A. AGE-OLD QUESTION: WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING?
B. CONSIDER THE SUFFERING OF FAITHFUL JOB( Job 14:1-2 ).
C. SUFFERING WE HAVE WITNESSED SEEMS SO UNFAIR.
D. GOD'S ANSWER IN HIS WORD A SOURCE OF GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT.
A. WE ARE "PILGRIMS" AND "SOJOURNERS" ON THE EARTH.
1. God has prepared something better for us( Phil. 3:20-21 ).
2. ( 1 Pet. 2:11; Heb. 13:14; 2 Cor. 5:1, 5 ).
B. IF THERE WAS NO SUFFERING NO ONE WOULD WANT TO LEAVE.
C. NO ONE WOULD DESIRE THE BETTER ETERNAL HOME.
D. THIS LIFE IS SO ORDERED THAT THE WORLD LOSES ITS ATTRACTION.
A. THE CHARACTER OF BROTHERS AND SISTERS SEEN IN SUFFERING
1. In comfort and sympathy, in the preparation of food, in the financial support.
2. Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 12:25-26; Heb. 10:32-34.
3. In times of natural disaster, illness, in the loss of a house to fire, tornado, etc.
C. OUR CHARACTER IS REFINED AND STRENGTHENED IN TRIAL.
1. Suffering can be like fire purifying gold( 1 Pet. 1:6-7 ).
2 Maturity can be developed through trials( James 1:2-5 ).
3. Rom. 5:3-4. The stedfastness of trial gives the assurance of hope.
A. REMEMBER THE STORY OF JOB?
1. Satan wanted to prove God wrong about Job( Job 1:8-11; 2:3-10 ).
2. But Job's patience under suffering silenced Satan!
B. LIKEWISE, GOD DESIRES THAT WE SILENCE "FOOLISH MEN."
1. The devil and his servants are accusers of the brethren( Rev. 12:10 ).
2. Our patience is impressive( Titus 2:7-8; 1 Pet. 2:15, 18-20 ).
C. THE VIRTUES OF GODLINESS ARE APPARENT IN SUFFERING.
1. In the faith that sustains us and in the love we have for others.
2. Matt. 5:13-16.
A. WE ALL RECEIVE SO MANY GOOD THINGS IN THIS LIFE( Jas. 1:17 ).
1. It is easy for us to become prone to take them for granted.
2. Give thanks( Eph. 5:20; Phil. 4:6-7; Col. 3:15, 17 ).
B. SUFFERING CAN HELP US APPRECIATE MORE FULLY.
1. Good health, good friends, and a loving family.
2. A good example one who saw blessings more clearly in suffering is the apostle
Paul when he was in prison( Phil. 4:10-13 ).
C. IF YOU ARE ABLE TO BE HERE AND ENJOY THIS LESSON,
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.
A. TOO OFTEN, WE THINK OURSELVES SELF-SUFFICIENT( 1 Cor. 10:12 ).
B. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN GOD IS THE ONLY HOPE( Matt. 19:26 ).
C. Acts 17:28; James 5:16.
A. PAUL WROTE OF THIS VALUE OF AFFLICTION( 2 Cor. 1:3-4 ).
B. UNTIL WE HAVE BEEN THERE, WE DON'T UNDERSTAND.
1. We can sympathize( 1 Pet. 3:8 ).
2. Experiencing trial enables us to "weep with those who weep"( Rom. 12:15 ).
A. BIBLE PEOPLE TRUSTED IN GOD( Psa. 118:5; 4:1; 31:3; 38:15 ).
1. They didn't hesitate to call on him( Psa. 71:18; 86:6-7; 109:21-27 ).
2. They acknowledged his deliverance( Lam. 3:56-59; Psa. 5:1-3 ).
A. WE ALL MAY BE A PRAYING PEOPLE. WE PRAY. WE KNOW HOW.
B. IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING WE LEARN HOW TO REALLY PRAY.
A. FROM MAN'S POINT OF VIEW, WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY A
RIGHTEOUS AND MERCIFUL GOD WOULD ALLOW SUFFERING.
B. THERE IS GOD'S WISDOM IN WHAT GOD DOES( Isa. 55:8-9 ).
1. The final outcome is where God places importance( Rom. 8:28-30 ).
2. Rom. 8:31-39.