Experiencing pain, trials, and evil is probably the number one reason why people walk away from God. People often have the question: if God is loving, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?
If God is loving, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?
Over the next five weeks we will talk about evil and pain. Every one of us has or will deal with pain in our lives. Come every week with your pain and bring the hope of the gospel to others by inviting them to come and experience all we will learn about these topics.
In Genesis 1, God created the heavens and the earth. For a lot of people, creation is a stumbling block, but the beginning of the Bible is true; there is a God and He did create all the amazing things in the natural world. Science proves that nothing can do nothing - so we can either believe that our natural world is all an accident, or that something creative, intelligent, powerful, and organized designed and made it.
Did God create pain?
Are you blaming God for evil that someone has done or that you have done yourself?
How can you have a biblical perspective and a biblical response to the evil in our world?
1. God created everything good. Genesis 1:31
God says in creating each stage of our world that all He made was good. When you have a moment to get away from the hustle and bustle and experience the beauty of nature or an amazing sunset, it’s easy to see how God’s creation is good.
2. Satan represents evil or that which rejects God’s goodness. Genesis 3:1-5
Thoughts, words, and actions that are opposed to the character and will of God result in pain and evil, and their source is the devil.
When Jesus predicts his crucifixion and suffering to the disciples and Peter refutes Jesus’ words, Jesus tells him, “Get behind me, Satan!” This is because even though Peter’s intentions were to protect Jesus, his plan was in opposition to God’s will, and anything opposing God is of the devil. Likewise even today, evil still comes from Satan and results from people making decisions against the will of God.
Ask yourself: how much of what I say is against the will and the heart of God? How much of what I do and think is opposed to God’s word?
3. God’s goodness promotes life and Satan’s evil promotes death. Genesis 3:6-10
Pastor Miles recently shared with a group his belief that people should wait until they are married to have sex, a statement that was met with laughter and disbelief by the hearers. People may hear these beliefs and think that they are old-fashioned, but they are actually eternally old and forever true. If someone chooses to live against God’s plan, there are always consequences. In this case, pregnancy, disease, heartbreak, embarrassment or betrayal, the emotional and physical pain of abortion, a lower chance of actually getting married, and a lower chance of staying married are only some of the consequences that could occur.
God wants the best for us, yet often if we choose the opposite of His will according to the world’s practices and standards, we are still prone to blaming Him for our pain. We need to forget what the world is doing and obey God. Walking in God’s Will brings about the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, as well as clarity of vision for who we are and who we are meant to be. Satan’s ways only bring about death, disease, and pain.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” Genesis 3:6-10
What died when Adam and Eve chose evil over goodness?
A. Innocence before God and each other (v. 7)
God wants us to have innocence and transparency before Him.
B. Intimacy with God (v. 8)
Adam and Eve hid from God. He wants us running to Him to be close to Him.
C. Sense of security in our relationship with God (v. 10)
Adam and Eve hid because they were afraid of the Lord.
D. Trust by God in you (v. 11-13)
Adam and Eve betrayed God’s trust when they disobeyed Him. If you look at the garbage in your life, it’s probably because someone did something they shouldn’t have done. But if you decide now to do what God tells you to do about it, you’re on the right path to dealing with it.
4. We must choose this day whom we serve.
All of what happens at church - worship, message, volunteering - it is all to help you to do one thing: obey God. Our desire is to bring you into the presence of God so that you can be closer to Him, obeying Him, and acting more and more like Him. Don’t try to figure out why drama is happening in your life - it’s not the why that’s important, it's Who can walk you through it all that is.