Thursday, March 08, 2012

Pain & Suffering?

After having received so many positive comments about how helpful my lesson was last Sunday, I thought I'd give the highlights to my fellow bloggers who aren't part of our church family. I basically wanted to define what it meant to approach the throne of grace with confidence "so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Heb.4:16) It was a goo way to at least partially deal with the problem of pain and suffering. He full lesson can be hear on the church web page, but here is the rough outline.

Extreme Privilege: A Giving High Priest
A. The problem with God is:
1. He's not Santa Claus - filling wish lists
2. He's not - fulfilling orders
3. He's not a super hero - stopping evil
4. He's not a lucky Leprechaun - giving me good luck
5. He's not a Wizard w/ a wand - stopping sickness & death
B. The biggest reason most people reject, dismiss, or doubt God is because he allows pain and suffering. The argument is - a loving God wouldn't do that! What about Jesus?
C. What this is really about: (what people are really saying)
1. God shouldn't have created us as humans (immortals would be better)
2. We deserve life - long life - it's not a gift
3. We shouldn't have limitations, weaknesses, & physical imperfections
4. Evil people should not be able to do evil things to good people
5. God should intervene and stop - not only pain & suffering - but the evil men do!
D. He's the God who didn't do enough! (So they seem to say)
1. What would David say? Psalm 8
2. What would Paul say? Romans 5:1-11
3. What would Jesus say? John 3:16-21
E. Lesson series is about how much God has done for us (Heb.4:14-16)
1. Approach the throne of grace?
2. Grace, mercy, & help in time of need = not enough?
F. We have a giving God and a giving high priest
G. How does God help us in our time of need? Some ways are...
1. Miraculous intervention
A. God's power has never changed or lessened - 1 Jn 5:14-15
B. May be direst or indirect - use others or not
2. Escape - 1 Cor.10:13; James 4:7-10; 4:2-3
3. Comfort and Support - 2 Cor.1:3-7; Gal.6:2; Rom.12:5-6; 9-16
4. Growth and Maturity
A. Heb.12:4-7 We decide if it's training or excuse to blame God
B. Faith becomes real = gold 1 Pet.1:6-9
C. Trust & prayer grow in trials - James 1:12
5. God's Waiting Room
A. Moses = 40 years; Joseph = sold & prison
B. Paul's thorn in the flesh 2 Cor.12
Conclusion: Our God wants to give more - Matt.7:7-11

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