A Christain Understanding of suffering
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Rob Lamont started paid youth Ministry in 1978 and is evangelical, reformed, (That means Bible believing) and has written these resources from a Biblically conservative position.

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Rob currently is the Scripture teacher and chaplain at Kellyville High School ( A state High School in Sydney , Au)
where he teaches Christian Education, runs 3 Bible studies and 6 prayer groups) He also coordinates Scripture teaching for Rouse Hill High School. He has preached for over 20 different denominations
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DEALING WITH HARD QUESTIONS IN MINISTRY


SUFFERING

TYPES OF SUFFERING IN THE WORLD TODAY.
1. Creation suffering   Earthquakes, floods etc.
2. Man against man    Lying stealing, rape etc.
3. Mankind Caused   War, famine etc.
4. Man's Imperfections Poor car design etc.
5. Personal suffering   Lonely, sad, selfish.
6. Self inflicted     Suicide, alcohol or drug abuse.


WHO DO PEOPLE BLAME FOR SUFFERING?
1. Mankind
2. Creation
3. God
4. Satan
5. Sin


HOW TO INTERPRET THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING
1. Suffering is an illusion.
2. Suffering is good for it balances the world e.g. Good/Evil.
3. Suffering is a direct result of personal sin.
4. Suffering is good for evolutionary growth.
5. Suffering is the survival of the fittest.
6. Suffering is the result of the fall of mankind into sin.


 

A CHRISTIAN UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD AND THE CAUSES OF SUFFERING.
1. Is the material world good or evil?
Gen 1:31  "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."
1 Tim 4:4  "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,"

2.  How did suffering enter the world?
Through the sin of Adam. As a result mans relationship to God, creation, other people and self has been marred. See Genesis 3:15-17

3. Does God cause direct suffering as a result of sin?
John 9:1-3  "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

4. Will suffering and evil last forever?
Is 65:17  "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The Former things will not be remembered"


Dealing with suffering in our own life
1.In what ways did Jesus suffer?
Phil 2:6-8  "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!"


5. Did the early Christians suffer
2 Cor 1:8-9  "We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead."


6. How did the early Christians view suffering.
2 Cor 1:3-7  "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 have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."

Phi 4:4-7  "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."