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How to Make Sense Out of Suffering

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
April 24, 2024 4:00 am

How to Make Sense Out of Suffering

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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April 24, 2024 4:00 am

Suffering is inevitable; if we aren’t careful, it can consume us. In this message, Adrian Rogers provides three words to make sense of our suffering, all from Romans 8:18-23: bondage, liberty, and hope.

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Pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers has introduced people all over the world to the love of Jesus Christ and has impacted untold numbers of lives by presenting profound truth, simply stated. Thanks for joining us for this message.

Here's Adrian Rogers. Let me ask you this question. Do you know sorrow, suffering, pain, disappointment, fear, frustration, confusion? If you don't, just wait a while.

You will. You will not escape. The age in which we live is filled with sickness, turns to pandemonium. What does the Bible have to say about all of this? Well, look, if you will, now in verse 18. The apostle Paul has been doing some figuring.

The word reckon here is a bookkeeping term. And he says, Now there's some things you'd better get in perspective because if you don't get them into perspective, you're going to get into trouble. You may get into doubt or you may get into rebellion. When tragedy hits you and things don't work out the way you think that they ought to work out, when that person who is dearest on earth to you is being consumed by some greedy malady, you may lift a clenched fist in the face of God in defiant rebellion and accuse God of unfairness or lack of love. Or rather than being filled with rebellion, you just may be filled with doubt. If God cares, doesn't He have any power to do anything about it? Or could it be that He has the power and He really doesn't care?

Or could it be that there is no God at all? Now, we might as well be honest. A lot of people are facing these kind of questions. And how are we going to deal with this? Well, the apostle Paul has already dealt with it for us by divine inspiration. And Paul has been doing some divine calculation. And so he says, For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

It's a bookkeeping term. Over here is the suffering. Over here is the glory. And Paul says, I'm not in the red, I am in the black. Now take your Bibles and I want you, if you don't mind writing your Bible, to underscore or circle three words. Look in verse 21 and find the word bondage. He says, For the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption. Circle the word, if you don't mind, I've circled it in red in my Bible, the word bondage.

And then go down a little further and circle the word liberty. Because the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. And then go over, if you will, to verse 24 and circle the word hope. For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope? For but if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Do you see the word hope? All right, now take these three words, get them in your heart.

Bondage, liberty, and hope. And then you're going to understand about suffering. And you're going to learn to make sense out of suffering. And you're going to find out that there is a God.

And that this God is a good God. Now let's think first of all about the word bondage. And bondage deals with yesterday's curse.

Have you got that? Yesterday's curse. Folks, look around, there is something desperately wrong in our world.

And what is it? There is a curse on our world. Begin in verse 24. For the creature, and that literally means the creation, everything God made was made subject to vanity. The word vanity means senselessness, futility, of that which does not seem to add up. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Now that's speaking of God who made it all where it seems to be filled with confusion.

Because the creature itself should be made subject to vanity. God shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption. Now what is the bondage of corruption? And how did it come? What causes all of this confusion, this disease, this war, this strife, this suffering? Why is it here? Well, because of a curse that's on mankind. It's here because of sin. Because of sin.

You can't give it any other word than that one, short, little, three letter word, sin. God made a perfect world. But sin entered into that world. Adam sinned and when he did, he dragged all of creation down with him.

Now that brings us a real question. Why did God allow that? I mean if God is a good God, why did God even allow Adam to sin? Why did God even create the potentiality, the possibility of sin? People say if God is a good God, why doesn't he do something?

Now you think about it. God made everything, right? Sin is something. So somebody says God made sin. God is the author of everything. Suffering is something. So God is the author of suffering. You see how our minds work?

And when we say that, we get ourselves into a problem. All things have come from God. Sin has come from God.

Now there's evil and pain and pang and moan and groan and woe. Then it must have come from God. How could a good God allow that? God didn't allow such things. Now look up here and be honest. Isn't that a hard question?

That, my friend, is a hard question. That is what the apostle Paul is dealing with here so that we can make sense out of our suffering. Now let me back up and tell you that God is the author of everything. That God did make everything. And when God made everything, God made it absolutely perfect. He made a perfect woman, put that man and woman in a perfect environment. Now listen carefully.

Listen. And the perfect God gave to man and woman perfect freedom. That's what God made. God made everything perfect. He made a perfect man, He made a perfect woman, put them in a perfect place, and gave them perfect freedom. Now why did He make man perfectly free?

Because what is the highest good? Love. God is a God of love. Now what good is love if there's nobody to love, no love to give and no love to receive? A song is not a song until you sing it.

A bell is not a bell until you ring it. Love is not love until you give it and receive it. God wants love. So God created two creatures, Adam and Eve, that He could love and so they could love Him. Now why did God make them free? Because forced love is not love.

Forced love is a contradiction in terms. God has to give us freedom so that we can love. In order to choose good, we have to have the freedom to choose evil.

Or else the choice to choose good is not a choice at all. Now so God made man perfect. And God put man in a perfect environment. And God gave that man perfect freedom. And that woman perfect freedom. He gave them the ability to choose. But they chose sin, they chose evil. And when they did all of that, the nation fell into a bondage that the Bible calls the bondage of corruption.

