Why does suffering exist?
By Jeff Kennedy:
This week in Sunday School we will be looking at Why Does Suffering Exist? We will see from Genesis why pain and suffering is in the world today, and then we’ll look in Roman’s to see that even though pain and suffering effects us all, we can overcome it.
Have you ever experienced a tragedy in your life and asked WHY? Why me, Lord, why my wife, why my husband, why my child, etc…? It just isn’t fair. I’m a Christian and I follow Jesus, why did you let this happen, Lord? These are very common feelings. I would imagine that everyone that has experienced significant pain or loss in their life has asked WHY? Sometimes, may we think God just sat back and let this terrible thing happen. Some may think he doesn’t care, or he’s carrying out some sort of punishment.
To begin to understand the why, we need to go back to the beginning. The very beginning.
In the book of Genesis, we learn how God created all things in heaven and earth. He created all living things, including His greatest creation, the creation in His own image, man. God saw what He created and it was very good. When He created Adam and Eve, He gave them everything. They lived in perfect harmony with God and the earth. But then they disobeyed God and by doing so, brought sin into the world. But what does that really mean, ”they brought sin into the world?” With sin, came every kind evil that exist today. Pain, suffering, murder, adultery, thievery, weeds, etc… Sin destroyed the perfection that God had created. God did not create these evils, they are the nature of sin. With sin, comes evil. With sin, comes pain. With sin, comes suffering. With sin, comes death. With sin in the world, what are we to do?
There are many places in the bible to find answers to how we overcome struggles in our lives. The bible teaches us not to fear, trust Jesus, lean not on our own understanding. These are all very good lessons. In this week’s lesson, we will be looking at a passage from Roman’s chapter 8.
The apostle Paul was very familiar with pain suffering; however, he had a unique view of that issue: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.”(Roman’s 8:18) Paul’s perspective was one of looking forward to God’s reward, rather than focusing on the pain and suffering of this life. He was focused on Jesus, and not himself. By doing this, he was able to receive the peace and comfort that can only be received from Jesus. In our passage this week, Paul goes on to explain when we have hope in Jesus, we have all we need to get us through any circumstance that we may face in our lives. We know that Jesus suffered beyond anything that we can even imagine, and because of this, He is well able to comfort us with anything that we face, if we trust Him and let Him.
The hope that Jesus gives to us all, can sustain us in troubled times, uplift us when we’re down, and save us from any calamity that comes into our life. A contemporary Christian artist named David Crowder recorded a song name “All My Hope Is In Jesus.” The lyrics are “All my hope is in Jesus, thank God that yesterday is gone, all my sins are forgiven, I’ve been washed by the blood.” If we can take those words and truly apply them to our heart and life, we can face any obstacle that this sin filled, fallen world can put in our way.
May God bless you all and we hope to see you this Sunday at Maranatha.