good guy to ask because Peter writes about suffering no less than 21 times in this letter. So, since he's already discussed it and we've Artie started it when you look at something else what I call the do's and don'ts of suffering two things not to do and to things to do. Don't be surprised by suffering. Don't be scared by suffering due to be selective in your suffering and do be sensitized by suffering. Let's begin with the first. Don't be surprised by verse 12 first Peter chapter 4, beloved that a beautiful word is writing to a flock not an audience.
He's a pastor he's got the heart to say I love you and what's more, God loves you, beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to don't think it's weird or bizarre or unusual. When you suffer.
It's not suffering is common to all. It happens to everyone. However, when we suffer is not one of the first emotions we have that we think it's strange how this shouldn't happen. This is this is not right. This is unusual.
I was reading an article in Reader's Digest a few years ago actually was called the untold story of September 11, 2001 is about flight 93 that flight that that crashed in the Pennsylvania field and in the article it mentioned that one of the passengers aboard that flight managed to make a cell phone call to his wife, and the conversation went like this.
Our plane has been hijacked. There are three men on board who say they have a bomb they have already killed one passenger, please call the authorities.
The wife and the other end of the phone said the entire conversation as it was going on. My thoughts were these no no no this can't be happening. We have good jobs. We have great kids things like this don't happen to people like us but here it was happening to her. And you should know if you don't already that this is some people's favorite reason to reject the God of the Bible you heard it a thousand times God of love is all-powerful, ever allow evil to exist. The formal term for that is called theodicy and who hasn't struggled with theodicy, theologians, philosophers, and everyone has struggled with George Barna in a survey sometime back said to people if you could ask God one question and you knew that he would give you an answer, what question would you ask God overwhelmingly. The questions were things like why would you allow so much evil, suffering and pain on earth that make it worse is not the just bad people have bad things happen, but so many we recall innocent people have bad things happen. If only bad people have things happen. I think we would do better with the don't you mean, if only hardened criminals got the broken limbs.
If only murderers got the cancer we could stand back and go.
Now that's that's a piece of celestial justice when the innocent are affected too many people. This backs the Christian up into them an impossible corner and the one who does not love God would look in the aha I've got you, you can answer that one is a tough one to grapple with, but allow me to just sort of turned that around for a moment, because whatever you say. There is so much evil in the world or you say why is there so much evil. You only ask that or say that because you have some notion that there is supreme good. You see, if I if I am in a class and I say this student gets a 90 and the student gets a 60 in this student gets a 40 it presupposes there's a real standard of 100 somewhere there is perfection by which everything else is measured. So if there is no God, then where did we get the standard of goodness by which we measure evil is called the problem of good moral argument. If you will.
CS Lewis put it this way, if the universe is so bad then how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute the universe to the activity of a wise and good creator. Think about it if 90% or better. More than 90% of all of the people who have ever lived on earth, usually more painful circumstances than any of us will ever see 90% of the people of ever live.
I believed in God worded that notion come from why there's no God. There's no ultimate values of there's no ultimate values. There's no such thing as good or evil is a meaningless conversation.
Something else I want you to notice before we jump to the next go back to verse 12 and notice the two words fiery trial me tell you why I think it's important especially in this letter, I think you find it significant fiery trial.
What is use those words.
I think I know why we believe that Peter the apostle can that this letter at the end of 64 A.D.
Why is that important familiar history. You know that something very significant happened in the middle of 64 A.D. in the summer of 64 A.D. for nine weeks beginning on July 16 Rome burned. It burned to the ground effectively and most people believed it was the Emperor's fault Caesar Nero started the fire. He had a penchant for building he did like the old city you wanted to expand it and renew it, but he would never admit to it. But we do know that when the fire was started. He was watching it with glee. And when people tried to put out those fires. The Roman soldiers stop them from putting it out and they started new ones. Well, the population who had lost their homes, their goods, the lives of loved ones were in such furor that they turned against Caesar Nero almost an all out revolt.
He knew he needed to do something and so we look for a scapegoat who you think you chose the Christians let's blame it on the Christians.
They were like anyway so I'll say they did it and he said they did it and to display the idea that he believed they did it. He took many of them and put them on poles with ropes while they were alive. Douse them in pitch and use them as porches to light up the Imperial Gardens at night. That began a 200 year reign of terror against the believers that were in Rome. We believe that this letter was written toward the end of that year.
So when he writes these were listen to how they would sound to a Roman Christian beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened. So don't be surprised by suffering versus second, don't be scared by verse 13 he has the audacity to use this word but read choice.
To the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when his glory is revealed. You may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you on their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified.
Rejoice. I don't know how that hits your ears, but I imagine for it for somebody was suffering the kind of atrocities they were suffering the they probably even thought really dare tell me to read choice. During this time, but what Peter is saying to them, and I want you to hear it carefully is that we have no right to expect better treatment from this world than Jesus received two that's the point of his language in these verses.
