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Pain & Suffering

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2020 12:01 am

Pain & Suffering

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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May 18, 2020 12:01 am

In life's darkest hours, our broken hearts may be tempted to curse God and die. But we must remember that the Lord is working for our good even when He permits Satan to do his worst. Today, Derek Thomas helps Christians to find meaning in a world of pain.

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Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind. God locks the power locks the goodness of God is sovereign, then he must lock the good news not good or evil is good, but is not solver age-old dilemma.

How can both be true and his own children be sick. We have been living through an international crisis that is brought that very question to the minds of millions of people. Where is God in the midst of a pandemic welcome to Renewing Your Mind as we begin a new week. We are pleased to bring you selected messages from Dr. Derek Thomason series from the book of Joel and today's message pops us understand God's sovereignty in a world filled with pain and suffering from time-limited Job chapter 2 and I will read the opening verse together again.

That was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord's night you will remember in our first lesson back in chapter 1 that's in the first instance Satan came into God's presence back there in chapter 1 in verse six that was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them and the Lord said to Satan, from where have you come under the end of the first chapter. Satan had been given permission to bring devastation into the life of Job into his family.

The loss of his 10 children and the loss of everything that Job had in terms of wealth and Joe's wealth was in terms of camels and sheep and so on. He was a wealthy man now in chapter 2, the boundary had been set in chapter 1 he made touch all that Job has. But he wasn't allowed to touch Job himself. Satan had made the accusation verse nine of chapter 1, does Job fear God for no reason. Does Job fear God for no reason.

The only reason why Job fears God is because life is good. He has everything like his is easy for Job as a good lifestyle.

Take that away and he will costs God to his face. Job did not do that and in chapter 1 in verse 21. Respondent the Lord gave him the Lord. This taken away. Bessette be the name of the Lord now Satan is brought before God once again God introduces him as a blameless and upright man who fears God intends away from evil.

He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him without reason. Verse three without reason. Some interesting phrases and is the Hebrew word kingdom as though God is saying to Satan you incited me to do something to my servant Job, when there was no reason when there was no costs might create in us a sense that life is unfair that life is random.

If God himself does things when there's no reason for this no cause for this seemingly no justification for it, or at least it looks like that it looks like that to Satan sometimes would like that to us.

God does things in his providence and his decree permits things to happen and this seems to be no reason for this seems to be no cause for it. I was experiencing some difficulty 20 years ago and some personal family issue and I remember confiding in a dear friend of mine is an Old Testament professor and only Old Testament professors would to write notes like this in the he says I have pretty much given up trying to read providence, but I wonder if you are having one of those kingdom trials that go look up with what he meant by realizing the Hebrew words and realize that it was quoting from chapter 2 of the book of Job, God appears to us sometimes to do things without reason, the costs without evident justification that the we can have them think of Alfred Lord Tennyson's charge of the light brigade. This is an account because of the Russians in the Crimean war in the 1850s or so that I was not the reason why I was there to do and die is that I was supposed to approach life and its trials and difficulties with ask for reasons we don't ask for justification. We disobey where just soldiers in the battle and what were not privy to the causation. The factors that lie behind certain strategies and decisions houses just obey. Just to do and eyes that it will. This is another day. Chapter 2 in verse one there was a day when the sons of God came another day. Again there was a day secondary window told how much time separated, this one from the first and this time Satan answered the Lord. Verse four says, skin for skin all the demand has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face. The Lord said to Satan, behold, he is in your hand only spare his life. Satan is given permission of this amendment may not kill him concept of boundary is thus far and no further within this boundary within the sphere. This side of the boundary. You may do is you will you may do as you wish and retention and you may not kill. This raises lots of problems. Lots of vicious lots of difficulties raises issues about health state of the if you have your health, you have everything people say that it's not too of course it's is nonsense.

You can have everything and not of your health. What kind of mechanical philosophy is that if somebody was ill to somebody's sick sum is depends battling cancer of the lost everything in the never be happy and they never find contentment in the never find a sense of purpose and meaning in life is all gone because their sick so we don't believe that counted all joy when you fall into various kinds of trials.

James is in chapter 1 verse two, we were going to talk about the children. Chapter 5 the book of James. Job experiences a sickness.

