a life where there is …
No pain or heartaches to deal with.
Nothing to worry about.
Sounds a bit like heaven, doesn’t it?
our effort to avoid pain and suffering we strive to make this
world as comfortable a place to live.
We crave activities that are “fun” and enjoyable.
This lifestyle – over time – brings about a fond
attachment to this world.
This lifestyle makes it difficult for us to see God’s
purpose for suffering in our lives. Cp. Ecc.
In this lesson:
We look at our natural desire to steer clear from pain and
Note that when we look beyond our lives we begin to see
God's purpose in pain and suffering.
OUR NATURAL DESIRE: AVOID PAIN AND SUFFERING
In our modern western culture life is centered on comfort:
Our meals and refreshments: easy to attain; ‘comfort
Our homes and cars: luxurious and comfortable.
We strive to avoid pain and suffering altogether.
so that no one suffers the agony of defeat: trophies for all.
instant comfort for our aches and pain.
forgo ‘tough love’ to avoid our/their pain and suffering.
of the above are wrong …
It does, underscore a general mindset that affects how we
view pain and suffering.
In the end our attitude becomes one of self-sufficiency –
in need of nothing or anyone else … including God.
NOTE: a lack of trials in our lives makes for greater
difficulty coping with the realities of pain and suffering.
Natural Desire: Avoid Pain and Suffering
We become attached to the comforts of this life …
When trials that result in pain and suffering come: we have
difficulty coping with its realities.
SEEING GOD’S PURPOSE IN PAIN AND SUFFERING
causes us to look INWARD
Chronic comfort makes it is difficult to see beyond our
Yet, pain and suffering finds us all and causes us to look
inward and realize our end.
Looking inward helps us realize we are lacking and need to
look elsewhere for relief from our pain and suffering. Jas.
causes us to look UPWARD
When we are faced with pain and suffering we naturally look
to beyond ourselves for comfort.
If we look up to the heavens we will find a God who longs
to be our Comforter.
He provides us comfort through all our trials. 2
causes us to look OUTWARD
Looking outward is the beginning of selflessness.
Having looked upward to God we learn of love in providing
us eternal comfort through Jesus. 2
Looking outward moves us to imitate our God of comfort by
comforting others in need. cp. 2
Living only for ‘self’ makes it difficult to see God.
and suffering, however, have a way for those who look beyond
themselves to find God’s purpose in it. Matt.
to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Church of Christ