Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why Does God Allow Suffering and Pain?

Question: Why does God allow suffering and pain?

Answer: We don’t know.

But, we do know that: “Sometimes the blessings of God come wrapped in the rags of a curse.” (credit Ron Dunn)

Gen. 32:22-32 The story of Jacob (deceiver, trickster) wrestling with a divine messenger from God.

Question: #1. Who was this? An angel? God? Not sure, but definitely a divine being from God.

#2. What was his purpose or intent? To bless? Or to harm?

#3. What (do you suppose) was Jacob’s first reaction? Why? First, probably wanted to throw him off. Then changes to hold on to him when he recognizes who he was dealing with.

#4. As Jacob limps back to camp, does he look blessed?? What happened looked like a curse at first.

The point is: Sometimes blessings come wrapped in the rags of a curse.


Joseph’s troubles – Gen. 50 Summary verse – 20 – “…You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good,…..”

Israel’s wanderings – Deut. 8:16 “…..that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end----…..”

Peter’s sifting – Luke 22:31 & 32 – “……Simon, Simon, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat,……. And when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Jesus allowed the sifting to strengthen Peter – from Simon (unstable one) to Peter (the rock).

The Ultimate Example: the cross – the greatest blessing to man came through the greatest curse – death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Additional Scripture examples: Psalm 119:67, 71, 75

Romans 5:1-4

James 1:2-4

2 Cor. 4:16-18

Summary Verse: Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Not all things are good, but God works for good in all things.

APPLICATION: Paul’s thorn. 2 Cor. 12:7-10

#1. When you appear cursed, Pray for Relief!!! Paul pleaded 3 times, at least.

#2. But, be open…..listen for God’s reply.

#3. Don’t be too quick to judge which it is – blessing or curse.

#4. Accept God’s answer as His will and wisdom.

#5. Trust Him for the outcome – even if you can’t see it!

2 Cor. 12:9 – “….My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”….”

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