When God reimposes his will on his rebel humanity, it comes with pain. If you believe (I don’t) that God knows about and causes everything that happens in the universe, then you have several options when confronted with apparently senseless suffering. At the heart of the Christian faith is a God who knows what it is to suffer. The loving parent is the one who is willing to suffer alongside their children. What purposes do they serve in this state? A similar question may arise for someone who does not believe in a deity but for whom the world appears to operate within generally coherent and reliable patterns, such as cause and effect and the predictable cycles of tides, seasons, birth and death. Basically it says that if we conceptualize God as a principle, i.e. We ourselves are groaning, enslaved to the fear of death. When we refuse to acknowledge God’s truth—that no one is good, no not one (Romans 3:10)—we turn and blame God, the merciful One, who sent His Son to die in our place. But some people ask, why doesn’t God just get rid of evil once and for all? Basically it says that if we conceptualize God as a principle, i.e. He did this to give us life, so that the evils we face need not absorb and overwhelm us. There is comfort we never thought was possible. Darden grad and former COO of the Alumni Association, West to bring rich background of experience to the Association starting Jan. 1. If God is Good, Why Do We Suffer? Saint Paul did not promise that we would be able to SEE how all things work out for good to those who trust God - only that they will. But why think that? Psalm 37 deals with the age-old question: why do the wicked prosper while good people suffer? But God always offers us himself. What of the person who dies after days of agony, with no chance to learn anything? If you believe (I don’t) that God knows about and causes everything that happens in the universe, then you have several options when confronted with apparently senseless suffering. We can also turn the question around: "Why would an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God allow good things to happen to bad people?" Many religious traditions note the lessons pain can teach. 5 Pastors, priests, and religious teachers often say that it is God’s will that people suffer. Because if God is omniscient which means he knows everything, and omnipotent, he's all powerful, and benevolent, he's kind, then why does he allow bad things to happen to good people? But this, too, falls short in the face of certain kinds of suffering. If there is a God, and God can be considered all-powerful and entirely good, why is there evil in the world? But more than suffer LIKE US, God has also suffered FOR US. Usually we say evil means all the possible bad things that can happen to human beings. So Satan is the god of this world and man is under his power and authority to do as Satan pleases. God subjected His own Son to suffering. : The Classic Collection with R.C. God is the author of good, but we make moral choices that result in evil. To have been very good, God ’s creation must have been without blemish, defect, disease, suffering, or death. Only in Christ do we have a God who is loving enough to suffer with us. Why would it be a test, you might ask? Some may say that everything that happens to a person, including tragedies, has already been decided by God and that we can never understand why. Buddhism sees suffering as a central feature of human life. Brahman as a cosmic principle, then we can accept that the nature of universe is like this. So, at first glance it seems that suffering gives us good reason to rule out God. Sometimes God PERMITS suffering for the greater good. Well, one day he will. A second way we try to answer the question is by saying that the suffering is meant to teach us something. Thousands are killed in a terrorist attack. If God has good reasons for allowing suffering, we should know what those reasons are. An Example of Suffering that God Allows. When God first created man upon the earth, everything was perfect. For today, we can see some of the reasons that God allows us to suffering, but knowing God is good, we understand that there is nothing that happens to us or others that will not work out for our (and their) very best (Rom 8:28). When we face pain and suffering how we respond to it is a choice. John Lennox, Professor Emeritus, Oxford University. What do many religious teachers say about suffering? He GETS IT because He has been there. Since God knows all things He is not surprised by the presence of evil and sin in the world that brings about suffering. One day all suffering will end. We see these characteristics reflected in the good world God has created. - Jacob Bundy - Sunday AM Service - 5/24/20 - Duration: 52:43. We can also turn the question around: "Why would an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God allow good things to happen to bad people?" We can only look at Jesus on the Cross. In Buddhism, to reach divinity is precisely to move beyond the possibility of suffering. Some of them seem beyond fixing. How can God, if he is sovereign, be good by allowing certain people to suffer in this way? And there is hope for today and tomorrow. However, the first human couple rebelled against God’s rulership, choosing to set their own standards of good and bad. Like arrogant teenagers who know it all, we declare (subconsciously or not) that we could do it better. A small child is diagnosed