This sermon is part of the sermon series "Cross Roads". See series.
For the longest time, I hoped that my brother, Jeffrey, would return to the Christian faith. He once was an active Christian, but something turned off the "faith switch" as he finished high school. During college he walked further away from belief in God. Then, as he moved through law school, Jeff became engaged to a Christian woman named Barbara, a person of extraordinary intelligence and grace. I would suspect Jeff's faith was reignited to some degree. But then Barbara was involved in a taxicab accident, leaving her in a coma in a New York Hospital. I remember sitting with Jeffrey late into the night as he cried out his first heart-felt prayer in years: "God, please save Barbara!" Inwardly I cried, God, why did this happen? What will you do now, God? God, where have you gone?
In spite of the faith that I cling to, there are times when I feel cross at God. I champion his cause to the best of my ability, and I can get so angry when it seems that he messes things up. There are times where he lets horrific things happen. He seems to be away on vacation, refusing to answer his mobile phone or his mail. He blows tremendous opportunities to do things I know he can do—things that would earn him great fame and many followers. In such moments I shake my fist at heaven and pray through clenched teeth: "Life hurts, and it seems like you're gone!"
How do we reconcile our desire to trust in the existence of a God of love and power with the apparent absence of that love and power at some of life's most painful and opportune moments?
The prayers of Jesus
If the Bible was silent, sugary, or stupid on this topic, I could not be a Christian. If it ignored the topic or spoke as ignorantly as some do at times, then I imagine ...
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