Presentation on theme: "EvilEvil. EvilEvil -Os Guinness The three questions people ask when tragedy strikes 1.Why me? 2.Where’s God? 3.How can I stand this?"— Presentation transcript:
-Os Guinness The three questions people ask when tragedy strikes 1.Why me? 2.Where’s God? 3.How can I stand this?
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Source #1: Satan “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. ” (1 Peter 5:8) “For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us. ” (1 Thessalonians 2:18) “And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. ” (Luke 13:11)
Satan is on a Leash “Does Job fear God for nothing? Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” (Job 1:10)
Source #2: The Fallen World “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” ” (Matthew 7:24–27) The same storm came upon the wise man and the fool
God’s Dual Promise “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Source #3: Punishment from God “You have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? ” (Hebrews 12:5–9)
Punishment that Bears Fruit “For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. ” (Hebrews 12:10–11)
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - C. S. Lewis
Source #4: Persecution This is a voluntary form of suffering that comes from following Christ. It likely involves a combination of the previous sources mixed together. “You will be hated by all because of My name” (Matthew 10:22) “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. ” (John 15:18) “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. ” (2 Timothy 3:12)
“The wind still blows toward hell and the man who is walking in the opposite direction will have the wind in his face. And we had better take this into account when we ponder on spiritual things. If the unsearchable riches of Christ are not worth suffering for, then we should know it now and cease to play at religion.” - A. W. Tozer
Expect Persecution “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.” (1 Peter 4:12–16)
The End Result of Persecution “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ” (2 Corinthians 4:17–18)
Source #5: Sinful Humanity Sin, working within fallen people, produces a huge amount of pain and suffering in the world. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. ” (Galatians 5:19–21) “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. ” (Matthew 24:12)
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“The more improbable a statement is, the more information it contains.” - William Dembski
“If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace you may expect Him to honor you with stricter discipline and greater suffering than less favored ones are called upon to endure.” - A. W. Tozer
Radical Truth or Plain Wrong? This radical statement stands in stark contrast to what most Christians believe regarding suffering in their lives and what many health-and-wealth preachers teach. It reveals that God may intentionally use suffering in His plan for maturing His saints. Tozer’s statement is so revolutionary compared with how most view pain and suffering that it simply must be given attention. What evidence can be found to support such an assertion?
Evidence From Scripture
“The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness. A cruel man might be bribed – might grow tired of his vile sport – might have a temporary fit of mercy, as alcoholics have fits of sobriety. But suppose what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. But is it credible that such extremities of torture should be necessary for us? Well, take your choice. The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For no even moderately good Being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren’t.” - C. S. Lewis
“Pain is the gift that nobody wants” - Philip Yancey
Do You Want to be Made Like Jesus? “Make me like You, Lord, make me like You. You are a servant, make me one too. Lord, I am willing, do what You must do, To make me like You Lord, make me like You.”
“He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed... But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted... By oppression and judgment He was taken away... But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief...” (Isaiah 53:3-10) Do You Want to be Made Like Jesus?
“For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is – limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death – He had the honesty and courage to take His own medicine.” - Dorothy Sayers
“The nations of the world got together to pronounce judgment on God for all the evils in the world, only to realize with a shock that God had already served his sentence.” - N. T. Wright
“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me. Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! ” (2 Corinthians 12:2–7) The Apostle Paul: Glory and suffering
Could it be possible that the closer you get to God, the more He reveals Himself to you, that more suffering will come into your life to keep you humble? Scary Thought
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.” - A. W. Tozer
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Power in Weakness “Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. ” (2 Corinthians 12:8–10)
The Perfect End result “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
The Perfect End result “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ” (Romans 8:28)
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. ” (Genesis 50:20)
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“I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. ” (Isaiah 65:19) “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
1.Why me? The Bible makes it clear we all will suffer in some form or fashion; in fact, it seems that those who God uses most endure more suffering than others. 2.Where’s God? In control, redeeming good from evil. 3.How can I stand this? God tells us His grace is sufficient and that He will bring an end to the suffering either in this life or the next.