In this audio talk, Steve Estes asks What is God’s part in letting your suffering happen? Does he bring it? Plan for it? Allow for it? Is he directly involved? Is it out of judgement or some other motive? Purpose statement: God is sovereign over everything. All that happens comes from his plan. He wisely runs the world down to the minute detail. Our temptation is to think that if God is not working a miracle, than He is not working — as if the everyday, ordinary things of life can’t be from God’s decree. Both the ordinary and extraordinary are from his hand. All things are held together by Jesus Christ. Estes lists 5 Causes of Suffering: 1.) Forces of Nature, 2.) Animal/Plant world, 3.) Human Tools and Technology, 4.) Other People and 5.) Satan and his demons. As God spared the life of the Jews in the Old Testament time and time again, he spared the life of the whole world through the Messiah.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 1:3 (God speaks creation into being); Exodus 9 & 10 (God’s uses the plagues, nature and pests); Exodus 14 (Division of the Red Sea); Jonah (use of the great fish); Genesis 8:22; Colossians 1:17 (all things hold together in Christ); Proverbs 16:9 (God directs a person’s steps); 2 Chronicles 18:33 & 34 (King Ahab killed by a random arrow); Genesis 20:3 (God oversees evil intentions); Proverbs 16:4; Judges 14:3 (Samson wants to marry outside of the Israelites); James 1:17