with leukemia and undergoes extensive medical treatment only to die in his mother’s arms. 7. One reason is humility. The point in the end is that we are not God’s children; we are God’s adults. In the midst of a trial of sickness, it is very difficult to focus on what good God might bring about as a result. But I also wanted to ask you for guidance in answering these questions. One day there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain and God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. But, praise be to God! What we do know is that the Bible says God cares passionately about all of us. Yes, the innocent suffer (see Job 1–2), but God can redeem that suffering. But that implies that God would countenance such a thing, and isn’t God supposed to be all good, in ways that we can understand as “good”? 5. So this leaves a third route: We are never going to know why. We say we are more righteous than God, for if it were up to us, the blameless would not be suffering. If we are asking why “good” people suffer, the implication, really, is that suffering should be reserved for the “bad”. It is only IF God exists that our outrage at suffering finds a home. The God whom Jesus reveals is a God who weeps at the graveside of Lazarus, a God who is deeply moved at the suffering of a widow in the town of Nain who had lost her only son, and a God who takes the suffering of the world into himself on the cross. Be assured this is only temporary. Sort of a good news / bad news thing: The good news is that we were given … The question is an old and venerable one: If God is good, and God is all-knowing, and God is all-powerful, then why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? A second way we try to answer the question is by saying that the suffering is meant to teach us something. In fact, He acknowledges that at times we will suffer. Yet, it was that very evil that brought our salvation. But this falls short, and even seems downright outrageous, when applied to certain kinds of suffering, such as the pain of a seriously ill infant. But, praise be to God! What is his response to my suffering? In the Bible book, John, Jesus dismisses the suggestion that a man was born blind because he or his parents had done something wrong. God has promised to redeem His creation. The worst thing man did in all of history, he killed God. Jesus has suffered in ways that go beyond anything we can imagine. God is good but evil is also real and has influence in the world for now. Atheists, skeptics and other critics of Christianity often argue against God on the basis of the reality of evil and suffering. If God is a force of good then why is there so much suffering in this world? The question is an old and venerable one: If God is good, and God is all-knowing, and God is all-powerful, then why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? Therefore, atheists reason, what you call “God” does not exist. The Why question is at the core of one of the most powerful arguments for atheists: If God were good, all-powerful, loving and caring, He could stop all this suffering. The Christian faith says you fix a broken story by embedding it in a much bigger story in which good wins, and evil loses. Thinking about the Bible, I realize the Bible is not the answer people necessarily search for or long for. Suffering does not have to have the last word in our lives. But we also see instances of suffering and evil in the world. The loving parent is not the one who never allows suffering in a child’s life. The example of Christ’s suffering in 1 Pet 2:24 also clarifies Peter’s point in 1 Pet 2:21: We should react to suffering like Jesus did, being willing to suffer for other people. How can this be? Second semester same as the first under updated COVID plan. But this day hasn’t yet arrived to give us all time to get our choices right before God. His purpose is to create a family to live with Him for eternity in the Kingdom of God. I want her to see the Lord’s character. : The Bible tells us that God is all powerful and altogether good. Many religious traditions note the lessons pain can teach. If God is a force of good then why is there so much suffering in this world? The bible says that creation is groaning, enslaved to death and decay. While we do not always know why we suffer, we can bring our pain and grief to God and trust that He is wise and knows what He's doing. In Revelation 13 we see that Satan gave his power and authority over to the beast from the sea, and it was given authority over every tribe, nation, people and tongue (Rev 13:1-7). I guess God gives us the choice to do good or bad on earth and judgement day is only once we enter the spirit world. He was abandoned by his closest friends in his hour of deepest need. Suffering also helps us remember that we do not belong to this world; so we fix our eyes on Jesus and long for His work to be complete (Philippians 3:20-21). We often draw closer to God during times of suffering as we realize that He alone is our refuge (Psalm 91:2). With this new perspective, believing by faith that my trials are given out of love, I can deliberately look for the good that God is bringing from my suffering. But my resolution may not be yours, and no “answer” really solves the problem. Yet as we look around our world, we see so much suffering, pain, and evil. The Why question is at the core of one of the most powerful arguments for atheists: If God were good, all-powerful, loving