6Japan quake death toll passes 18,000 Over 300 dead in Tornado Outbreak6 million Jews die in Holocaust
7DefinitionThe Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God's rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission. God works not just some things but all things according to the counsel of His own will (see Eph. 1:11). His purposes are all-inclusive and never thwarted (see Isa. 46:11); nothing takes Him by surprise. The sovereignty of God is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but that He does so, always and without exception. In other words, God is not merely sovereign de jure (in principle), but sovereign de facto (in practice).
8How Big is Your God? What is our view of God? Permissive Will / “Allows”?Determined Will/ “Causes”? Omniscient / Infinite knowledge,Omnipotent / Infinite Power Good? Holy Love? Whose perspective? What is our view of man? The Fall? Human Free will?
9SovereigntySovereignty of God Sovereignty=God can do anything that is not contradictory to His nature.God is never surprised by the events of life.Some believe He is sovereign over all decisions that respect or reject Him as God.The sovereignty of God does not dispel or eliminate my human responsibility.
10Isaiah 46:10 (English Standard Version) 10(A) declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying,(B) 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'
11Matthew 10:29 (New International Version) 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[
12Proverbs 16:9 (New International Version) 9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.
13God is in control God is love….right John 3:16 (New International Version) 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
14God Is Opposed to Sin Romans 11:32 (New International Version) 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
15God is love; Right? Malachi “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob, 3 but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.” 4 Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.” But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD. 5You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD—even beyond the borders of Israel!’
16Hard Bible Passages 1 Samuel 2:22-25 (New International Version) 22 Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. 24 No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the LORD’s people is not good. 25 If one person sins against another, God[a] may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death.
17Hard Passages 1 Samuel 15:2-3 (New International Version) 2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
18Okay the evil suffer…and God may impose that suffering on a nation or tribe
19God is in controlSo if God loves me and is in control why do Christians suffer?
21John Piper Reason 11. Suffering deepens faith and Holiness -- it weans us from reliance from this world and puts our focus on God alone...
22Deepens faith We suffer for a reason: Jesus suffered: Hebrews 12: Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.Jesus suffered:Hebrews 5:8 - 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he sufferedBut Jesus did not suffer from His sin- Jesus never sinned:Hebrews 4: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.Paul said God ordained his sufferings for the deepening of his faith:2 Corinthians 1: We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
23John Piper Reason 22. Suffering makes your cup increase - by enduring suffering with patience, the reward in heaven increases.
24For rewardsThere is a connection between the suffering endured and the degree of glory enjoyed:2 Corinthians 4: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.And the glory outweighs the suffering endured infinitely:Romans 8:18-Future Glory- 18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.Jesus concurs:Matthew 5: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
25John Piper Reason 33. Suffering is the price of making others bold
26Boldness in OthersGod uses the suffering of his missionaries to awaken others out of their slumbers of indifferencePhilippians 1: Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.A story was told of he execution of Wycliffe missionary Chet Bitterman by a Columbian guerrila group on March 6, In the year following Chet's death, applications for overseas service with Wycliffe Bible Translators doubled.John 12: I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
27John Piper Reason 44. Suffering fills up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions - the sufferings of Christ messengers ministers to those they are trying to reach and may open them to the Gospel.
28Union with Christ1 Thessalonians 1: because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.2 Corinthians 1: For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.Christ's afflictions are not lacking in their atoning sufficiency but are lacking in that they are not known and felt by people who were not at the cross-- that is what is meant by "fills up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions".Colossians 1: Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.2 Timothy 2: Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
29John Piper Reason 55. Suffering enforces the missionary command to "Go"
30Makes us GoThe effect of the persecution of Stephen - the persecution sent the church to Judea and Samria (Acts 8:1) and to the nations (Acts 11:19):Acts 8:1 Acts 8 1And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. -- The Church Persecuted and Scattered - - On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.Acts 11:19 -The Church in Antioch- 19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far asPhoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews.Hard times and persecution produce more prayer, more open purses than during easy times.Matthew 19: Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.Mark 4: but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.Jesus' words:Luke 21: "But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13This will result in your being witnesses to them.
31John Piper Reason 66. The supremacy of Christ is manifest in suffering - suffering shows the supremacy of God in the lives of the missionaries/martyrs.
32God ordains suffering because it displays to the world the supremacy of His worth above all other treasures. The supremacy of God's worth shines through the pain that His people will gladly bear for his name.2 Corinthians 12: But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.The reason we can rejoice in persecution is that the worth of our reward in Heaven is so much greater than the worth of all that we lose in our suffering on earth.Acts 5: The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.Hebrews 10: You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.1 Peter 4: But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.The reason for our joy is that God's love is more valuable than life itself:Psalm 63:3 - 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
33Suffering, with joy, is the way the worth of Jesus shines most brightly. Philippians 3: But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
34Hope in God must be made visible in our lives - if our lives aren't lived differently - - who would ask us about our hope?:1 Peter 3:15- 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,1 Peter 1:7 - 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.1 Peter 4: But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
35My conclusionsGod's purpose in our sufferings is to solely rely on Him first and foremost....God cares far more about our character and eternal destination then current comfortGod receives the greatest Glory when we turn to Him….when life is hard and doesn’t make any sense“The LORD gives and takes away….blessed is the name of the LORD”