With God: All Joy, No Sorrow?

Ask yourself if this statement is true or false: If God is truly with me, I should have a life that is full of joy and absent of sorrow.

If you believe that statement is true, you’ll inevitably turn on God when you experience loss, tragedy, and frustration. You’ll mistakenly believe that He’s a bad shepherd. However, if you believe that statement is false, you’ll turn to God even more during hard times because you’ll know how desperately you need Him. You’ll believe the truth – that He’s a good shepherd!

Dealing With Anxiety

Pastor Kevin tells a story of a trip to Israel. He was feeling very anxious, distracted, and worried about what’s going on at home and at work. He was caught up in the things that he can’t control. He wasn’t able to be fully engaged in the moment!

But in the very place that Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, he saw a bird, God spoke to him, and he was reminded of the very sermon!

What God was doing was reminding Kevin that God is fully present in every moment of his life, so that he (Kevin) can be free from worry and fully present in every moment of his life.

Get Emotionally Mature (Healthy)

Scripture: Romans 8:31-39

The Truth: God loves us perfectly. But dysfunctional love drills a hole in our soul (emotional wounds).

The Dare: Conquer the lies that conquer you – We Dare you to get emotionally mature (fix the hole)

Action:

Dare: (Improve Emotional Maturity)

  • Quick to Listen
  • Slow to Speak
  • Slow to become angry, selfish, vent or blame

Double Dog Dare: (Change Emotionally Mature)

It is Well

Kim and Mariah were “kindred spirits” while Kim was Mariah’s middle school small group leader. Kim did everything she could to get Mariah to church each week, and the two became very close. But in eighth grade, Mariah met a boy with a background of brokenness similar to her own. Her relationship with him began a time of turning her back on her faith, and she became an atheist. Kim never stopped praying for Mariah and pursuing her.

It was after the sudden and tragic loss of Kim’s husband, Woody, that Mariah decided to step forward and recommit her life to Christ at Woody’s celebration of life service.

My tears of sorrow in that moment went to tears of joy, and I said to Mariah, ‘if Woody’s death means your life then it’s worth it…’ I am broken, and I am hurt, but at the same time, I feel so much peace… that only comes from God. He is more real to me now than He has ever been in my life. I have an intimacy with Him that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Kim Hebenstreit

Music Credit: “It Is Well” by Bethel Music

Why Do Christians Suffer?

If you’re a Christian and you’re suffering because of sin in your life, you’re suffering the consequences of your own foolish choices.

But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

1 Peter 2:20

If you’re a Christian and you’re suffering because of the good you’re doing, take heart – because that’s just what Jesus did! That is noble suffering and it makes you more like Christ.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

A Christian Worldview teaches us that while God created the world perfectly, we (as human beings) brought sin and destruction to it. And sin brings death, disease, sorrow, loss, and suffering.

Non-Christians like to take credit for the love and goodness of the world, and blame God for the hate, death, sorrow, and destruction. As Christians, we acknowledge there really are no good people in the world – because we’re all sinners! Only God is good.

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

Romans 3:10

Christians take responsibility for bringing sin into the world, and we praise God for His love and mercy.

Couldn’t God stop suffering and pain if he wanted to?

He already did. God sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins, and to restore us to Him. Christians are promised eternal life in heaven, in which God will wipe away every tear, and there will be no more suffering.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

But some still wonder, why doesn’t God remove suffering right now, here on earth? In order to do that, He would also have to remove free will. The problem with that is we all want free will; we just don’t want to suffer the consequences of it.

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

You have asked real questions. We are going to offer real answers – centered in the books of 1 & 2 Peter.

  1. Why do bad things happen to good people?
  2. Couldn’t God stop suffering and pain if he wanted to?
  3. Why do Christians suffer? (Shouldn’t “we” be protected?)
  4. Why does persecution happen?
  5. Do kids automatically go to heaven (if they die)?
  6. How do we move past loss? Is there any real hope?