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Why Suffering? (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
November 19, 2020 3:00 am

Why Suffering? (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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November 19, 2020 3:00 am

Why do bad things happen to good people? That’s a puzzling question—but the answer isn’t a secret! On Truth For Life, Alistair Begg directs us to the Bible for insight when life seems unfair.


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When we read in the Bible about Job, we find that believers are not immune to the human experience of pain and suffering today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg turns to Job's story to explain five reasons why God allows righteous people to face trials were continuing a message titled why suffering, why do the righteous suffer. Why do good people suffer. Why do those who embrace God and say they follow his son. Why did this let me tell you, let me tell you five reasons why number one because suffering is the common human condition.

The first reason why Christians suffer the same as non-Christians is because we live in an imperfect world and because we live in an imperfect world. The impact of sin means that there is suffering and that our eventualities we get hard we get sick and we also die.

Therefore, in light of that, we do not need to read into all of our sufferings, some great cause. Make meaning and I stood on the rink and a balcony right on the side of the head all God Marty are teaching me in this great circumstance. Look where you're going clown and I was we don't have to immediately feel apologizing to some great cosmic plan. The eventualities of human existence.

The righteous and the unrighteous see the sun, the righteous and the unrighteous feel the rain, the righteous and the unrighteous live with the implications of suffering.

That's the first. Secondly, we experience suffering.

Sometimes because God plans for it to be corrected and this is the expression of the sign is what he says and some hundred 90 before I was afflicted I went astray. But now I'll be your warrant. When everything seemed to be fine. When the sun was out. The sky was blue when it when I just had life in front of me. I frankly was going my own way I was doing my own thing, but now that you have afflicted me. I'll be your warrant on this of course is integrated there in the book of Hebrews when the God the father is described as a gracious father who would discipline his children and correct them by means of his discipline and order that it may be that they get back on the path of God's word and each of us. If we live life at all with any sense of sensitivity to what's happening to us will recognize at least the possibility that some about experiences of pain and suffering have been as a result of God's gracious wonderful corrective plan to another was this pain.

As painful as it was this emptiness is real as it was has been a means of blessing to us from God is your ZIP Code to correct.

Thirdly, God uses suffering not simply as a corrective but in order to be constructed constructive Romans chapter 5, Paul writes, and he says, suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance, character, and character. How does this person become so hopeful. How does this lady have such wonderfully tender alleys. How is it that this gentleman seems so empathetic with my pain with my broken necks with my wanderings with my stupidity. This guy get like this, God uses suffering in his life to construct, he wouldn't be the man he is God not chosen to employ pain in this way, not putatively not even corrective but constructively.

Fourthly, we experience some suffering simply in order that God might be glorified is not the lesson of John chapter 9 when the disciples come to Jesus with a man born blind and they say loose in this matter has been in Jesus is neither the parents nor the man.

This man is the way he is, in order that the work of God might be displayed in his life and there are circumstances in each of our lives through which we, and we say to ourselves in the experience of the I don't know what the world this is about, I would run from this if I could, and understandably so. But then all of a sudden somewhere along the journey of our days in a great the new mom becomes apparent old. That's why I went through that it is for this exact moment that God may be glorified. If I may use a personal illustration.

I don't know how good or bad. It is when my mother died and left is behind me.

20. My sisters 11 and 50. I couldn't find a redeeming feature in the event a tall I could make sense of it. I stood at her open grave and try to theology.

I said I best I could in relationship to first Corinthians 15 and yet still laying hold of God and saying I believe you and I trust you. Still, it seemed to me like a bad idea.

You know when I was invited to be the assistant minister at Charlotte Chapel in 1975 I was 23 I looked really mature.

I looks like I was about 16 and the great fear on the part of the elders was how can this cream faced loon ever be any use in the context of a variegated congregation, many of whom are old justifiable concern. How will this kid green around his ears, ever be able to walk into suffering and into pain and into bereavement and I found the first time I had to go to the home or someone lost a loved one. I walked in the door and I sat down and I to the person's hand is not the whole answer, but as part of the answer. I said thank you Lord is part of the reason is you couldn't give me empathy you couldn't give me sympathy. I couldn't know what this I couldn't even get close to thinking what it feels like in this home right now for a mother to be grabbed away in the middle of the years for a dad to be lost in a car accident for somebody to be unrecoverable from a tragic accident what it not for the fact that somehow or another you determined that you would be glorified as a result of pain which you allowed as a result of suffering which you brought into my experience. You see, the question is are you prepared to trust God. That's the question will you believe God will I bring my mind beneath him will I submit to him and 50. The purpose of suffering is incessant cases, cosmic. Having said that every experience of pain should not be regarded as a cosmic event I need.

