Making Sense of Suffering
August 15, 2021
A Chapter a Day
- Sunday, August 15, Luke 14
- Monday, August 16, Luke 15
- Tuesday, August 17, Luke 16
- Wednesday, August 18, Luke 17
- Thursday, August 19, Luke 18
- Friday, August 20, Luke 19
- Saturday, August 21, Luke 20
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Luke 13:1-4 (ESV)
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
- Not all suffering is the of a specific, personal sin.
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. (John 9:1-3, ESV)
Why does suffering occur?
- Because of my own or choices.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:7, ESV)
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. (Proverbs 22:3, NLT)
The wise are cautious and avoid danger;
fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. (Proverbs 14:16, ESV)
- Because of the foolish or sinful choices of .
When good people run things, everyone is glad,
but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans.
(Proverbs 29:2, MSG)
I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me (Exodus 20:5b, ESV; cf. Deuteronomy 5:9; Jeremiah 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:1-4, 20)
- Because of the intentional done by others.
- Because we live in a , broken world.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. (Romans 8:18-22, ESV)
So, how should I respond when I face suffering?
- I should allow suffering to cause me to my own relationship with the God.
And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-5, ESV)
- If I am in Christ, I should be confident that God knows, God cares, and God will me and me in my suffering.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31, ESV)
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16, ESV)
- I should continue to and God even when I don’t understand.
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20-21, ESV)
- I should expect that ultimately God will use my suffering for my , to accomplish his larger purposes, and for his .
- Joseph -> “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20, ESV).
- Esther -> “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, ESV)
- Lazarus -> “But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it’” (John 11:4, ESV).
- Paul -> “it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20, ESV).
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30, ESV)