Pastor Shane Ham : What in the World is God Doing?

Why God · 37:50 · Recorded August 13, 2017

What In The World Is God Doing?

Psalm 73:1-3, 5, 7, 9, 13-14,16 (NASB) 1Surely God is good to Israel…2But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps had almost slipped. 3For I was envious of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked…5They are not in trouble as other men, Nor are they plagued like mankind…7Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart run riot…9They have set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue parades through the earth…always at ease, they have increased in wealth… 13Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure And washed my hands in innocence; 14For I have been stricken all day long And chastened every morning…16When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight.

Understanding God’s Control in the World

For further study: See Genesis 1-3

1. God created free and responsible persons.

2. God permitted the possibility of evil.

3. God has set limits for Himself.

Not power and coercion but love and persuasion.

4. God works to reclaim fallen persons.

The Presence of Suffering

Psalm 73:21-22 When my heart was embittered And I was pierced within, Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.

Sometimes it’s consequential.

Sometimes it’s accidental.

Sometimes it’s incidental.

Sometimes it’s intentional.

Responding Positively to Life’s Pain

Psalm 73:16-18,20, 23-28 (NASB) 16When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight 17Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end. 18Surely You set them in slippery places… 20Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form. 23Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. 24With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory. 25Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27For, behold, those who are far from You will perish… 28But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.

1. Life isn’t fair, but God is good.

Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Asaph admits his anger but takes it to God.

2. God is with the one who hurts, rather than in the thing that hurts.

Psalm 34:18-19 (NIV) The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.

Asaph clings to God for understanding!

3. Instead of asking “why me God”, ask “what’s next God?”

Romans 5:3-4 (Phillips NT) We can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character.

Asaph asks the ultimate question!

4. Remember that God will have the last word!

Romans 5:5 (Phillips NT) And a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us.

Asaph sees the BIGGER PICTURE!

Study & Discussion Questions

If you had to choose between being (a) prosperous and wicked, or (b) poverty-stricken and pure in heart, what would you be? Why? Share with your small group.

What constant hope literally surrounds Asaph’s envy and despair? Read Psalm 73:1, 28 aloud. Discuss with your small group.

Reflect on Romas 8:28. What confidence does this give you about events that happen in your life? When has it been hardest to believe this? How have you seen God bring something good out of a bad situation?

Have you had a “sanctuary” experience? When? Where? What happened? What are you doing to keep that faith perspective alive?

What is your biggest takeaway from the message today? Share with your small group.

Refer to the types of suffering under The Presence of Suffering in the outline. How should a Christian look upon suffering and stress? Upon disappointment?

Parents of elementary children, today we learned that faith is trusting that God is with you. Ask your child what armor of God they learned about from Ephesians 6:10-17 today. When we have faith, it is like a shield that protects us and helps us when it is hard to make wise choices. Our bottom line was: Stand strong because God is with you.

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