Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Why the Suffering?

Possibly the greatest attacks against faith in God comes from the question "Why is there so much suffering in the world?"  The question has so much urgency and emotion behind it that we recoil from it.  It is also a question that is so complex that no answer to date is complete.  The book of Job was written to address the relationship between God, pain and people.
 

"THE GIFT OF PAIN"

Dr. Paul Brand states, "Thank God for inventing pain!  I don’t think he could have done a better job.  It’s beautiful."

Dr. Brand is one of the world’s foremost experts on leprosy and has spent many millions of dollars trying to developed an electronic pain warning system.  He failed.  Such a system would help leprosy sufferers whose problem is they feel no pain.  They turn keys in locks so hard that they cut themselves to the bone.  They work with farming implements until blood runs down the handle of the spade and someone warns them.  Many leprosy sufferers go blind from washing their faces with too hot water, or they stop blinking and their eyes dry up.

Pain is God’s protection device and hence the Psalmist says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

The problem with the pain we are talking about is that there are times when pain is out of control.  It has warned us of trouble in our bodies but the pain just gets worse.  Something is wrong in the world.
 

"IS THIS A PRISON OR A PALACE?"

Consider this hypothetical situation.  A number a people live their lives in a building.  Some believe it to be a prison while the rest believe it’s a palace.  Those who think it is a prison might think this is a pretty bearable prison while those who think it is a palace might be greatly disappointed.

C.S. Lewis said, “The people who try to hold to an optimistic view of this world would become pessimists: the people who hold a pretty stern view of it become optimistic”.

Those who would hold onto faith in the Creator must know something went wrong in this world.  This world is not as God intended it to be.
 

IT ALL WENT WRONG LONG AGO

Enter the enemy of God and man - more deceptive than any creature God had made.

Genesis 3:1  "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"  "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.  "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

 -  He questions the words of God and the truth of God’s direction.
 -  He questions the consequences of disobedience.
 -  He entices with a lie.

3:9  But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
 -  God says, "You are lost to me".

3:16  To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
 -  The relationship between you and your children is disturbed & likewise between husband and wife

3:17-19  To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
 -  Because of his disobedience the earth is cursed.
 -  The thing that makes you a man - your creativity - your work is cursed.

God intended a better place.
God intended me to be in unbroken relationship with himself.
God intended me to be obedient to Him.
God intended me to be righteous / good / unselfish / without sin.
God did not intended all this suffering.
God could stop all pain but then he’d have to take the world back and remake it.
God could stop all pain but he’d have to take us and our freedom out of the mix.
God will take all pain away and He’s started with His Son’s death.

Date Added: 2013-04-09

Go to Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen