WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN… “Bad things do happen to good people in this world, but it is not God who wills it. God would like people to get what they deserve in life, but he cannot always arrange it.... God wants the righteous to live peaceful, happy lives, but sometimes even he can’t bring that about.” - Rabbi Harold Kushner
DO YOU TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD? SUFFICIENCY – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. CLARITY – Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. AUTHORITY – Psalm 119:89 Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. NECESSITY – John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
HOPE IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING A.Christian, you will suffer. John 16:33b In the world you will have tribulation. B.But God gives you hope in the midst of suffering. Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
EMPTYING BUCKET ONE A.Face it honestly 1.Acknowledge the confusion and hurt 2.Love God enough to cry out to him Psalm 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!
EMPTYING BUCKET ONE A.Face it honestly 1.Acknowledge the confusion and hurt 2.Love God enough to cry out to him 3.Ask others to help Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
EMPTYING BUCKET ONE A.Face it honestly B.Face it biblically Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
EMPTYING BUCKET ONE B.Face it biblically 1.Recognize that pain and suffering are an inescapable part of this life 2.Understand that there is not always a direct link between suffering and sin 3.Rejoice because God offers something better than “fairness” 4.Let suffering deepen your walk with God
EMPTYING BUCKET ONE A.Face it honestly B.Face it biblically C.Face it hopefully 1.Your Redeemer stands ready to comfort you 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
EMPTYING BUCKET ONE C.Face it hopefully 1.Your Redeemer stands ready to comfort you (2 Cor 1:3-4) 2.He will not give you more than you can bear 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
EMPTYING BUCKET ONE C.Face it hopefully 1.Your Redeemer stands ready to comfort you (2 Cor 1:3-4) 2.He will not give you more than you can bear (1 Cor 10:13) 3.Let suffering purify your heart (1 Cor 10:14) 4.View suffering through the lens of eternity (1 Pet 1:6-9)
EMPTYING BUCKET ONE D.Face it missionally Psalm 73:28 But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. 2 Corinthians 1:6-7 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
PERSONAL REFLECTION 1.What do you believe about the authority, sufficiency, and relevancy of Scripture? How does this affect the way you handle suffering? What should a Christian do when what they are experiencing does not seem to match with what God’s Word says about his nature? 2.What does it mean to be a Christian friend to a fellow sufferer? What does that kind of person sound like, feel like, and act like? What are the benefits of being such a person? What are the risks?
THE SUSTAINING GOSPEL “God did not give us his gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, he offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness. The wise believer learns this truth early and becomes proficient in extracting available benefits from the gospel each day. We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do.” - Milton Vincent, The Gospel Primer
THE SUSTAINING GOSPEL A.Be encouraged because we have a crucified Savior Romans 5:8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
THE SUSTAINING GOSPEL A.Be encouraged because we have a crucified Savior 1.His death makes it possible to draw near to God Hebrews 10:19-22 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
THE SUSTAINING GOSPEL A.Be encouraged because we have a crucified Savior 1.His death makes it possible to draw near to God 2.His death means we do not have to sin as we suffer Romans 6:6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
THE SUSTAINING GOSPEL A.Be encouraged because we have a crucified Savior B.Be comforted because we have a sympathetic Savior Hebrews 4:14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
THE SUSTAINING GOSPEL A.Be encouraged because we have a crucified Savior B.Be comforted because we have a sympathetic Savior C.Be amazed because we have a risen Savior Romans 6:4-5 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
THE SUSTAINING GOSPEL A.Be encouraged because we have a crucified Savior B.Be comforted because we have a sympathetic Savior C.Be amazed because we have a risen Savior D.Be prepared because we have a coming Savior 1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
PERSONAL REFLECTION 1.Consider the way you typically respond in the face of trials. How much of your response includes a reflection on the gospel? 2.Write down some of the key passages on the sustaining gospel and carry them around with you for meditation.