Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Christians and the "Problem" of Suffering
I have recently been caused to think again about the issue of pain and suffering in the world. We definitely believe in a compassionate and merciful God. We read of Him, when Jesus walked the earth, as One who was often moved with compassion, reaching out to others, restoring and healing uncountable individuals after seeing their pain. So how do we respond to others when they are trying to come to grips with suffering in their own lives? While there are certainly intellectual, philosophical, theological, responses we can make, how do we answer their hurt, how do we bring hope? In my own hours of pain, it is not the intellectual or the philosophical that brings me hope. It is the relationship I have with my God, whom I know loves me incomprehensibly, even when I can't "see it with my own eyes". I can have hope because I can be sure that He cares when I hurt. And the God who gave his one and only Son to die so that I could live, definitely knows how to bring good out of pain. So perhaps the best answer we can give, is to invite others to meet the One who answered us when we called upon Him, so that they also might find Him to answer them when they call upon Him.