If God is good, why is there so much suffering?
Tim Keller free iTunes sermon on 1 Peter 1:3-12
I. One way NOT to approach suffering
The quandary is people consider either God is not powerful enough to stop evil but would like to OR, he is powerful enough and chooses not to.
Disbelief in God, however, makes it worse because what basis is there then for asking for a better world, or for justice, or for peace?
II. Three ways to approach suffering
A. look back
Isaiah years ago said “when you walk through the waters I will be there.”
Look at the fourth man in the fire when Shadrack, Meishack, and Abednego were cast in. Christ was there with them and knew their suffering and ours.
When asking the question WHY is their suffering in the world, the cross explains what the answer CANNOT be. It cannot be that God doesn’t care. If he did not care, God would not have become human flesh and died the terrible death He did. Dying proves that he understands our pain and that He does care.
B. look ahead
1 Pet 1:3-7 talks about being born again to a living hope that is before us; it is our inheritance; Christ rising from the dead is a guarantee that we will also rise;
Death is said to be “swallowed up”; this is not just that one day death is stopped but rather powerfully undone. All our hurts will be replaced and undone and fulfilled.
C. look into something
Why did Christ leave the splendor of heaven? What was his everlasting hope? Isaiah 53:11 says that he didn’t die to gain heaven, since he already had that; he died and kept his eyes on the joy set before him – having a redeemed people in us for himself; when we understand at the center of our being that this Christ loves us like this, that is when we change.