and caring, He could stop all this suffering. When we are suffering with a sickness, disease, or injury, we usually focus solely on our own suffering. For example, David starts Psalm 37 with, “ Don’t worry about the wicked or envy … How could a loving God send anyone to hell. A faithful missionary family is attacked and killed by the very people they were ministering to. God has a plan. We do know that the immediate responsibility for evil is ours, not God’s. There was a time on this earth when suffering and sorrow did not exist. But actually, the opposite is true. And for others this answer may only exacerbate the sense of meaninglessness of the suffering. Horizon Baptist Church 141 views. It allows them to rely on the support of others and perhaps too of God, believing that, from the perspective of eternity, all will be well. Whatever you face, you can choose to go through it without God or with him. This is an extraordinary description of the tenderness of God and of his plans to put right all the wrongs in this world. Today we are experiencing the effects of their bad choice. We say we are more righteous than God, for if it were up to us, the blameless would not be suffering. The Word of God also teaches that evil will not go unpunished. Therefore, atheists reason, what you call “God” does not exist. Suffering also helps us remember that we do not belong to this world; so we fix our eyes on Jesus and long for His work to be complete (Philippians 3:20-21). We simply have to remember that. Job decides to talk directly to God. For the Christian we can look forward to the future because we’re promised that “All things work together for good for those who love God” in Romans 8:28. This is the essence of Job’s story in the Hebrew Bible. Some may argue—as it unfortunately happens—that it is then the parents who deserved to watch their child suffer. And in Christianity this is exactly what we find. Ultimately, only God can have reasons for the evil in this world and the pain inflicted on its inhabitants. Jesus is described in the Bible as, ‘… a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering’ [53:3]. Better than creator Himself who created the universe we study to understand, and yet still cannot hope to replicate. Before we speak to the question of why God allows children to suffer, we need to ask the bigger question: Why does God allow suffering to happen to any person, whether he’s two years old, two months old, or twenty years old? With it comes flood and fire. It may be experienced by the child as the absolute worst suffering that could ever occur. Whose growth in understanding could possibly require such a lesson? The risk in that relief, however, is that it may bring with it a tendency to downplay—and therefore fail to deal constructively with—the reality of the present suffering. God has not left us alone in our suffering. The question usually comes in theological terms, and really boils down to, “How are we to understand God?” But for most people suffering the effects of evil—including those suffering from diseases and injuries in themselves or in those they love—the question is more likely to be existential: “Given what I’ve always believed to be true about God, how am I to understand this evil that has befallen me?”. There are many ways God works in the lives of His children to prepare us for our place in that Kingdom. For many, the experience of Jews and others in the Holocaust illustrates most clearly the problems inherent in accepting either desert or growth as the solution to the theodicy dilemma. But that implies that God would countenance such a thing, and isn’t God supposed to be all good, in ways that we can understand as “good”? We live outside the garden and after the fall. 52:43. Suffering can be a means through which God refines our faith (Romans 5:3-5). If we are asking why “good” people suffer, the implication, really, is that suffering should be reserved for the “bad”. In this life, we might never really understand why some things have happened. Christianity Explored is registered in England. If God Is Good, Why Do We Suffer? Jesus absorbed the world’s evil, took it to the grave, left it there and rose to life again. Psalm 37 is jam-packed with promises for us if we trust God, do good, do not worry and be patient. Sometimes God blessings can take form of suffering. The bible says that creation is groaning, enslaved to death and decay. If we believed some of the popular "Faith Healers" of our day, we'd believe that people suffer because they lack faith in God, but this isn't necessarily true. Jesus ended his days on earth nailed to a cross. We often draw closer to God during times of suffering as we realize that He alone is our refuge (Psalm 91:2). For today, we can see some of the reasons that God allows us to suffering, but knowing God is good, we understand that there is nothing that happens to us or others that will not work out for our (and their) very best (Rom 8:28). Not because of our goodness, but because of God’s faithfulness to fulfill his promises. They just GET IT – especially when words are not enough. We all have our stories. Examining ways we make sense of evil. Clearly suffering was brought into the world as a result of sin. Somehow, on the cross, all the world’s evil was being directed at one pure, clean target in order to defeat it once and for all. What will you choose? The reasons that people suffer in this world is because they reject God