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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This week we continue our series dealing with the topic, The Problem of Pain and Suffering.

The messages come from the heart of one who has experienced suffering in those dear to Him.

Today we are talking about Why Do Good People Suffer?


Psalm 73:28 AMP

But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;

I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,

That I may tell of all Your works.

Scripture Reading

Psalm 73:3-17 AMP

3 For I was envious of the arrogant

As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For there are no pains in their death,

Their body is fat and pampered.

5 They are not in trouble as other men,

Nor are they plagued like mankind.

6 Therefore pride is their necklace;

Violence covers them like a garment [like a long, luxurious robe].

7 Their eye bulges from fatness [they have more than the heart desires];

The imaginations of their mind run riot [with foolishness].

8 They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;

They speak loftily [with malice].

9 They set their mouth against the heavens,

And their tongue swaggers through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return to this place,

And waters of abundance [offered by the irreverent] are [blindly] drunk by them.

11 They say, “How does God know?

Is there knowledge [of us] with the Most High?”

12 Behold, these are the ungodly,

Who always prosper and are at ease [in the world]; they have increased in wealth.

13 Surely then in vain I have cleansed my heart

And washed my hands in innocence.

14 For all the day long have I been stricken,

And punished every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will say this,” [and expressed my feelings],

I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.

16 When I considered how to understand this,

It was too great an effort for me and too painful

17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;

Then I understood [for I considered] their end.

Psalm 73:28 AMP

But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;

I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,

That I may tell of all Your works.


In Jesus name we pray.



Following a funeral service for his father, a man and his young son walked out of the church to their car to drive to the cemetery.

The son looked up through his tears and asked, “Why did it have to be granddad?”

We find the question “Why?” In the hearts of young and old alike.

Many things happen or which we can find no answer.

Have you ever asked this question?

If so, you stand in good company.

The psalmist tried to live a good life.

He endured pain, suffering, and tragedy yet saw the wicked prosper all around him.

He saw their pride.

He heard them speak against God.

He heard them laugh at goodness.

They did not seem to suffer like good people.

The bewildered psalmist cried out, “Why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer?”

Why do good people suffer?

  1. People suffer because of sin.

We disobey the laws of God and suffer for our rebellion.

David suffered because he sinned against God.

People sow wild oats, then one day reap an awful crop.

Adam and Eve were driven from the garden of Eden because they sinned.

Today people are driven from the gardens of happiness and blessings into the deserts of misery and trouble because of their rebellion against God.

The springs of life dry up.

The flowers wilt and fade away.

The birds cease their singing because sin has entered the heart.

2. People suffer because of the frailty of human life.

Jesus said to His disciples in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]”

Jesus promised His people in the beginning that because they lived in the world, they would suffer.

We suffer because of our own mistakes, foolishness and sin, and also because of the mistakes, foolishness and sin of others.

Some people break the speed limit and run red lights.

They make foolish choices.

They walk in the council of the ungodly.

They seem to flirt with disaster.

Can you measure the amount of suffering that is due to floods, fire, cyclones, earthquakes and storms?

Such disasters are simply a part of our existence in a world of natural law.

Can you measure the amount of suffering that is due to disease, weakness, and frailty?

And how much suffering is due to accidents of all kinds?

We suffer simply because we live in a fallen world.

3. People suffer because it builds character.

Paul said in Romans 5:3, “but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance;”

God allows suffering in His world because it produces character.

It educates, it disciplines.

It brings out the best in people.

Through suffering we learn that it is sweet to walk with the Lord and keep company with His people.

4. People suffer because it deepens spiritual growth.

The psalmist said in Psalm 119:67, Before I was afflicted I went astray,

But now I keep and honor Your word [with loving obedience].

James put it like this, James 1:2-3,

2 Consider it nothing but joy, my [a]brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 

3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].

Suffering is often redemptive.

We learn through our pain to depend more fully on God

If the hand of the Lord had not darkened parts of our lives, we would not have learned to be strong.

Lay hold on God in times of suffering and pain even if your attempt is no stronger than a prayer, and you will find that He has laid hold on you.

5. People suffer because it teaches how to trust God.

We learn through suffering to trust God even when we don’t understand.

In John 13:7 we read, Jesus replied to him, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will [fully] understand it later.”

There are some things we will never understand on this earth.

Mystery is woven into the fabric of life.

Sometimes I wonder if the questions that bother us are really as big in God’s eyes as they are in ours.

Have you ever watched a child cry or throw a tantrum because they didn’t understand something simple?

Somethings that are big to children are trivial to adults.

If we could see life from God’s perspective, what a difference it would be!

Christ doesn’t give us reasons, at least to start with, he gives us strength without telling us why the pain has come and gives us reasons only beyond the victory.

It has been said that the worst sentence ever passed on Christians in the early days of persecution was to be sentenced to the mines of Numidia.

Their chains were shortened so they could never be able to stand upright again.

Often one eye was knocked out.

They were given a lamp and a pick and sent into the mines to dig until they died.

Being watched over by merciless overseers, these Christians knew they would never come out of the mines alive.

Still God placed songs on their lips.

Their radiant witness and their grateful prayers are recorded on the walls of the mines.

One word of courage occurs over and over again.

It is the word “life.”

Their persecutors could shut them away from the world, but no enemy could shut God in Christ away from them.

In their darkness they saw the Light of the World.

They drew close to God and found the secret of life.


May you draw near to God in tie of suffering and find that He draws near to you and makes you a happier, stronger, and better person.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

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Gary Hoban

Refinery Life Church Australia

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