Why Does God Allow Suffering
2 Corinthians 7:4-7 NIV
I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
(A) All of us have been helped by others -1 Cor. 12:26 (B) All of us have had people who hurt more than they helped -Job 16:2
The body of Christ is designed so that we support and encourage one another. We must choose to come alongside of the hurting even when it makes us comfortable.
God Wants Us to COMFORT One Another
Proverbs 12:18, Proverbs 12:25, Proverbs 16:24, Proverbs 18:21, Proverbs 18:24, Proverbs 25:11, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
PRAY that you will respond correctly to their needs
Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Sometimes people need us to just be there, QUIETLY
Romans 12:15 NIV
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Even if we think they are UNDESERVING
Romans 5:8 NIV
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Understand What Can INTENSIFY Pain
FEAR is overcome by confidence in God
Psalm 23:4, Daniel 3:17-18, 2 Timothy 1:12 NIV
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
ANGER is normal but must be dealt with as sin
Ephesians 4:26, James 1:20 NIV
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
GUILT can cause one to feel they are being punished
Acts 3:19, 1 John 1:9 NIV
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
LONELINESS and isolation is eliminated by caring friends
2 Corinthians 7:6, Galatians 6:2 NIV
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
HELPLESSNESS is replaced with a desire to have control over the situation.
Philippians 1:20-21, Philippians 4:13 NIV
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
How to HELP the Hurting
Matthew 7:12 NIV
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Allow them to EXPRESS their feelings without condemnation
Psalm 38:1-11, Psalm 38:21-22 NIV
lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me. Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. lord, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.
PRAY with them
James 5:16 NIV
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Do PRACTICAL things for them
Galatians 6:10 NIV
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Mark 10:16 NIV
And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Don't forget them after the FUNERAL
Remind them to TRUST God even when it doesn't make SENSE
Job 13:15, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 55:8-9, Hebrews 11:36-39 NIV
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,
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