· Can we blame God for the accidents that we or others experience?
· Is it our attitude that by virtue of having escaped accidents we are thereby more favored of God than others who have not escaped?
· What is God's purpose in accidents, anyway?
· Why should He permit them at all?
Jesus discussed this problem with His disciples. His discussion of the problem is found in Luke 13:1-9. The subject of suffering resulting from accidents and other causes has been one of the most perplexing for both the believer and the unbeliever. Little do we stop to realize that believers are not automatically exempt from suffering. Nor are unbelievers automatically sentenced to suffering, at least not in this world.
In this study we will see both God's general, common blessings to all, such as the air we breathe and the rain which sustains our life on earth, and also of His special blessings, such as salvation, which is individual in its nature and its appropriation.
As with blessings, so it is with sufferings, also. There are general, common sufferings including accidents, from which believers are not necessarily exempt, although they may sometimes be spared from them. There are also, however, special sufferings which God brings upon individuals in retribution for individual sins. But these sufferings are not necessarily experienced to their fullest extent in this world. However, they will be inescapable in the next world, even as the particular blessings of the believer will be fully experienced there.
I. How Is God Involved?
An airliner carrying almost two hundred people crashes in the coastal waters off Florida. Ninety passengers die, an equal number are spared.
A. Scanning the terrible headlines in the morning paper we cannot suppress the questions rising in our minds.
1. Why do such tragic accidents occur?
2. Is it just chance that determines who shall die and who shall survive, or does divine Providence touch the lives of men?
3. Ex. of Hospital visit on Saturday.
B. The Bible does not ignore the question of why we suffer, why evil men kill innocent people, why wars ravage mankind, why some die suddenly in accidents while others are permitted to live in peace and die with dignity.
1. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible portrays lives that, whether godly or sinful, experienced the joys and sufferings common to men everywhere.
2. These men, and the generations of those who followed them, sought for an answer, or perhaps a formula, that would give meaning to their sufferings.
3. Thoughtless observers of the events of history have asserted that every- thing that transpires is the result of blind forces.
4. Some have concluded that a man's life is predetermined by 'fate' or 'destiny' and nothing can change it.
5. Still others have concluded that those who suffered were being punished for special or secret sins.
6. Eliphaz told Job, “...Who ever perished, being innocent? (Job 4:7)
C. We have inherited this faulty kind of reasoning.
1. How often does someone ask, as David did, "Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?" (Ps. 77:9)
2. What is our answer?
3. Can we assure them that even in the midst of all their questions that God is real and has not forgotten them?
4. If we believe, as Jesus clearly taught, that the sparrow does not fall without our Father's will and permission, and that the very hairs of our head, we must conclude that God is involved in the struggles of our lives.
5. Remembering Heb. 4:15, we can look with confidence to the comfort and wisdom of His Word.
6. “For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” (Lam 3:33) 
D. When the headlines horrify us, or a personal tragedy darkens our lives, we can turn in our confusion to an all- knowing God.
1. We are certainly not wrong in trying to understand the meaning of our experiences, particularly when they involve adversity or death.
2. Men will inevitably ask honest questions in an effort to find meaning in their misery:
· Am I suffering for some special sin?
· Does God speak to us through suffering?
· Does He punish wrongdoing in this life as well as in the life to come ?
· Are natural catastrophes a form of judgment?
3. There are no easy answers, but we will examine the Biblical teaching on suffering, and measure human reasoning against God's Word.
4. Let us keep in mind, too, the character and wisdom of God.
5. Isaiah 57:15, "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity..."