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Suffering of the innocent

Suffering   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Scripture does not teach that the wicked will suffer, whereas the innocent and blameless will prosper. It offers insights into the place of suffering in the lives of the innocent, and the apparent injustice of this situation.

Notes & Transcripts
1 Peter 4:19 KJV 1900
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
John 2:2–3 KJV 1900
And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
Scripture does not teach that the wicked will suffer, whereas the innocent and blameless will prosper. It offers insights into the place of suffering in the lives of the innocent, and the apparent injustice of this situation.
Why me? Why now? What is God doing? Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources.
Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. It is also not a means of gaining points with God, nor of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). When possible, suffering is to be avoided. Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will.
Illustration - disease, death, hurts
We live in a fallen world and bad things happen to good people

I The Apparent Injustice of Suffering

Habakkuk 1:13 KJV 1900
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, And canst not look on iniquity: Wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, And holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
Job 19:7–8 KJV 1900
Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment. He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, And he hath set darkness in my paths.
Psalm 88:14 KJV 1900
Lord, why Castest thou off my soul? Why hidest thou thy face from me?
Job 19.7
A contemporary song says it best ....
“I have kicked up the dust and the dirt on the narrow road
“I have kicked up the dust and the dirt on the narrow road
I have had to let go of some hurt to hold on to hope I’ve watched the sunset before the promise came I have waded through waters wide and walked through the flame”
“It may be cancer or a sore throat.
“It may be cancer or a sore throat. It may be the illness or loss of someone close to you. It may be a personal failure or disappointment in your job or school work. It may be a rumor that is circulating in your office or your church, damaging your reputation, bringing you grief and anxiety.”40 It can be anything that ranges from something as small and irritating as the bite of a mosquito or the nagging of a gnat to the charge of an elephant or having to face a lion in the lions’ den as with Daniel ().
It may be the illness or loss of someone close to you.
“It may be cancer or a sore throat. It may be the illness or loss of someone close to you. It may be a personal failure or disappointment in your job or school work. It may be a rumor that is circulating in your office or your church, damaging your reputation, bringing you grief and anxiety.”40 It can be anything that ranges from something as small and irritating as the bite of a mosquito or the nagging of a gnat to the charge of an elephant or having to face a lion in the lions’ den as with Daniel ().
“It may be cancer or a sore throat. It may be the illness or loss of someone close to you. It may be a personal failure or disappointment in your job or school work. It may be a rumor that is circulating in your office or your church, damaging your reputation, bringing you grief and anxiety.”40 It can be anything that ranges from something as small and irritating as the bite of a mosquito or the nagging of a gnat to the charge of an elephant or having to face a lion in the lions’ den as with Daniel ().
It may be a personal failure or disappointment in your job or school work.
It may be a rumor that is circulating in your office or your church, damaging your reputation, bringing you grief and anxiety.”
But just because we experience suffering as we await the redemption of our bodies, it doesn’t mean that our suffering is random or without purpose. And neither does it mean that Scripture doesn’t tell us how to think about our suffering now. Joseph Scheumann
But just because we experience suffering as we await the redemption of our bodies, it doesn’t mean that our suffering is random or without purpose. And neither does it mean that Scripture doesn’t tell us how to think about our suffering now. Joseph Scheumann
On the surface it may seem what good will ever come out of this
See also ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

I The Wrong Answers to Suffering

Job 4:7–8 KJV 1900
Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, And sow wickedness, reap the same.
Job 4.7
Some believe that your suffering is because of something you have done.
Tell that to Jesus
Tell that to Paul
Romans 8:17 KJV 1900
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Some believe God is not Just

;

II The Wrong Reactions to Suffering

envying the wicked
The tendency is to say to yourself “ why bother look at the unsaved they don't deal with this
Psalm 73:3 KJV 1900
For I was envious at the foolish, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Psalm 73:3 KJV 1900
For I was envious at the foolish, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
resentment against God;
resentment against God; being terrified of God; arguing with God; envying the wicked; disillusionment
being terrified of God;
arguing with God;
disillusionment
Illustration - a death of a loved one - just never got over it ....

Illustration - a death of a loved one - just never got over it ....

III The Right Reactions to Suffering

Reverent submission

Job 1:21 KJV 1900
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return thither: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.
See also ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
God I am not sure what you are doing but I will trust in sovereignty and grace. What good is your walk with God if has not been tested.
1 Peter 2:20 KJV 1900
For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
1

Trust in God

2 Corinthians 12:10 KJV 1900
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 cor 12

God has the Final Say

Genesis 50:20 KJV 1900
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
gen 50
ladies and gentlemen the final song has not been written or sung
Urban - loosing contract
Trisha - scoliosis
Church difficulties 2012
Now I can see clearly
See also ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
; ; the trust shown by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; ; the example of Jesus Christ; ;

IV God’s Reaction to Suffering

Concern for those who suffer

Psalm 9:12 KJV 1900
When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: He forgetteth not the cry of the humble.
He will never leave
Hebrews 13:5–6 KJV 1900
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
heb 13.
God will not abandon you and ultimately has a plan for all your unjust suffering
Illustrations - in 2012 there was a situation that should have been dealt with in the church. I got bitter and was very hurt and felt like all we have done here was neglected and for nothing.
My own foolishness; I should have dealt with the problem when I first encountered it.
The sin of others; this man stirred up strife in the church.The attack of Satan; he’ll stop at nothing to halt the growth and vitality of a church.
Recognizing all of this, I eventually found the grace to let my frustration go and to learn from the situation.
When we face trials, we can waste our time blaming ourselves, looking for the devil behind every disappointment, wondering why God is absent—or we can accept the biblical facts.

Anger at the wicked

This is the world we live in. We will suffer for a while, but a much greater time approaches.
; ; ; ;
In the meantime, God loves us, groans with us, and promises to use every trial for our highest, greatest good.
As I look back on my trials, I can see clearly now what I did not see then. God was with me throughout my ordeal. He was faithful to give me the grace to endure the hardship and grow as a result.
Today, I am stronger, wiser, and I love Him more than ever.

What am I asking you to know?

God loves you and has a plan for your unjust suffering and you are not alone.
Wait on God and let the situation to play out

Psalm 34:19 KJV 1900
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: But the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

Malachi 3:5 KJV 1900
And I will come near to you to judgment; And I will be a swift witness Against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, And against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, The widow, and the fatherless, And that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, Saith the Lord of hosts.
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