The Cross of Jesus in the Land of the Pandemic
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Lee Strobel – Faith Under Fire
1. God is not the creator of evil and suffering
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Love isn’t love without a choice
Evil and Suffering are many times the results of our own hand.
1. Moral evil is the immorality and pain and suffering that comes because we choose to be selfish, arrogant, uncaring, hateful, and abusive
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
2. Natural Evil/ Fallen World
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
God did not create evil and suffering and death.
2. God Can Use Pain and Suffering to Accomplish Good
A. God uses pain to draw people to Christ
2 Corinthians 7:10
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Philosopher Peter Kreeft put it this way: “The meaning and purpose of suffering in history is that it leads to repentance. Only after suffering, only after disaster, does Israel, do nations, do individuals turn back to God. Suffering brings repentance.” We learn the hard way.
As C.S. Lewis says: ‘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.’”
You know that’s true. When we’re happy and trouble-free, how often do we forget God?
Often it’s when we suffer, when we experience heartache or loss or disappointment that we’re more likely to turn to Him.
B. God uses Pain to Develop our Character ; Help us become more Christ-like
C. God uses Pain to Correct and Lovingly Discipline His Children for their own good
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
D. God uses the Cross to show His love while we are suffering and in pain.
1 Present Pain
2 Permanent Pain
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.