Where is God? (- when it hurts)
Have you been hurt? • Have you ever been hurt or let down by friends or family? • Have you ever been abandoned or suffered the loss of someone close to you? • Have you ever been in pain; -Emotional pain? -Physical pain? -both?
“WHAT ON ‘EARTH’ IS GOING ON?” • Why do both good things and bad things happen to us? • “Will anything ever go right for me”? • Why do other people seem more happier than me? • Where have my ideals and expectations come from? • From God? • From the Bible? • Have I been given false hope from well-meaning people? • -Who said life would be fair anyway?
Facts: Earth is far from perfect • Human life is full of joy and anguish. Hopes and fears • We build and we plant, but we also tear down and frequently destroy • We know how to love, we know how to hate • We know how to care, we know how to inflict suffering upon others
Facts: Some goodness exists • Natural beauty is all around us (but so are natural disasters) • Some common goodness does exist among humans & animals (when we are not killing or eating each other)
Facts: Earth is unforgiving • Overall, the world is largely a harsh and unforgiving existence
Facts: Earth is not forever • The current earth & heavens, with their problems, will one day be replaced • This won’t happen until after Jesus returns
So what does the Bible have to say about life on earth? B.I.B.L.E. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth Colossians 3. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
What the Bible says about life on Earth I will be with you, I will never leave you or forsake you You will persecuted for following Jesus One day suffering will end, but not in this life This present life is not eternal, death comes to us all We will not find happiness loving the world or anything in it Things should always go well if God will never forsake us True followers will always be protected from danger Come to Jesus and all will go well with you on earth Don’t think about death, especially when you are young and healthy You might as well just live life to the full and enjoy it while you can. Where is God? I don’t feel him, can’t see him, life hurts, etc. Why doesn’t your ‘God’ protect you from harm? If there is a God, why doesn’t he stop it now? Complain or accuse ‘God’ when it happens. Death is not deserved Improve yourself, go and succeed, get a good career, earn money, reward yourself. I know that nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ I am blessed whenever I suffer for his name He who remains faithful to the end will be saved I have an eternal promise of salvation, hope for friends / family Worldly ambitions and pleasures are simply the consequence of the fall of man
Why do people blame God? (even those who don’t walk in his ways or believe in him) Faith v Suffering = Conflict
Faith v Suffering = ConflictWhy do people blame God? (even those who don’t walk in his ways or believe in him)
Why do people blame God?(even those who don’t walk in his ways or believe in him)
What about sickness? • Is illness my fault? • Am I in sin if I am sick? • Is God punishing me? • What if I die ‘early’?
5 tips to help survive this world • 1. Stay close to Jesus. • Stay close to God in prayer and in the Word. Abide in Him. • He is not impressed by your busy life or many good works. • He is looking for your obedience, not just your sacrifice. • Do what he says without grumbling. • Do not compromise. • Do not give up. • Philippians 4. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
5 tips to help survive this world • 2. Praise him in everything • Like Job and David, bring your entire life, including your sufferings, as an act of worship and thanksgiving to him. • Like Habakkuk, praise him despite your circumstances. • Don’t look for somewhere to hang the blame. • Don’t offer God your opinions or advice. • Job 13v15.“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him!”
5 tips to help survive this world • 3. Forgive everyone completely • Guard you heart. Don’t get easily offended. • Jesus said offence is inevitable / unavoidable. Luke 17. • Anyone who wants to live a Godly life will be persecuted. • Jesus forgave his executioners, why can’t you? • Grovelling apologies may not come your way, don’t wait for them! • Prov. 4:23.“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
5 tips to help survive this world • 4. Give yourself wholeheartedly to God • Live for God everyday. • Don’t be an angel just on Sundays. Make every day count. • Church meetings are not the pinnacle of your calling. • Find out the will of God and do it with all your heart. • Colossians 3:22. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
5 tips to help survive this world • 5. Store up treasure in Heaven • Thieves, moths and rust will take everything else one day. • People and things will let you down. • Guard your heart against the world’s attractions. • Don’t put your hope in friends, they will sometimes fail you. • Don’t cherish material things, they will eventually disappoint you. • Don’t rely on earthly securities, they could be taken from you. • Colossians 3. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Where is God? (- when it hurts) ‘There will be a day’ (Jeremy Camp)
Where is God? (- when it hurts) 1 Peter 1. “Live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ.”