"If you had been here..."I recently finished a book by an atheist complaining that God cannot be loving or fair because of all the suffering that happens in the world, that God must be a real jerk. What do you say to a person like that?
In this sermon on the resurrection of Lazarus, Pinkner points out that our first theological thought needs to be about God's glory-- God does things to bring glory to Himself and man exists to glorify God and(by) enjoy(ing) Him forever. Often, Americans incorrectly begin with "God does X because he loves us," (putting ourselves as the primary thought) and therefore cannot reconcile why bad things happen, and reject or become angry with God.
In John 11, God clearly uses suffering to put His glory on display. Suffering is a "megaphone to your soul," and Jesus increases Mary and Martha's suffering by letting Lazarus die rather than going and healing him. He did that "so that they might believe that You sent me" (v. 42).
If You Had Been Here http://fellowshipknox.org/watch+listen#418
Like other parts of this series on John, Pinkner gives interesting insights into the text that you may not have thought of before, including a good explanation of the suffering Mary and Martha would have felt and why Jesus likely wept.
Listen and enjoy.