and so remain under the power of the ruler of this world who is Satan and who embodies all that is evil. Suffering was not part of Jehovah God’s purpose for mankind. When God reimposes his will on his rebel humanity, it comes with pain. Like arrogant teenagers who know it all, we declare (subconsciously or not) that we could do it better. I thought I had understood the answer to this question after watching this video. Often our hearts are moved by these, and we wonder why God doesn’t prevent them. This does not mean that people who are suffering are always the cause of their own suffering; often people suffer because of the sins of others. First we must point out the fact that life is in some cases a test. I don’t know about you but when I’m going through a difficult time, I am most at home around people who have been through something similar. We come to someone who really KNOWS and CARES. It Reminds Us of the Reality of Sin. God also uses suffering to teach human beings empathy. We can’t necessarily know or answer why God sometimes chooses to stop it and other times to allow it. If God exists, what is he like? For many, this is a question that lies at the root of human existence. If God Is Good, Why Do I Suffer? The Bible tells us that God is all-powerful and altogether good. A second way we try to answer the question is by saying that the suffering is meant to teach us something. Clearly suffering was brought into the world as a result of sin. That is why we suffer and why we die, for the wages of sin is death, just as God promised would happen. Our loving and merciful God has a perfect plan to use that suffering to accomplish His threefold purpose. 5 Pastors, priests, and religious teachers often say that it is God’s will that people suffer. If we seek God, He is faithful and He will provide. book. Brahman as a cosmic principle, then we can accept that the nature of universe is like this. Does Evil Argue Against God? Saint Paul wrote: "all things work together unto good to them that love God" (Rom 8:38). If we ask why God allows this suffering, the Bible tells us that God doesn’t only permit it: He actively commands it (Matthew 25:41), for God is holy and righteous (1 John 1:5), and it would be unjust for God to leave sin unpunished forever (Romans 3:25-26). Most of us eventually reach our own peace with the question, some with more difficulty than others. At the root of all suffering as we established is sin and evil. We cannot know the mind of God. The University’s ranking in U.S. News improved after falling out of the publication’s list of top 25 national universities last year. Many religious traditions note the lessons pain can teach. He offers us friendship. In the end, God punishes the wicked and good triumphs over evil. For many, this is a question that lies at the root of human existence. If there is a God, and God can be considered all-powerful and entirely good, why is there evil in the world? Suffering can be a means through which God refines our faith (Romans 5:3-5). So,when we consider the question, “If God is good, why do people suffer,” it is quite easy to see what the truth of the matter is. The good news is that God did not leave us here to suffer pointlessly. Better than creator Himself who created the universe we study to understand, and yet still cannot hope to replicate. God has a plan for us individually and for all of mankind. Romans 8:28 reminds us that God can bring about good from any situation. Actually, we’re promised that we will have trouble and hardship in … And though suffering is painful and we should do whatever we can to avoid causing it, God can even use suffering to produce good. Therefore, those who attend to others in pain—whether health care or religious professionals, family members, or friends—are called on not to offer logical solutions, which are always inadequate, but instead to acknowledge the pain of the questions, hold them with the sufferer, and by presence, attention and care, be the response. I have spoken to her about these things, trying to answer her questions (and I will continue to do so). He longs for us to come to him, talk to him, bring our suffering to him. There was no sickness, no pain, no sorrow of any kind. The Bible teaches that God is good, and loving, and powerful. The Beginning of Suffering and Sorrow . There was no “survival of the fittest.” Animals did not prey on each other, and the first two humans, Adam and Eve, did not kill animals for food. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. On Nov. 21, 1980, when the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas burned, survivors were brought into the Convention Center, where our Crusade meetings were being held. If we bring our suffering to Him today – we don’t come to a God who is aloof or indifferent or distant. What bad actions could possibly justify such a punishment? The Apostle Paul didn't live in sin and he didn't lack faith in God, but he DID have to suffer. How can … A newlywed couple is killed by a drunk driver as they leave for their honeymoon. And many patients speak of what their illness has taught them—to change their ways, for example. This does not mean that people who are suffering are always the cause of their own suffering; often people suffer because of the sins of others. We’ve established why pain and suffering exists, but we also know that God has the power to stop pain and suffering. Hear how others have explored Christianity. Each day