Suffering reminds us that –
We live in an imperfect world in which we are vulnerable and susceptible to suffering and death.
Humans at times can intentionally inflict suffering upon others.
Suffering can come about through illness, war, poverty, disease etc.
We are unable to eradicate suffering altogether.
Certain suffering however can be of benefit –
Pain can alert us to the need for medical assistance i.e. toothache or broken bones.
The Bible provides insight into the origin of suffering in that it has arisen as a consequence of man’s fallen sinful state. Ever since sin appeared through the disobedience of Adam & Eve mankind has been on a downward spiral, not only concerning sin, but by not having clear direction, hope or knowledge of God.
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners…. – Romans 5:19.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned – Romans 5:12.
But there is hope –
…so by the one man’s obedience (Jesus)…many will be made righteous – Romans 5:19.
God is often ridiculed and accused of allowing suffering to continue without intervening, this leads people to ask why God allows suffering.
But sadly man has willingly turned his back on God and misses out on God’s blessings towards those who trust him –
…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
And so the question really could be: What has man done for God to intervene and prevent suffering once and for all’? The answer is…nothing.
Hear a public talk on the origin of suffering, this Sunday in Bury St Edmunds - Details here.