Suffering and a Loving God

One of the most profound passages in all the Bible is Philippians 2:1-11, which we considered last Sunday.  We saw how in these verses God calls us to unity with one another, which can only come about as in humility we look after the interests of others and not just our own.

This is not only a command God has given us, it is the example He has set for us.  Jesus placed our interests ahead of His own in coming to us as a human being and then dying on the cross so our sins could be forgiven and we can be reconciled to God now and forever.

There is so much profound truth packed into this passage that there is no way to cover it all in one sermon.  One theme I did not have time to touch on is the relationship between God and suffering.  A question that is often asked is: If God is loving, how can He allow suffering in our lives and in this world?  That is a very honest and sincere question, and perhaps you have asked that question, or even agonized over it yourself.

While we will never fully understand why a loving God would allow all the instances of suffering we see in the world, we can say this: God is not oblivious to our suffering.  In fact, God has freely chosen to enter into our suffering as Jesus, God the Son, suffered for us on the cross.  Jesus did this because He was looking out for our interests.  He did this so we would not have to endure the worst suffering of all – an eternity separated from God and His love.

If we look only at suffering and the painful circumstances of life, we may question how it is possible to believe in a loving God.  But if we look at the cross and what Jesus did for us there, how can we not believe in a loving God?

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)  Let’s all take some time this week to reflect on and thank God for the depth of His love for us.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Bob


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