In fact what Peter does is take suffering and lifted up, I can't give honor to it extolling you. We would want to take suffering and if this were a house it be in the basement with the rest of the junk he take suffering out of the basement moves it into the great room and even higher answers. If you suffer for the right reason to position of honor your suffering with Christ when CS Lewis was asked the question why do the righteous suffer. He said why not the only ones who can take it they will do it differently than somebody who doesn't have that hope now. I do want to say that his believers were not na´ve concerning the evil we believe three things about evil, number one, it's real that exist. Evil exists, we are not like those who subscribe to what is called Christian science. I'm sure you have seen names of on buildings or on so-called church is a Christian science. It was a belief system started in the 1800s by a gal named Mary Baker Eddy Glover Patterson Fry. She had a problem with men. She had even worse problem with doctrine because she believed that evil doesn't exist. Pain doesn't exist.
Suffering doesn't exist. Disease doesn't exist. It's all an illusion, even death. She had the audacity to say.
Death is an illusion. I always been mystified by Christian science and sort of like the cereal. My mom used to give me when I was a kid called great next member Greg not looked inside a box. Are there any grapes at all.
There are no grapes and there are no nuts. It says great mats all there are inside our flakes, no grapes, no nuts in Christian science.
There's nothing Christian about it.
And there's nothing scientific about it and apply some metaphysical game and not call something. What it plainly is doesn't help anybody. So Christians are not na´ve ago Yep suffering, evil, hardship, pain exist, but we know something else is true. We know that God allows evil to exist and we believe least. I believe that God is an absolute control of the universe that he made. I know not everybody believes that there's this there's a teaching out there called open theism.
Some of you never heard of that. Perhaps open theism or process theology which says God is in the process of becoming a better God see God as a know it can happen tomorrow they say that she's not in control of it. So every day.
He's learning new things. He's a deity in process or in progress. So today God is a better God than he was yesterday because more things and happenings finding out more things so that that's how they deal with the problem of evil. They got a got run around St. Luke's all day long. No thank you. Evil exists, God permits evil to exist, but I know something else, and that is God is a purpose and it that it can actually be helpful can actually be helpful. Peter here says that he is glorified. Really, God is glorified when I suffer and it can be helpful. We, you know that's true. We studied that. My hope by now you believe that is true, doesn't it does a few things for you.
You know that suffering does it makes a pure number one makes you pure purifies you like nothing else, we studied it already and dapper. Let me just refresh your memory back in chapter 1 verse six and seven of first Peter said these trials of come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes, though it is refined by fire may be proved to be genuine God like a Goldsmith pours the gold back and forth in its liquid form and scrapes impurities off purifies second thing suffering does it humbles you it humbles you, we who have a tendency to walk in pride are quickly brought down to street level with the period of suffering. You know the Paul the apostle, though he wasn't prideful he had the temptation toward pride and he admitted that he saw and heard God speak he saw visions from God. He saw miracles of God and so listen to this is the second Corinthians chapter 12 he right.
And lest I be exalted above measure so filled with pride.
I couldn't stand there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, which is a sharp, painful steak in my flesh, my body some physical ailments, a messenger of Satan to torment me. I suppose it would be hard to be around Paul. Talk about a Starbucks buddy. Can you imagine here Harris At Starbucks and here's Paul and the other side of eight. Let me show you what I read today in Psalm 23 go, that's great. Let me tell you what God verbally spoke to me this morning as I saw a vision of the third heaven okay nevermind see you lunch. Suffering will purify you will humble you is another thing will do we know this to be true, it makes us depend on God like nothing else, it keeps us depend see when you're weak you lean on something a crutch or a cane or walker.
A person in item you you're weak you you lean on them you depend on that when the apostle Paul spoke about the thorn in the flesh. You recall that he said concerning this thing I prayed three times I pleaded that the Lord would take it away three times until the Lord finally answer me remember what he said. He said my grace is enough sufficient. It's all you need.
So then Paul says therefore I will rejoice and exalt in my suffering because when I am weak that I'm strong strange but interesting thing about God's power and God's strength is attracted to human wing's bedroom should Skip a text message from the series rocks right now we want to share about an exciting opportunity to take your knowledge of God's word and deeper going to church is a great way to learn about God, but if you want to learn if you want to go deeper every college offers classes of difficult studies classes like field poetics lessons of seriousness learn more about God in the Bible on schedule take evening classes on campus or online education from Calvary, will impact your spiritual life for the rest of your life as I know Calvary Q, Calvary BBQ.college God's word works daily power for any changes by you can help keep sounding teaching with your generous gift supports.com/.com/dimming or call 819 team 1892 thank you. Tune in tomorrow is Skip types of shares would God envision charging shepherds to serve his people to Skip presentation of connection communications changing true ever-changing time