by James Merritt

This content is part of a series.

What If It Happens to Me? The Fear of Suffering (4 of 6)
Series: Fear Factor
James Merritt
2 Corinthians 12:1-10


1. I want to talk to you today about perhaps the most thorny issue confronting the Christian faith. In fact, it is the single biggest obstacle for non-christians to overcome in order to become believers in Christ. George Barna, who is the George Gallup of the Christian world, conducted a national survey in which he asked this question, ''If you could ask God only one question and you knew He would give you an answer, what would you ask?'' By far and away the number one response was this one - ''Why is there pain and suffering in the world?''

2. You see the very question assumes that a loving God and suffering cannot go together. Many of us remember one of the most famous trails in the twentieth century - the trial of O.J. Simpson. After what seemed to be an airtight open and shut case with overwhelming evidence that pointed to O. J. Simpson as the murder of Nichole Brown, his ex-wife, and Ron Goldman. When Judge Itto's clerk, Deidra Robertson read the jury's verdict of, ''Not guilty'' Nichole's mother looked up and said, ''God, where are you?''

3. Ask any pastor and they will tell you that one of the questions asked most often of them in their entire ministry is this, ''Why is this happening to me?''

4. If you have never asked the question, ''Where is God when it hurts?'' One day you will. You may not need my message this moment, but you may need it in the next minute or the next month.

5. There are three basic problems that are common to everyone, everywhere at some time in this life. They are sickness, sorrow, and suffering. You may temporarily escape one or even two of these, but you will never escape all three.

6. Even the most godly of people are not exempt from pain and suffering. The greatest Christian of all, the Apostle Paul, knew what it was to have problems. In fact, Paul closes the eleventh chapter of II ...

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