Habakkuk’s questions O If God is so good, then why do bad things happen to us? O If God is so powerful, then why doesn’t (or can’t) he do something about evil?
Richard Dawkins “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; he is a petty, unjust, unforgiving, control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty, ethnic-cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” (q. in The God Delusion)
What is your God like? “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ – the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” (v.3)
And just how does He do that? “So they enjoyed a time of peace and building up, growing in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 9:31)
The God of all comfort? 1. Who comforts us (in all our troubles)… so that we can comfort those in trouble. 2. Who calls us to share in the sufferings of Christ… so we can know the comfort of Christ. 3. Who causes us to be distressed…so we will learn endurance and experience salvation. 4. Who invites us to share in the sufferings of others…so we can then be the means of sharing in their comfort.
Just what do you know about suffering, St. Paul? O We were under great pressure… far beyond our ability to endure. O We despaired of life/ we felt we had received our own sentence of death. O So that…we might not rely on ourselves, but on God. O …he will deliver us, because he has done. O …we might set our hope on Him. O …you can help us by your prayers.
A message for 2013 Learning from the Corinthians
(Or) how to avoid your life from falling into a complete moral, relational, practical and confusing mess.
When Christians get it wrong. O Why were they in a mess? Because they were divided! O Why were they divided? Because they were following personalities! O Why were they following personalities? Because they were relying on their own wisdom & understanding - not God’s! O Why were they relying on their own wisdom? Because they were proud!
When Christians get it right. O Learning to get God into focus O Learning to get ourselves in focus O Learning to get others in focus