This week in chapel they’ve started a new series on What If, which I guess is basically just encouraging students to ask the hard questions. I missed Monday’s chapel because I was not feeling well and needed to sleep, but I was glad I went to today’s!
Today’s came to us in three sections:
Suffering from Sin
Suffering from Chaos
Suffering from God
I’m going to basically just write out my notes and then expand on some of them…
Pain tells you that something is wrong.
Because sin exists. (Why pain happens.)
Prayer – Elisha – 2 Kings 6:16-17
Be a people of prayer.
We have the authority to kick Satan in the teeth.
Death was swallowed up in victory.
Satan can’t kill a soul rooted in Jesus. (That’s us.)
Sin = chaos
Adam blamed Eve, Cain killed Abel (immediate)
Romans 8 says that creation is moaning. Our speaker likened that to natural disasters.
So why does God allow it?
He loved His creation. He’s not a puppet master. We’re not robots.
That kind of love demands the freedom to choose. And to God, it was worth it.
mystery <– free will ; Chaos Theory
Life is a series of intercepting incidents.
He used this image of pebbles and a pond. When you throw one pebble into a pond, you can see where one set of ripples begins and ends. But throw 7 billion pebbles in that pond at once, and it’s chaos. The ripples intercept.
Pain is sometimes necessary.
Each person makes approximately 8000 decisions per day. Each of those decisions help shape who we are.
If your heart is calloused and hardened, God can’t mold it.
But there’s hope–hope that came at a price.
CS Lewis once said/wrote, “God whispers to us in our pleasures; speaks to us in our conscience; but shouts in our pains–it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (Absolutely love this.)
Ripping out and fixing a fake heart is painful, but it’s a loving and necessary process.
Our speaker said that the other day he had to put his son in “Uh-oh time” because he did something wrong. And his son wasn’t happy about it. But you know what, that’s how it has to be sometimes.
He spoke about the question “Why do bad things happen to good people.” He told us that this question assumes that “good” people are entitled, and said that instead, we should be asking this:
Why do good things happen to bad people?
(Because we don’t deserve grace, and yet we’re given it.)
There is something to be gained from troubles and trials.
Then he shared a quote that said something like “We are all like pigs: we only look up when we’re flat on our backs in the mud.” (I don’t remember the exact quote, but it’s something like that.)
The nature of God’s goodness? God DEFINES good.
We think of “good” as the absence of pain and suffering. That’s not it at all.
God is good and He is present. (Always.)
We are not alone or abandoned. God enters into our pain with us and does something about it.
And we serve Jesus. Our Jesus, who suffered for us, who took it all for us without complaining about it.
Not the end of the line. New creation. Dawn is coming. There will be a day.
We can enter into other peoples’ sufferings with them, extend life and joy and praise and hope.
We have a unique perspective to share. Let’s go share it.