Dr. M.R. DeHaan III was watching television. He tells about this and it was when there was a disastrous earthquake that hit Mexico City in 1985. And the live cameras were there and they were showing the devastation of this earthquake. And down at the bottom were these words, sin.

Well that was the Spanish International Network. But this earthquake brought to you the courtesy of sin. That's what is happening in our world. We live in a sin-sick world and sin is like a virus.

Now somebody says okay, that's what caused it. Adam sinned, he drug creation down with him. The entire creation has now the curse of sin on it. But why doesn't God now do something? Why doesn't God just step in? Why doesn't God just kill the devil? Why doesn't God just destroy evil? I mean after all if He's God, He could.

Now listen to me carefully. God could not destroy evil without destroying freedom. And if God destroyed freedom, God would destroy love. And if God destroyed love, God would destroy the highest good. God could not destroy evil without destroying freedom. If we're not free to choose good, then we're not free.

There must be therefore the ability to choose evil. God would not destroy freedom without destroying love. And if God destroyed love, God would destroy the highest good.

Now listen to me. For God to destroy evil would be evil. For God to destroy evil would be evil. Because God would be destroying the capability for the highest good and that is for His creatures to choose to love Him and to serve Him. Well then what is God going to do about evil? What is God going to do about suffering? God is not going to destroy it. God is going to defeat it.

To defeat it. You see there were two gardens. There was the Garden of Eden and there was the first Adam. And there is the Garden of Gethsemane and the second Adam. The very Son of God took that sin upon Himself and carried that sin to a cross and on that cross died for it and therefore ultimately God through Christ and that amazing grace that we sang about will triumph over it all. Now we're thinking about the word bondage. Yesterday's curse. When Adam sinned I said he drug all of creation down with him.

What is this bondage? That we talk about in verses 21 and 22. Let me tell you what happened to creation.

You want to know why today's newspaper reads like it does? There's a curse. Yesterday's curse is upon everything. For example there's a curse on the animal kingdom.

Now write these scriptures down. Genesis 3 verse 14. Now the idea is that not only was the serpent cursed but the cattle, the animal kingdom is cursed. You look at the animal kingdom and what some call the survival of the fittest is really just creation groaning under the curse. When God made creation, when God put the animals in the Garden of Eden, He did not put them in there with the law of tooth and fang and claw.

That's the result of the curse of sin. The animal kingdom was cursed. There's a curse on the mineral kingdom. Listen to Genesis chapter 3 verse 17.

That so many are worried about in politics. The desert, the waste places, the barren land. All of this is because God says curse is the animal kingdom. Cursed is the mineral kingdom. Cursed is the vegetable kingdom.

Genesis 3 verse 18. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee. Thou shall eat the herb of the field. This world that was meant to be like the Garden of Eden has become a garden of weeds.

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to grow weeds than vegetables? Not only that but there's a curse upon the human kingdom, mankind. Man was meant to have dominion upon this earth. Why did God make Adam and Eve and how did He make them? Genesis chapter 1 verse 26. And God said let us make man in our image. And after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. But man doesn't have dominion today.

Why? Because of sin. Man is morally depraved. His mind like the earth has become a garden of weeds.

His imagination is evil. Look at the newsstands. Not since Manhattan Island was sold for $20,000.

$24 has so much dirt been sold so cheaply. Man is emotionally disturbed, physically diseased. Why do our bodies wear out? Romans 5 verse 12. Wherefore is by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin. You have a polluted gene pool. You have the seeds of death in you.

It's caused by sin. And none of us is immune. Look, if you will, in verse 23.

And not only they, he's talking about the creatures now. And not only they but ourselves also which have the first fruits of the spirit. Even we ourselves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption to wit the redemption of the body. Folks, my spirit is saying but my body is not yet saved. It is not yet redeemed. Not yet.

Neither is yours. We're waiting for that. Now I have the first fruit of the spirit in my heart.

When I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit came into me. But I live in a body that groans and so do you. There is a curse on the animal kingdom. There's a curse on the vegetable kingdom. There's a curse on the mineral kingdom. There's a curse on the human kingdom. And the Bible calls this curse the bondage of corruption.

Now do you have that? That is yesterday's curse. It happened in the Garden of Eden. And what we're doing is just reaping the bitter fruit of it today.

Yesterday's curse. Bondage. Now here's the second thing I want you to see. First of all, the first word was bondage. What's the next word? Liberty.

Alright. That, my friend, is tomorrow's conquest. Yesterday's curse.

Tomorrow's conquest. Now remember, God does not destroy evil. What God does is God defeats evil. Now look, if you will, in verses 21 through 23 again.

Look at it. The glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and prevaileth in pain together until now. And not only they but ourselves also which have the first fruits of the Spirit. Even we ourselves groan within ourselves.

