Everyone suffers at some time in their lives. The correct response to suffering is turning towards God. Only Christianity adequately explains and makes sense of both the cause and cure for evil and suffering in our world. Jesus suffered to provide us with the possibility of eternal salvation.
0:00 – Introductions
1:11 – SUFFERING IS BEARING PAIN, INCONVENIENCE, LOSS, INJURY. NO OTHER RELIGION DEALS WITH SUFFERING BETTER THAN CHRISTIANITY.
1:53 – WHAT ARE SOME CAUSES FOR SUFFERING?
-Our sin and failure
-Other people’s sins
-Forces outside of our control (“natural evil”)
3:33- REGARDLESS OF THE SOURCE OF SUFFERING, NOTHING HAPPENS OUTSIDE OF GOD’S SOVEREIGN CONTROL
3:54 – HOW DO PEOPLE RESPOND TO TRIALS? Blame, deny, self-pity, embittered.
5:08- THE CORRECT RESPONSE TO SUFFERING IS TRUSTING AND YIELDING TO GOD (JAMES 1:2-4). Asking God to walk with us (Ps. 34:18). Focus upward.
6:50- WHY WOULD A GOOD GOD ALLOW SUFFERING IN THE WORLD WHICH HE CREATED? CRITICS OF CHRISTIANITY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR GIVING US A “BETTER” ANSWER THAN OURS. EVERY NON-CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW’S EXPLANATION OF SIN AND SUFFERING IS INADEQUATE. CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINS BOTH THE CAUSE AND THE CURE FOR EVIL AND SUFFERING. SUFFERING DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD DOES NOT LOVE US!
9:25 – JESUS KNOWS SUFFERING FIRSTHAND
-He was crucified for us so we can have eternal life with him.
10:46 – HOW CAN ANY “GOOD” COME FROM OUR SUFFERING? C.S. Lewis’ books The Problem of Pain and A Grief Observed. “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. 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, The Problem of Pain. GOD ALLOWS SUFFERING TO STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH AND CONFORM US TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS.
14:11 – WHAT RESOURCES DO WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE SUFFERING IN OUR LIVES? 1. PRAYER: draws us unto greater intimacy with God (laments, confession, forgiving).
15:53 – 2. THE BIBLE: saturating your heart with the Word will help control your emotions. Memorize three verses about suffering: Romans 8:28, James 1:2–4, and 1 Peter 1:6–9
16:59 – 3. THE HOLY SPIRIT: the third Person of the Godhead. Romans 8:26, Romans 8:18.
18:56 – 4. OTHER PEOPLE (Gal. 6:2).
20:03 – 5. STORIES OF SUFFERING: other Christians have suffered well (1 Pet. 5:9-10; 4:12-13).
21:58 – SO WHAT? PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS. 1. Choose joy. 2. Have an eternal perspective. 3. The Christian God knows firsthand about suffering (Heb. 4:15).
25:19 – NEXT STEP: READ ROMANS 8. Choose one truth to pray about or share with a friend!
26:26 – Thank you and wrap-up