The purpose of suffering

It is the conundrum of suffering that drives so many away from Christ. They say “A good god would not allow the type of suffering that we see in this world”. So their deduction is that there is either “no god” or that if there is a god than he must be impotent or evil. The problem is that they drastically misrepresent pain, suffering, and death. If we believe that there is a day of reckoning, a reaping of the harvest, then we can assume that our suffering has a purpose. It is when we marginalize this pain and suffering to “just a causality of life” that it personifies endless emptiness. The only thing worse than the prospect of pain and suffering on this earth is the notion that it never ends. What is more depressing than the implications of this worldview? If I am seeing through the lens of the atheist, it is easy to see how the prospect of a good god would be so troubling. He cannot help but to take tragedy at face value; pain is bad and pleasure is good, but the prospect of a good god in the midst of pain is unequivocally uneven. The atheist has rejected the idea that pain and suffering can be temporarily harmful; yet eternally grand. That is the great parallel of Christ; that his glory rested in the greatest moments of his agony. It is an odd concept indeed that current sorrow can be the touchstone of purpose in this life but that is exactly the gravity that lures many souls into lives of devotions for Christ. It is when we explore the prospect of a good god under the oppression of a heavy world that we are left spinning with questions and grief. When we explore the “god debate” with guns loaded from our jaded view of the world we have cut off the possibility of truth blossoming within us. It is impossible to see hope in the world if you have no hope in you. It is impossible to see the grand design of his goodness if you have never met the designer. The atheist wants to know the plan before he will get close enough to expierance the plan holder. The truth is that God will only reveal his mysteries to those willing to come close enough for a whisper. The comfort we take in this world will never be to understand the reason “why” so many bad things happen, but to understand and trust the one in which the question applies to.

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