It resembles what we have come to know of as as AIDS. Perhaps the body wasting away source developing on your skin and so on. The book will describe some of the characteristics of this sickness since teeth seem to fall at his breath seems to be putrid and strong expression skin and bones comes from the book of Job wasting disease. Some of tried to give it a label elephantiasis. Perhaps as a vivid description in chapter 2 in verse eight he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes that saw the just want to scratch and just kind stops scratching or have y'all stretching and the second with the understanding this is this is a this is a disease but it's more than that it's a life-threatening disease disease is threatening to take his his life is sickness part of God's will for us is sickness part of God's plan for us if we believe in the sovereignty of God. If you believe that nothing happens outside of God's decree and everything happens because God decrees atop nothing happens outside of the decree to the will of Almighty God for believing that kind of sovereignty and sickness is part of the plan, purpose, and nothing happens.

Even the sickness, even disease as part of God's plan would raises issues. The problem of pain.

The problem of suffering either God lacks the power he lacks the goodness of God is sovereign and he must like the good is not good or evil is good, but is not sovereign, that that age-old dilemma.

How can both be true and his own children be sick while you can deny his power would be one philosophical theological trajectory to go. You can deny God's power a Rabbi Kushner, for example, when bad things happen to good people and bad things happen to good people. You may question the premise of the book that no one is good for all world sinners were all by nature fallen sons of Adam, but let's give Rabbi Kushner that the benefit of that when bad things happen to good piglets. Let's change the title and little when bad things happen to the Lord's people.

When bad things happen to Christians. Christians get cancer Christians get dementia Christians lose limbs God's people.

The choicest of God's people will have some vivid memories of friends of mine who love the Lord will serve the Lord. There were preachers, vivid memories of her dear dear faithful preacher who love the truth, who love the Bible love the doctrines of grace. I can still see him.

The Bible on his knees but the Bible is upside down and there are foul words coming out of this mess completely lost control of all reality it was. He was so far gone couldn't even reach him anymore, and I remember sitting there praying with him as he's cursing me this was a preacher of the gospel and in my heart and saying, Lord, why why this matter. This good this godly man this is man who spent his entire life proclaiming the doctrines of grace and preaching the gospel and you use so mightily now in this last season of his life.

It's as though Satan has been given permission to do his will was why. Maybe God isn't as powerful as you think is terrific presentation when bad things happen to good people.

God isn't God isn't in control sickness and control.

We live in a dualistic universe. And sometimes God is in control and sometimes sometimes evil is is in control sickness and control and selector toss of a kind engine where you are depends on which timeframe your independent trends in which ZIP Code you living and you can be in a ZIP Code where sovereignty rules and then you can drive up the highway and turn the corner and then all of a sudden your urine up a black hole in the pocket you're in a wormhole of folding space and evil is in charge and and evil is dominant. That's the kind of universe that we will not of one solution to the problem of pain in others to deny God's goodness. God is sovereign but is not necessarily good but is not good in the way that you think is good. Islam believes that Islam believes in sovereignty, will of Allah. Everything is the will of the lot. No matter what it is is the will of Allah, and who rape women in children and behead people for no apparent reason and is the will of Allah.

God is in good goodness us in some subcategory in the doctrine of God in this or you can deny pain itself. Pain is real. Pain is a figment of your imagination. Mary Baker Eddy Christian science.

I love this little limerick and need to know the deal is is a place in an attempt near Ramsgate South East of England and a Christian scientist from deal once said, although it isn't real. When I sit an opinion, and it pierces my skin.

I dislike what I fancy I feel if you think about it, but it's a beautiful little limerick on the nonsensical nature of of pretending that pain is real because you certainly experience it, but you only fancy that you experience it and use it on the pin while for most of us assist.

Nonsense of course pain is all too real in our lives and our families in our homes and our churches in the world around us.

The world is full of hurt and sickness and sickness will dominant some people's life's dominance. Families, marriages and things of the little child suffering from cancer in the hospital texted, as stated to me last week suggesting that perhaps this little child wouldn't delivery much longer and then God sovereign providences are turning and better news, and indication that perhaps through fairly long and difficult trajectory hope is emerging once again some of your being that some of you know exactly what I mean is healing. Always God's will clearly not Paul. For example, talks to Timothy.

