How can a good God allow suffering?
There are seven things which the Christian faith says about suffering; together they frame this terrible problem, and offer an answer to it. When we are talking with someone about this issue, it is wise to remember that for many people the problem of pain and suffering is not theoretical and secondary, but rather personal and immediate. Everyone will undergo suffering, both directly and indirectly, at multiple points in their lives. Emotional support and understanding are just as important and sometimes more crucial than intellectual responses. People need help and empathy as much as explanations.
But eventually explanations are often necessary, because suffering can be a barrier to faith. The first step in the Christian approach to suffering, therefore, is acknowledgement, on both an intellectual and emotional level. Suffering is real and tragic. Anyone who minimizes suffering, or who ignores it, or who denies its reality, is not expressing a true Biblical perspective. The Psalms have an entire genre of lament.
What is your framework for dealing with suffering?
Can you find the verses Jesus prays on the cross in our Psalm?
FAMILY TIME— Pray for someone you know who is struggling physically and emotionally.