The BIG Questions — #3 Why Is There Suffering?

I have a little ventriloquist buddy named Ricky. We look like we have an interesting relationship: I’m patient and he has an attitude. Actually, we have no relationship at all. He says only what I have him say. If I have him say, “I really think you’re a great guy, Dave,” it will mean nothing to me, for I made him say it.

God’s given us as His people the power of choice. He’s done this because He wants to have a personal relationship with us based on love. If He forced us to be the way He wants us to be we would be nothing but puppets and any words or acts of love would only appear to be so.

Humans, from the beginning, chose to go against what God wants. What He wants is only good and so the opposite of that is evil. We are a broken people, which leads to all kinds of brokenness in relationships, what has to be the greatest source of pain in our lives. This also, in some mysterious way, has led to a broken world, resulting in pain and suffering from illness and disease, and maybe even crazy weather conditions and such things as earthquakes and volcanoes that cause destruction and death.

Because God could stop all the pain in the world but chooses not to we can presume He has His good purposes in mind in it all. It does seem that we learn our best lessons in life, become more of who we should be, and draw closer to God in tough times more than in easy times. We’ll find no pleasure in the pains of life but we can know there’s a purpose in it all.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

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