Watch it now. Waiting for the adoption. To wit, that is, the redemption of our body. There is a better day coming. The whole creation is moaning and groaning and sighing, pressed down with grief and distress. And to try to save this old world with ecology and politics would be like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. But when Jesus comes, He's going to change it. When Jesus comes, He is going to change it. And this creation is waiting with outstretched arms. It is called the earnest expectation of the creation. When Jesus comes, the trees of the field will clap their hands.

The hills will skip like little lambs. And the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as waters that cover the sea. When Jesus comes, the animal kingdom will be changed. Listen to the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah chapter 11 verses 6 and following. Isaiah chapter 11 and following. The animal kingdom is going to be changed.

The mineral kingdom will be changed. Isaiah 35 verse 1. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose.

The vegetable kingdom will be changed. Isaiah 55 verses 12 through 13. Isaiah 55 verse 12 and 13. And the human kingdom is going to be changed. Our bodies are going to be redeemed. Look in verse 23. We're waiting for the redemption of the body.

Old Dr. Vance Hapner used to say, you're not going to be towed into heaven by a wrecking crew. You're going to have a body likened to his glorious body and that's why Romans chapter 8 verse 18 says, for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Because we're going to be like Jesus. That's the reason the psalmist said, I shall be satisfied when I awaken in thy likeness and this dear great God who has redeemed us is going to turn every hurt to a hallelujah and every tear to a pearl and every calvary to an Easter and every sunset to a sunrise when Jesus comes.

When Jesus comes. Yesterday's curse. Tomorrow's conquest. That's why, my friend, we ought to be praying, longing for, looking for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Okay, now watch it. Yesterday's curse. Tomorrow's conquest.

Today's comfort. You see, remember this, that the groans that we endure are temporary. The glory we expect is eternal. Now there are three groanings that are mentioned here. Look, if you will, in verse 20 and you have the groaning of creation. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain.

Everything God made is full of pain now because of sin. There's the groaning of creation. Then look, if you will, down in verse 23 there's the groaning of the believer.

And not only they but ourselves also which have the first fruits of the Spirit. Even we ourselves groan within ourselves. The groaning of the creation, the groaning of the Christian. And now, look, if you will, down to verse 26 and you have the groaning of the Comforter.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities. Three groanings. The groaning of creation.

All of creation. Has a curse on it. Moan and groan and pain and pain. Woe. And the believer who is saved cannot escape. Being saved does not make you immune from suffering. Our bodies are not yet redeemed. Even we ourselves which have the first fruits of the Spirit, we groan.

Ah, the groaning of the creation, the groaning of the Christian. But oh, the groaning of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. He is there with us. Jesus said He is one called alongside of us. Just like an attending physician beside the bedside of a patient. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Comforter.

That means one who is called alongside to help. Yes, we know suffering. Yes, we know sorrow.

That's not the end of the story. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Now listen. The groans we endure are temporary.

Notice what He says. The groanings of what? This present time. Creation has a curse on it. The Christian's bodies are not yet redeemed. The groans, the Christian groans, but the Holy Spirit of God knows our infirmity. And He groans with intercessions and prayers that cannot be uttered.

The groans we endure are temporary. The glory we expect is eternal. Now look if you will now in verse 28. Can we know, K-N-O-W, know that all things work together for good to them that love God? Who are the called according to His purpose?

For whom He did know, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son that He, God's Son, might be the firstborn among many brethren. God had a son He loved so much He said, I'm going to make a lot more like Him. I'm going to make a lot more like Him. I'm going to make a lot. I'm going to make a family in His image.

And I'm going to take those people and I have determined it. I have predestined it that they're going to be like Jesus. I'm going to be like Jesus. He's going to be like Jesus. And all hell can't stop it.

Because it is predestined. You know He speaks of these things in the past tense. Look at it if you will. He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. Now look if you will, verse 30. Whom He did predestinate, then He also called, past tense. And whom He called, then He also justified, past tense.

And whom He justified, then He also glorified. Now wait a minute, I thought you said the glory that will be revealed. Yes, but God says it's as good as done. It's as good as done.

In my mind, in my heart, I don't speak of it as something going to happen. It's done. It is done. It is finished.

God has predestined it. And what has been decreed in heaven cannot be annulled by hell. It's done.

It's done. We're predestined for glory. And therefore we're preserved for glory.

Look if you will now in verses 31 and following. What shall we say to these things? What things is He talking about?

Suffering, pain, pain, moan, groan. What shall we say to them? What shall we say to these things? I'll tell you what we'll say to them. They're for us. Friend, we are predestined for glory. We are preserved for glory.

Listen, no fault can condemn us and no foe can destroy us. Now, think about these sufferings. Paul doesn't deny them.

He faced them all. Look in verse 35. And who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution? Or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we're killed all the day long.

We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things. He doesn't say that you're going to escape all of these things. He says in all of these things we are more than conquerors.

It doesn't mean that we kick a field goal the last three seconds. It literally means we are super conquerors in all these things. We are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. He doesn't say that you will not suffer. But he says you are predestined for glory. You are preserved for glory. And the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory. Which shall be revealed in us. Nothing can separate us from His great love. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 12:41:18 / 2024-05-02 12:49:58 / 9

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