Timothy has stomach problems may be an officer was grumbling Maybe has acid reflux before the days when over-the-counter medicines now good medicines on the work and and sort and assisted Timothy take a little wine for your for your stomach sick cousin for medicinal reasons. You understand participants he leaves behind in Ephesus sickness is that possible. This is the apostle who has powers of miracles performing miracles, but he has to leave till premise behind saving the apostle wasn't able to heal everybody and then in second Corinthians 12, we read that he wasn't even able to heal himself, has its thorn in the flesh, whatever that was and it might've been something to do with his eyesight because of the something that he says in Galatians. What seeing what large letters and I have written to you and to pray three times for this to be removed and God doesn't remove it to healing. It isn't always part of God's will. God intends for some of us to walk in the paths of ill health of the body of the mind. That's up part of God's will for some of his people as it was for Joe terrible wasting disease that threatened to take away his life and were introduced to Mrs. Job. We haven't heard from her before and there were introduced to Mrs. Job at the end of chapter 2 we read of Satan went out from the presence of the Lord structure below some source from the sole of his foot to the front of his head and he took a piece of broken pottery and with which to scrape himself while he sat in the acid that his wife said to him, do you still hold fast your integrity costs.

God and die curse God and die while Mrs. Job has not fared well over the centuries by commentators on the book of Job. Augustine referred to as the Apple you do tricks you need to know new Latin to know that's not a compliment. She is the devils advocate, Augustine sent Calvin Calvin preached 159 sermons on the book of Job from 1554 two 1555, over a period of about 14 months. The one Sunday, some of the midweek sermons lunchtime sermons placement. It is a Wednesday Thursday Friday in case there following Wednesday and that's of the rotation, but it took about 14 months in in the middle of the 16th century and Calvin referred to Mrs. Job as organo- mumps attorney again. No need to know any Latin. It's not a compliment. Aquinas Satan spread Job's wife for this very purpose, as his tool to employ, well, I've always felt as though the commentators were overly strident in their comments on poor Mrs. Job in or she has lost 10 children to and perhaps perhaps there is a milder interpretation here that she is saying to husband having drawn the conclusion that the reason why the suffering has come is because God is custom. She doesn't want to see her has been suffering anymore, so curse God and die. Get it over with quickly well. Job's response of courses he said to her you speak as one of the foolish women speak foolish in the biblical sense you the fool who says there is no God. And in that sense she speaking from a worldview that is ungodly. She speaking from almost like an atheistic worldview. She is speaking like somebody was denying the existence of God, shall we receive goods from God, and shall we not receive evil and all this Job did not sin with his lips as a staggering statement is not from Job. Shall we receive goods from God, and shall we not receive evil from God. Job's commitment here to while a doctrine of sovereignty even in his sickness not just good things but evil things to know something God is the author of evil Westminster confession, for example, the 1689 Baptist confession of the 17th century, and there were only following medieval theology in this saying that God is not the author of evil was that they God, himself a sinner.

What is the connection between God and evil was in control.

Nothing happens outside of his control.

Things happen according to first causes and second causes things fall out by first and second causes and and again, this wasn't just a Reformation doctrine that wasn't just her Puritan doctrine of the sentencing for this was in fact the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas in the medieval era. Shall we accept good, and shall we not accept evil what is Job saying to us, but whatever the philosophical and theological answer to the question of the problem of pain may be, it is absolutely paramount that we live our lives in the absolute certainty that nothing is outside of God's ultimate control good days and bad days. Good things and bad things does Paul say in Romans 828 all things. This is something that we know all things work together for good as we want to rest.

That's where you want to stay next Dr. Derek Thomas teaching from the book of Job, and you're listening to Renewing Your Mind. Thank you for being with us today. I believe Webb Dr. Thomas is a regular teaching fellow and the senior minister at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina.

This series through the book of Job addresses head on the very issues we've all been facing the past few months. Why does God permits suffering that you can see already how Job's plight helps us work through our own frustration, our own disappointment and confusion would like to send you this complete 12 part series on two DVDs just contact us today with your donation of any amount of regular ministries to find us work. You can call his number is 800-435-4343 is 800-435-4343. There are also helpful resources available to you when you go to table talk, for example, there are more than 900 articles on the topic of suffering, including wisdom through suffering, understanding suffering and the suffering of Christ.

You can learn more about table talk while you're at the website to every month magazine provides a Christian perspective on the current topic blessed delivers daily guided Bible studies, you can subscribe when you go to table talk help. Here's a preview of what will hear from Dr. Thomas tomorrow.

There are times of great euphoria, times of special piece, special sense of God's presence and then there are times when Johnson's following may descend into a very God's history never been more the title of tomorrow's message is the dark night of the soul, but we will also discover there is hope we find ourselves in those dark places.

We hope you'll join us tomorrow for renewing your my

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