Is there a loving God?
Why does God allow suffering?
What does the Bible tell us?
Start looking at life's big questions for yourself.
The problem of suffering
We have sympathy for those who suffer greatly and want to do what we can to help.
We sometimes ask, "If there is a loving God, why does He stand back and do nothing while the world is full of suffering?" Suffering in our own lives can be a big problem. Some of us are not able to believe in God or the Bible until we have found an answer to the problem of suffering.
We shall look at this problem and see that:
- We suffer because we live in an imperfect world
- Suffering can be a warning that something is wrong
- Suffering can make us stop and think
- Suffering can help build our characters
- Sometimes there are reasons for suffering
- The Bible tells of a future time when there will be no more suffering
Suffering seems to be of three types:
- Caused by ourselves - pain and suffering as a result of accident injuries or lifestyle choices.
- Caused by mankind in general - war, persecution and pollution
- Outside human control - floods, earthquakes, illness and death
We shall look at these three categories and see what we can learn.
Our imperfect world
We live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people. This is the root cause of all suffering. The Bible tells us why there is this imperfection and what has been done to remove it in the future. The "What is the evidence the Bible is special?" section is intended to help you have confidence in the Bible message when it tells us about these issues. Suffering can be a reminder that we should think about why our world is not perfect.
Suffering caused by our own actions
We cause suffering and pain to ourselves in many ways. We may burn ourselves on a hot object, bruise our hand by hitting it with something or strain a muscle by lifting a heavy object. This suffering is helpful, it tells us not to do it again! Next time we are in a similar situation, we remember the pain and act appropriately. Pain is a warning that things are not right. We must stop and think about the problem.