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How to Increase Your Confidence- Part 3

in Jonesboro that were gunned down.  If God is such a loving God why would He allow that to happen?  

He allows it to happen because He loves us.  When God created this incredible playground that we call earth He could have become a puppeteer for every one of us and just controlled every one of our moves.  Would that be love?  No.  That would be robotic.  Instead, ultimate love says this: I’m going to give you free choice.  You have the freedom to make whatever choice you want.  And in that freedom, the Bible tells us that we sinned.  And because of that sin there’s a curse.  It’s called fallen.  It’s humanity.  Bad things happen.  Cancer happens.  My dad who is a very, very good man, the best man at my wedding, one of my best friends growing up.  We had a great relationship.  He’s a good man but he’s got this nasty disease called Parkinson’s.  It’s very similar to Alzheimer’s.  His body is deteriorating.  His mind is going.  Every time he sees me he begins to cry.  (Some of you do that, by the way.  But this is a different way.)  He just can’t gather all the emotions.  He doesn’t remember things.  It is hard to watch your parents deteriorate.

I could say, “God, why?  Are You trying to get at me?  What are You trying to teach me?”  The reality is we live in a broken world.  Bad things happen.  

When you’re a parent of a six year old and a nine year old and all they talk about “That’s not fair!”  Life isn’t fair.  When it comes in the midst of this pain we’ve got to realize the best is yet to come, remember we live in a broken world, that God is not punishing you for something that you’ve done when you’re experiencing pain.  Some of you in here, your parents are going through divorces and you think it’s your fault, that God’s getting back at you for that one time when you kicked the cat.  No.  He’s not getting back at you.

Jesus made it very clear.  John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble.”  Underline “will”.  You will have trouble.  

My older sister collects these lame little Precious Moment porcelain naked chubby people.  They always have these comments on them.  I’ve always wanted to have this Precious Moment porcelain naked chubby thing with this verse “In this world you will have trouble” with these guys hanging their heads or something like that.  That’s the reality of life.

Now I could paint it this way and say, “When you step across the line from the world’s way to God’s way your acne clears up and you won’t get dumped any more, no more pain.”  No, that’s not what the Bible promises.  God doesn’t say that at all.  When you move from the world’s way to God’s way the difference is this.  God is walking with you in the midst of the pain.  That’s the difference.  We live in broken world and bad things happen to really good people.

For some of you who have been around for a few moments you remember a Sunday about six months ago in November.  I remember it very well because I was in Florida and got a phone call about a girl that was sitting in a chair that you’re sitting in.  She had left the high school group and got into a terrible accident and immediately went into a coma.  They did not think she was going to live.  We told the story the next week and talked about how precious life is and we said about living for the moment and living for Christ, we’re wasting our time living the world’s way versus God’s way.  We spent a lot of time talking about Heather and her situation.  Then about three or months ago she showed up to church for the first time and everybody went nuts.  When we talk about pain we couldn’t think of a better person than Heather and her mom.  

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