Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Jay Simmons | All Souls Church of St. Louis

Jay Simmons is the pastor of All Souls Church of St Louis, as well as, a member of our Summit preaching team.

Why Would God Allow Suffering?

Teaching Outline:

1.  Problems with us:

A.  Pride.  

"Just because you can’t think of a reason God would allow suffering, it doesn’t mean there can’t be one.”

-Tim Keller

B.  Wrong Purpose. 

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”   

-C.S. Lewis

C.  Wrong Expectations

01. Of the world.

02. Of our leaders.

03. Of God.

2.  Things we know are NOT true about God why God allows suffering.

A.  It’s not because he’s punishing us.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

-Romans 8:1 (ESV)

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

-Romans 8:28 (ESV)

B.  It’s not because he doesn’t care.

C.  It’s not because he isn’t in control.

3.  How we are to respond.

A.  We are to walk through it.

"We are to meet and move through suffering without shock or surprise.  Without denial of our sorrow and weakness. Without resentment or paralyzing fear. Yet also without acquiescence or capitulation. Without surrender or despair."

-Tim Keller

B.  We are to grieve it.

C.  We are to cry out to God.

D.  We are to connect/encourage one another.

E.   We are to count our blessings.

F.   Preach the Gospel to ourselves.

G.  Hang on to the hope of the resurrection.

H.  We are to love and serve.

“Don’t let suffering distract you from the real work that has to be done as the Body of Christ.”

-N.T. Wright

"Don’t let it distract you from the real work that has to be done. Which is…love your neighbor.  The mission of God. Conduit."

-N.T. Wright

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

--Romans 8:35-39 (ESV)