Doubting God (1 of 3) by James Merritt

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Doubting God (1 of 3)
Series: On the Ropes
James Merritt
Habakkuk 1:1-12


1. On Saturday, March 25, 1911 at 4:40 p.m.-just ten minutes before closing- a fire broke out on the top floors of the ten story Asch building in New York. 145 of the 500 employed there died that day, trapped in the building by locked doors and collapsed escape ladders, or jumping to their deaths from the eighth and ninth stories. The investigation of the tragedy resulted in rules like fire exits and sprinkler systems that have since saved many lives. But that did not save the lives of people's sons, daughters, fathers and mothers who perished in the flames. When we hear a story like this, our thoughts must turn to the question: ''Why?''

2. Or perhaps a more recent tragedy will resonate with you. It was March 11, 2011 at 2:46 p.m. when a massive earthquake struck japan. Several lives were lost, but the greatest loss of life was yet to come as the earthquake triggered massive tsunami waves, some as high has 90 feet, that swept across low-laying cities and killed 16,000 people. Surely we're not the first ones to look at the devastation of this event and ask the question, ''Why?''

3. In fact, these tragedies point to the two greatest questions that every pastor (if he is honest) struggles with and wrestles with in his ministry. I promise that you do too. The two questions are simple:
1) Why does God?
2) Why doesn't God?

If you've ever watched the news of a man-made or natural disaster, or if you've had a tragedy occur in your own life or your own family, you cannot help but ask. ''Why does God allow six month old babies to die in car accidents?'' or ''Why doesn't God spare the lives of parents and kids in that fire?'' or ''Why did God allow that Christian to go through the pain and dealth caused by cancer?'' or ''Why didn't God stop that terrible tsunami that claimed the lives of thousands of people?''

4. In fact, I want to be even more candid with you. If my ...

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