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Topic: Pain and Suffering


1. Rabbi Kushner wrote the book, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

          A. People are not good. We are sinners. Rom. 3:23

          B. The world is both good and bad. They coexist.

          C. Satan is alive and well on planet earth. Eph. 2:2

2. How does God work within "painful circumstances?"

          A. "Painful circumstances" is a limiting way of looking at pain.  Life moves onward continuously.  God can act differently from minute to minute.  Four stages of pain:

Causes--Hurtful event--Effects of event--Reactions to event

          A. Causes may be traces to fall in Garden of Eden.

          B. God may be at work in the effects of the hurtful event.

                    1. He created the natural laws to govern earth.

                    2. He answers prayers, works in providence.

          C. God may be at work in the reactions of people to hurtful events.  Others have suffered like this (I Cor. 10:13). He may work to comfort through the Holy Spirit.

3. Why does God allow pain to exist?

          A. To build faith.  Faith must be tested to be made stronger.  Put in the fire to purify it.

          B. To permit a demonstration of His power. Jn. 9:3

          C. To build our character. Rom. 5:3-4

          D. To correct us. Jer. 2:30; Jer. 5:3; Heb. 12:5-7

          E. To discipline us. Heb. 12:9-11

          F. To train us to comfort others. II Cor. 1:3-4

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