Author: Tez Andrews
The book at hand is dark because it deals with the subject of pain and people in painful situation. When one looks at pain from varying angles, it can appear unnecessary, undeserved, and unfair. We are left with the question; How could a loving and just God allow such agony in the world? This book will answer this question. God is all-powerful, in control, and loving. Nevertheless, there is pain and injustice in the world. As a result, some choose to reject faith all together or waiver in their commitment to the Lord. All are faced with this dilemma. There are varying responses. This work will help you discover truths about the character of God. You will see the righteous response to pain from Bible poetry, the Bible stories of Joseph and Job, the prophetic literature of Habakkuk, and real-life stories. Each of these writings will help you understand a world that is ruled by God but contains pain, evil, and injustice. This book will equip you to endure painful challenges. In addition, it will strengthen you to overcome agonizing situations. Lastly, this book will increase your resolve to trust the almighty God. For God causes all things to work out for the best. My prayer is that you will receive the grace that you need for the most challenging moments of your life.
- Identify and wrestle with the mystery of what causes pain, evil, and injustice. Is it a loving God? Is it sinning? Is it the result of my own choices? It is what it is?
- Identify the major issues of pain, evil, and injustice in light of a Holy and loving God.
- Identify how Bible poetry, Bible stories, Bible prophetic literature, and real-life stories can help us understand a just God.
- Challenge people to respond to pain, evil and injustice with the grace-filled guidance of the Bible.
- Respond with prayer
- Respond with Trust in God’s overall plan
- Respond with Patience
- Respond with Worship of God
- Respond with Faith that Good things will follow
- Respond with Obedience to God’s Instructions
- Usher rewards into your life from a grace-filled God that works all things out for the best.
- Receive Resilience
- Receive a Deeper Relationship with God
(God knows, God is actively involved, God loves His children, and God is not recklessly tormenting people)
- Receive Resolution to your pain.
(God is just and we should anticipate complete justice and blessing in due season)
Introduction: Picture of pain, injustice, suicide, still born, abortion, mass shootings, genocide, human trafficking, innocent people exonerated, disproportion of wealth and opportunity, effects of American racism inequality and injustice, inner-city violence… Where is God? What is God doing? Does God really Care?
Section 1: What Causes Pain, Evil, and Injustice?
- What caused Joseph’s agony?
- What caused Job’s suffering?
- What caused the Psalmist torment?
- What caused the Prophet Habakkuk’s misery?
- What does God want me to do?
Section 2: Is God Just? Is pain distributed equally?
- Abraham’s Perspective
- Israel’s Perspective
- Joseph would probably say it’s complicated
- Job would probably say it’s complicated
- Psalmist would probably say it’s complicated
- Prophet Habakkuk would probably say it’s complicated
- What would today’s people say?
- Aborted Babies
- Disenfranchised and Marginalized (the poor, Hispanics, Blacks)
- Parents of Special Needs Children
- Victims of Evil (Mass Shootings, serial killers, rapist, pedophiles)
Section 3: How does the Bible helps us Understand God when we face Agonizing Situations?
- Psalmist Resolution
- Joseph Resolution
- Job’s Resolution
- Prophet Habakkuk’s Resolution
Section 4: What should be My Response to Pain, Evil, and Injustice?
- Prayer (Not a Cliché, It’s Real) People say thoughts and prayers but don’t really pray
- Worship (Trust & resolve is in your praise)
- Trust in God’s overall Plan
- Faith (Anticipate Resolution)
Section 5: Grace-Filled God gives Great Rewards
- Spiritual Rewards
- Receive Resilience
- Receive Deeper Relationship with God
- Receive More Understanding about God
- God Knows
- God is Actively Involved
- God Loves His Children
- God is not recklessly tormenting people
- There will be Complete Justice and Blessing in due season
- Reward On This Side
- Reward On the Other Side