brings new tragedy. In Buddhism, to reach divinity is precisely to move beyond the possibility of suffering. We all face suffering in some way, shape or form. Copyright © 2021 by the University of Virginia Magazine, Beloved professor Henry Abraham dies at 98, One professor put UVA in the race for the A-bomb, or at least he tried, Center for Politics appoints first resident scholars, UVA moves up in national college rankings, Lily E. West named UVA Alumni Association President and CEO, As Covid persists, so does UVA’s work toward a cure. The original creation was a beautiful place, full of life and joy in the presence of the Creator. But why does God allow suffering? If we turn to Him, there is strength we never thought we had. They turned away from God and suffered the consequences. Philosophers and theologians debate this question—which they have termed theodicy—often by first looking at how we define evil. With it comes flood and fire. Well the fact is, God doesn’t make us suffer, he allows it. One common answer is to look for how we may have deserved this “punishment,” that we somehow have fallen out of God’s favor. We know death and suffering aren’t God ’s fault—they are the result of living in a sin-cursed world. First, He uses pain and suffering to draw us to Himself so that we will cling to Him. I just know that He knows so much more than we do - infinitely more - and He sees so much more than we see. God does not always offer us answers. How do you fix a story that is broken? We live outside the garden and after the fall. Answering “Why?” with “Why not?” only restates the problem. Would a truly good God allow one human to be tortured so that another might be improved? How are we to understand God or the cosmos given such egregious evil? Evil was defeated on that first Easter, and one day it will be removed altogether. It’s hard to imagine but there will be a day when we’ll be able to look back and say ALL our suffering was worth it. I guess God gives us the choice to do good or bad on earth and judgement day is only once we enter the spirit world. I’m sure we can all agree that a murderer has committed a moral sin, and that God did not mean for the world to look this way. by Margaret Mohrmann (Grad '95) iStock Photo. What does the Bible teach? God does not cause evil, he permits it. Some may say that everything that happens to a person, including tragedies, has already been decided by God and that we can never understand why. The best and simplest example of this is the suffering of Christ at the hands of evil men. Those things can typically be broken down into three parts: moral evil, like murder or social injustice; natural evil, like tornadoes or cancer; or some combination of the two, such as the societal issues shown in the aftermath of Katrina or cancer linked to smoking. We hardly have all the answers for the mystery of suffering, especially the suffering of Christians. That means either He’s not all-powerful, or He’s not good, loving, and caring. But if God knows all things from all eternity, then He is perfectly capable of using suffering in the world in His greater plan. Two of my favorite books about God… For some, this conclusion comes as a relief, a letting go of the need to understand. Sometimes the good is hard to see. Sproul - YouTube The Bible tells us that God is all powerful and altogether good. And we have Scripture to prove why it is better to suffer now, than for eternity. We ourselves are groaning, enslaved to the fear of death. In the meantime, trust God, do good, don’t worry and be patient. Yet as we look around our world, we see so much suffering, pain, and evil. Each of us knows firsthand what it means to suffer as a result of … Theist or not, most of us fall back on explanations similar to those put forward by theologians long ago—and all of them have significant holes in them. In If God Is Good, Why Do We Suffer? If a person is suffering it is not because God hates them. Researchers on Grounds go the distance in a global race for a cure. When parents decide to move their family from one city to another, this can genuinely be very difficult on a young child. God reminds him that the world has order and beauty but is also wild and dangerous. Sometimes bad people develop a spark of care for others that they otherwise might not feel, when they suffer. God do make straight with crooked lines. That is why we suffer and why we die, for the wages of sin is death, just as God promised would happen. Lecture 3, If God Is Good, Why Do I Suffer? Is there a plausible explanation? Others may even say that people, including little children, die so that they can be with God in heaven. In our pain, we long to know why God allows grief and hardship into our lives. It appears as though God waits until these wicked people get to the spirit world to decide their faith but in the meantime, we all suffer on earth. Out of brokenness and tragedy God will bring GREATER good. An Example of Suffering that God Allows. At the root of all suffering as we established is sin and evil. Only in Christ do we have a God who is loving enough to suffer with us. And the little I do see can feel insignificant in comparison to the pain I’m enduring. Service - 5/24/20 - Duration: 52:43 allows suffering in a child s... Evil will not go unpunished as, ‘ … a man of sorrows and familiar with ’... To make God weak the question is by saying that the world for.. 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