This week in Sunday School:
By Jeff Kennedy:
This week’s lesson is titled:”Why Am I Suffering?” We will be studying passages from Job chapter’s 11 and 23, and John chapter 9.
“Why am I suffering?” What a profound question. Have you ever asked yourself or God that question? Have you ever been going through a season in life and just asked “God, why me?” I know that many of have. I know how difficult, if not out-right impossible, for us to understand, or wrap our mind around why these things are happening to me.
Many times, when going through a painful time, either physically, emotionally, or spiritually, we think “well, this must be what I deserve to get, because of my past.” Or, “God must be punishing me because of my sin.” We will see from our passages that neither of these are the reason for personal pain and suffering. I have come to accept that sometimes there is not a “why”, meaning a reason, that will meet our expectation of understanding, there is just an IS. This is something that we must endure, simply because it happens to be affecting us. It’s very hard, for us as human beings, to simply accept something that is painful, as just being a part of life in a fallen world, full of sin. But, sometimes, that’s the only answer that we have. Pain and suffering were introduced into the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. And because sin is here, we suffer from the effects of that sin.
In our passages from Job, we’ll read about how Job’s friends are trying to convince Job that he should stop trying to justify himself before God and accept that he is being punished by God for his wrong doing. The problem with that is that Job had done no wrong doing, and he knew it. At the beginning of Job, both God and Satan agreed that Job was righteous. God knew that Job was righteous because he feared God. Satan contended that Job was righteous just because God and blessed him exceedingly. The horrible things that happened to Job was not because something he did, but because sin (Satan) was in the world. It had nothing to do with Job’s disobedience to God (which there was none). In Job’s case, the suffering was a test of his faith, but, not all personal suffering is a test. Sometimes there simply is no reason behind the suffering, but, the results, of any and all suffering, is a test of our faith. In the passage from John, we will see a man born blind. Jesus’ disciples ask “who sinned, this man or his parent?” Jesus answers that it was not that anyone sinned, but “that the glory of God’s work might be displayed.”
Now, are we to understand that God causes calamity in our life, so that our faith can be tested and the glory of God’s work might be displayed? By no means!! Calamity happens just because we live in a sin soaked world. When we know that God is with us, providing that comfort that surpasses all understanding, the results, not the cause, of our suffering is that our faith is tested by fire and God, through our suffering, shows His mighty works.
We’ve all hear the saying “everything happens for a reason.” Sometimes the reason is because we did something stupid and caused something bad to happen. Then there are those times when no amount of human understanding or explanation can help us know why something horrible has happened in our life. It’s those times when must accept that we may not ever know why this is happening, but, God is with us, He has the power to make all thing better, He has the power to comfort and heal us, He loves us and understand the suffering we are facing. James said it best: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
Personal pain and suffering are not always because of something we did in our past and now must receive punishment. Pain and suffering are just part of living. SO, what are we to do? “But Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthian’s 15-57) That’s right, we praise God for his mercy and grace and that He’s with us through every trial and trouble.
May God bless us all and we hope that you are able to join us for Sunday School this week a 10:00 am at Maranatha.