On the other end to say that the purpose of suffering is cosmic and Job is the most profound and detailed exploration of because the experience of suffering in the life of Job is to demonstrate before Satan and the angels that a person can love and trust God for who he is in himself, and not merely for what he gets out of her. This is very very important.

God doesn't want people to become Christians. Just as an insurance policy against trouble and he doesn't want us to live our lives free from suffering because he wants to show the world that his people are sufficiently tough to suffer with the world suffering and still trust God.

You see, this is why we have a very poor theology of suffering. Certainly, in terms of the public persona that is represented in television evangelists and teachers who are all the time how deepening the idea of a Christianity that is all about health.

It's all about wealth and it's all about prosperity of the fight of the matter is God blesses when we apply his principles.

There is an attendant blessing that accompanies it. But he is not does not have his back in relationship to this and we cannot manipulate a sovereign God in the same God who chooses to bless us with a lovely sunset may choose to bless us with the experience of suffering, our love ones. If we do not know how to suffer, then how in the world will anybody know how to self. If we cannot, in light of the realities of eternity. Face the issue head on and what are our friends or our neighbors going to do. You see, because Christianity is not about how to escape from the difficulties of life, but it is how to face the difficulties of life. This is what we need to be saying our friends and neighbors.

Come follow Jesus Christ and escape everything is come follow Jesus Christ and live and as you live, you will experience all of these things, and the difference in Jesus makes is not that he removes us from the circumstances, but ignorance is grace in the midst of the circumstances. People say we know why is it that when the when the 747. The TWA flight goes down there, why did the light of the questions go down what what what is that supposed to mean is, the inference being that God should only allow those who do not know him to go down. I mean let's face it, the people who don't know him.

They go down to the ultimate down she feel about this idea that somehow or another we're going to be floating to the ground while everyone else furrows to destruction. Now Christianity is not an insurance policy against suffering and pain.

God uses it pain, illness, crashed and crushed hopes stupid choices. Bereavement test the faith of Christians to make them stronger, better and wiser their loved ones. When you begin to grapple with this.

When you read the story of Job and think it out then you will realize that the Bible is eminently wise in relationship to these things and you need to be able, we need to be able to dialogue with our friends in relationship to a worldview that is cogent they may not accepted. But we are still at least be able to make the case for example when their pricing is into a corner about all the suffering in the world asked them this question by how much do you think suffering would be reduced in the world. If everybody obeyed the 10 Commandments, the 10 Commandments that our culture is so keen to remove from school walls office walls walls of justice. Get rid of all this nonsense realm on this. The church of Israel were here, the state needs to be over here and so on. All of that nonsense. But is this the party and we do without lust to make a difference to suffer. How do we do without greed without lying without stealing, without murder. How much do you think we would make an impact on suffering. If a society were to be the tender moments and the answer is unavoidable, it would radically change the push them back a little shove him into the corner. Kindly put on when the argument lose the war. We want to mail the pollution by just a little bit hate and then also understand this so that you can convey it.

Pain and growing old are blessings not courses. Pain is one of God's great blessings. Children understand this. They say the gender fingers in the morning. They do what is God use paying the exact same reason that confronting this facing the suffering men and women might say God. So if we were to take away pain we remove one of the great potential levers by which God reaches into the soul of the matter validity since I wanted to talk to you and the same is true of old age old age is great parent here. Write it down gray hairs and wrinkles look in the mirror and say yes why why gray hair and wrinkles because God has given us a personal visual aid answered every time you look in the mirror it says this to you, you're on your way out mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all. Not you. You look in the mirror and you see them coming back to you, your shelf, your sell by date is closer than yesterday. That's one of the reasons that God gives his gray hairs and wrinkles. If you think about it that the process of creation could have been that people were made.

They look like something out of Star Trek or one of those weird things are those horrendous heads and faces so that you were unable to distinguish age of tall and then you live the kind of ageless existence and all of a sudden he fell down a trample on the ground and you were gone. It could have been that way.

God in his grace produces suffering allows pain and allows the degenerative processes of our lives or near that seeing the fact that we are not going to last forever. We say to ourselves, my, my, I better prepare for the final journey, so I look at my gray hair, and I look at my wrinkled face, and I look at the fact that when you used to be able to just when you jumped off the 2 foot wall usages do it and all you like way just like that when there is I come from everything that happens, God says see Alister is a lass in front of you than you've got behind you. You ready to meet me and just make a couple summary statements was a biblical worldview in relationship to this. It is this in the beginning God made everything perfect.

