The Problem of Suffering?

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Why should I believe in a God I cannot see?
Is there more to life than this?
Why does God allow suffering?
Has Christianity caused wars?
What is the meaning of life?
Has Science disproved the Bible?
What is the world coming to?
What is the evidence that the Bible is special?

Here is one example:

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? ... Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. … For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He [God] for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

Hebrews 12 v 7, 9 and 10

As we will see in the next section, children sometimes can't see why they are being disciplined. In the same way we sometimes can't see the reason for God's discipline. It may be that God knows we need some problem to make us stop and think what life is all about.

Most of us suffer more and more personal illness as we grow older. This also can make us realise that our bodies are wearing out and that we will eventually die.

When we see storm clouds on the horizon, it is a warning to expect rain. If we don't have clothes suitable for rain, then we should do something about it. Seeing other people suffer and die is a much more important warning. We are going to die and should do something about that. We should consider whether or not we can trust the various ideas in our world about life after death. Look at the evidence on this website and decide for yourself whether the Bible message can be trusted.

  • Suffering and death serve as a warning.
  • We should consider whether or not we can trust ideas about life after death.
  • Suffering disturbs our routines and makes us consider what life is all about.

The implications of choice

We all value the freedom of choice that we have been given. Our loving Creator wants us to love and respect Him by choice (3). In the same way, loving parents want their children to respect them. Parents can enforce obedience in their children by a harsh, rigid upbringing. But this is hardly likely to encourage the children to obey out of love and respect. It will certainly not be by choice.

There are times when loving parents need to show their children that they are in danger. They want to get the child's attention before disaster happens. They tell the child to stop before harm is done. If the comment is ignored, they may try to restrain the child physically. The motives are for the child's good, but the child may see it very differently at the time.

We are like children - having our own way is not always good for us