Pain and Suffering for Christians

Since the fall, man has always questioned God.  At the heart of this attitude is the problem of evil and suffering. If there is truly an all-loving, all-knowing God, then why is there evil, and consequently suffering that follows? Gregory E. Ganssle states the problem as follows, “What philosophers call ‘the problem of evil’ is a family of arguments from the existence or nature of evil to the conclusion that God does not or probably does not exist.[1]” This paper will approach this subject in the following ways:

  • What is Evil and Suffering (What is Pain)?
  • A Personal Perspective.
  • An Outside Perspective.
  • A God Perspective.

What is Evil and Suffering?

It is interesting that evil and suffering are used in the same sentence so often. Many would consider the first to originate with the actions or attitude of mankind, while the latter is a hardship that one goes through undeservedly. Hence, it might be safe to say that it’s not so much the evil that people are concerned about, as much as the suffering that follows.

Most people do not consider their suffering to be a result of their evil.  For example, someone’s child dies because they committed a sin five years ago in connection with something else. Though some do believe this way, it would seem an unfair thing to do to the human race.

So does evil cause suffering? Yes and no. No, because while our bad decisions result in bad things, there is no problem with that. We can fix that…just start doing the right things.

One could argue that suffering, from a certain perspective, is completely separate from evil itself. As shown from the book of Job, we see that suffering and evil is looked at in three different ways: Job’s perspective tells us that one can suffer and not be evil. The friend’s perspective tells us that suffering is caused by evil. God’s perspective tells us that God’s justice is much bigger than we are, and He sees the big picture.

A Personal Perspective

One thing that should be observed is that Job was probably more aware of evil than all those around him. Richard states, “We note that his material wealth had not led him to pride, but seemed to have deepened his sense of humility and his awareness of sin. In fact, Job regularly offered sacrifices to God to cover possible hidden sins of his family. Job knew nothing against his sons, but he did know the deceit of the human heart.[2]” It was because of this awareness that he was proven to be a righteous man. Both in chapter’s one and two of Job we see this evidence:

Job 1:8 “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man.”

Job 2:3b “…and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”

The last verse is interesting. It allows for that idea that God has caused this suffering on Job.  And it would appear throughout Job, that indeed God did cause this suffering.  Job 6:4…

Read the full article at the Original Source..

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