He gave Adam and Eve some rules destined for the best welfare. They brought those rules when their own way. As a result of this sin, disease and suffering of all kinds, and finally death itself came into the experience of mankind because all of us to follow their bad example of trying to go it alone.

There are implications of going alone when we refuse to obey God's counsel found in the Bible. He stands aside and he leads us to an much of the suffering in our world today is as a direct result of this is the significance of Romans chapter 1 and choosing choosing to worship the creature rather than the creator. The exchange the truth of God or for ally and God gave them over to their choice now in the midst of all of that God is doing three things. One, he is holding back sin and suffering to a degree we can never fully know if God were to take his hand off our culture completely. It would be hell totally.

And that's why we need to pray that God would place his hand upon us that we do not go the way of the Roman and the Greek camp. I like every other proud empire that is crumbled to the dentist's coming back from Greece and walking among his ruins.

There 1700 BC and thinking you see the people walking now on excavated Manhattan in the year 5006 were these crazy Americans that all the things they did they turn their back on God answers wonderful churches we see the ruins of some of in the midst of all of it.

God still in his grace holds back sin and suffering. Also he allows man-made suffering to shores how desperately we need to go. And thirdly, he uses natural disasters to blow a big trumpet to remind men and women that they are not the masters of the universe or of their own fate. I'm tempted to say he uses natural disasters to blow a big trumpet, particularly for scientists, chemistry teachers in the main physics teachers as well.

Those people and made my life so miserable.

I know there are wonderful chemistry and physics teachers in summer here this morning, but the scientist has to get on his knees, sometimes there's enough and look at the lightning come across the sky and is made as zillion voltage and say we can come close to reproducing and to take the sting out of suffering is given as the Bible so that we might have a blueprint know how to live. He's given us the prospect of heaven, so that we needn't be without God and without hope in the world. He's given us the gift of the Lord Jesus, that we might trust in him, and he's given us the Holy Spirit that we might be made absolutely new. Think about it and this is my final thought. You travel the world and you go into all kinds of temples as they relate to all kinds of religions you're struck by a variety of things, not least of all the sincerity of some who are there paying their values and respects and every so often I find myself resentful in the context of Buddhism saying this is very interesting, but eventually I just have to walk away and shake my head because I look at that little man that little Buddha and you see them sitting there like this grinning is boasted by one and Roberts tell me know. I hope I don't believe in a God who folds his harms and grins and asked me to rub his tummy.

I don't even believe in God and of God who came to earth to lie in a deck chair. The Christian believes in a God who hang bloodied and beaten on a Roman cross answering the proud, defiant questions of man, God, do you know about suffering the cry from the cross, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me. He was forsaken that you and I might be forgiven.

Now that we would have the answer to all of our questions. He doesn't ask us to answer all the questions he asks us to trust. Do you trust him today and if not you trusting yourself while is incredible trusting in God, rather than trusting insult is an essential step in finding the answer to the question why suffering listing to Truth for Life with Alistair Begg Alister will be right back to close in prayer so please keep listening. We think about what we've heard today. It's clear that suffering helps us understand the internal meaning behind significant events including events like Christmas in the midst of Christmas shopping and cooking and entertaining it challenging for any of us to keep our focus where it belongs. And that's why author Christopher Ash has written his devotional repeat the sounding joy to point us to the pages of Scripture and remind us that Advent isn't just about preparing to celebrate Jesus first coming.

It's also about anticipating his return.

You can request your copy of the book, repeat the sounding joy when you make a generous one time gift today.

Simply tap the image on the mobile app or visit Truth for, or if you'd prefer, you can call us at 888-588-7884.

You can also mail your donation along with your request for the book, repeat the sounding joy right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139. We have another resource we'd like to recommend to you. It's an ESV Bible with its newly available from Truth for Life and it is specially priced just two dollars and that includes shipping. This way you can order multiple copies, give them to friends who may have spiritual questions during the holiday season. This is a complete softcover Bible contains the full text of Scripture.

You can purchase one copy or multiple and if you're able, please consider adding a generous donation to your order so truth for can continue to offer all of our teaching materials at these low prices. Now here's Alister to close with prayer father, look upon is in your grace. We pray as we wrestle with these great issues. Thank you that you have come to ask. Thank you that you have guide products thank you that you ever live to intercede for us and thank you that through the pain of our own individual suffering through the reality of sorrow that comes as a result of decisions that with me. Still, we see your hand in it all. Constructing us correcting us using arms Lord, we do pray you will help us then to know how to live and how to die, how to rejoice and how to suffer. To this end, we commend ourselves to be the grace of the Lord Jesus and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with each one of us now and forever on about Lapine join us tomorrow as we learn about God's faithfulness in affliction, Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life with the learning is prolific

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