Phys. Ed. - Why Do We Suffer? (3 of 5) by James Merritt

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PHYS ED. - WHY DO WE SUFFER? (3 of 5)
SERIES: STUDY HALL
JAMES MERRITT
Judges 6:13; Job
04-29-07

INTRODUCTION

1. I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE MY EYES. RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF PREPARING THIS MESSAGE, A YOUNG MAN FROM SOUTH KOREA, CHO SEUNG-HUI, FOREVER PLANTS HIMSELF IN THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BY GOING ON THE WORST SHOOTING RAMPAGE IN U.S. HISTORY MURDERING 32 STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT VIRGINIA TECH UNIVERSITY, BEFORE TURNING THE GUN ON HIMSELF. EVEN A VIDEO, PICTURES, AND NOTES SENT TO NBC STILL DIDN'T ANSWER THE VERY FIRST QUESTION THAT WE ALWAYS ASK WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS - WHY?

2. MAY I TELL YOU AS A PASTOR THAT NOBODY IN THE WORLD FINDS THEMSELVES ASKING THAT QUESTION MORE THAN I DO? I NOT ONLY WRESTLE WITH IT AS A PASTOR; I WRESTLE WITH IT AS A THEOLOGIAN. ONE OF THE GREATEST PASTORS AND PREACHERS IN GREAT BRITAIN IN THE 20TH CENTURY IS A MAN NAMED JOHN STOTT. HE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS. HE PUT IT BEST WHEN HE SAID,
"THE FACT OF SUFFERING UNDOUBTEDLY CONSTITUTES THE SINGLE GREATEST CHALLENGE TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH."
IT IS A QUESTION THAT IS RIGHTLY ASKED BY GOOD PEOPLE, BY GODLY PEOPLE, AND BY GOD'S PEOPLE.


3. RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF PREPARING THIS MESSAGE, AS OUR CHURCH FAMILY NOW KNOWS, ONE OF OUR VERY OWN, A PRECIOUS YOUNG MAN, WHO WAS JUST ENTERING INTO THE VERY PRIME OF LIFE WAS SUDDENLY, AND UNEXPECTEDLY TAKEN FROM HIS FAMILY AND FROM HIS FRIENDS BY A DISEASE THAT WAS DETECTED TOO LATE. THE VERY FIRST QUESTION IN MY MIND WAS "WHY?"

4. MANY OF YOU ARE ASKING THAT QUESTION. THIS SERIES THAT WE ARE DOING CALLED "STUDY HALL" IS A DIRECT RESPONSE TO A SURVEY WE TOOK OF OUR CONGREGATION ASKING YOU WHAT TOPICS WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE MOST ADDRESSED FROM GOD'S WORD? THIS WHOLE QUESTION OF SUFFERING AND SORROW WAS AT THE TOP OF THE LIST.

5. IT IS THE QUESTION THAT A GREAT MAN IN THE BIBLE, NAMED GIDEON, HIMSELF RAISED AND I GUESS PUT IT BEST OF ALL WHEN HE SAID THIS,
"IF THE LORD IS WI ...


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