God’s Purposes in a World of Pain – Part 2 

A Message by John Piper given May 2017 to the Suwon Central Baptist Church | Suwon, Korea 

God’s Reasons For Our Suffering 

So we ask: “Why, Lord? Why is the world you made like this? If you are God why is this world so full of terror and trouble?” 

Wrong Reasons 

I will give two possible answers that are not the reason such a world exists, and then four answers that are the reasons such world exists. I deal with each very briefly and point you to the Scriptures where you can search God’s word for yourself. 

1. The reason this terrorized and troubled world exists is not because God is not in total control. 

The Bible is overwhelmingly clear that God governs everything in the universe from the smallest bird to the largest storm. 

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” (Matthew 10:29

“Even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27

“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:33

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1

“Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?” (Lamentations 3:37

“Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?” (Amos 3:6

“He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” (Mark 1:27

“I am God, and there is none like me . . . saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’” (Isaiah 46:9–10

There is no person or being in the universe that can thwart the sovereign will of God. Satan is God’s most powerful enemy and does much evil in the world, but he must first get God’s permission, and none of his actions is outside God’s governance. He never breaks free from God’s leash (Luke 22:31Job 2:6–742:11) and what God permits he permits purposefully and wisely. 

2. The reason this terrorized and troubled world exists is not because God is evil or unjust. 

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5

“Good and upright is the Lord.” (Psalm 25:8

“The angels cry before God day and night, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3

“And when evil things happen to us, the Bible teaches us to speak like this: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:20

“God is not evil, even when he plans that evil will come pass. There are good and holy and just purposes in all he does. For those who love him “he works all things together for good.” (Romans 8:28)   (Part 3 con’t tomorrow)

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