Why do bad things happen to good people? Is there any purpose in pain and suffering? If so, what is it? Should we be thankful for the challenging and painful circumstances that cause us to suffer?
I want to distinguish that the pain and suffering that I am talking about this morning is not caused by our own willful disobedience and sinful choices. That is another message for another day, but I am talking about the kind of suffering and pain that is a result of others sinning against us or painful circumstances that we do not have any control over.
I am going to share with you one of the most well-known verses in the bible:
James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
On one hand this can be one of the most perplexing verses in the Bible on the other hand it can be one of great encouragement when we understand it in its totality. I would submit to you that joy and being thankful are linked together very closely. You show me a joyful person and I will show you a person that is thankful and you show me a thankful person and I will show you a joyful person.
Trials, challenges, suffering and pain are no fun, but I want to pull principle after principle out of God’s word that will show us clearly that these things are valuable and that we can have joy through them and be thankful for them.