Why is There Suffering in this World.
index
  1. Two kinds of evil in the world
    1. Natural - evil from within nature that is the result of Man's disobedience (Genesis chapters 1 to 3; Romans 8:19-22)
    2. Moral - evil that is the result of man's choice (Genesis chapters 2-3)
  1. A solution to the Problem of Evil
  1. Man is a responsible moral agent - man given choice to obey or not. Disobedience results in suffering and evil that effects the individual, society and nature.

     

  2. Evil is the result of a permitted choice: not a planned choice. God has permitted man a choice. It was man's choice to choose wrongly. It was not God's plan that man should choose wrongly.

     

  3. In view of the fall of man, the greatest good in life is to know God. Satan tries to convince us that to be happy is the greatest good.

     

  4. Suffering in the world for evil is a tool of God to actually accomplish the greatest good.
    1. It shows us the imperfections of this age.

       

    2. It shows man's inability to control things (i.e. God may be trying to get our attention).

       

    3. It creates in us a desire to know God.

       

    4. It shows God's goodness against sins background. (i.e. God's salvation is contrast to judgment).

       

    5. Murder of children may be a way to heaven for them. Thus by doing this God, in His wisdom and knowledge is spared these children from a life of suffering. (2 Samuel 12:18-23)

       

    6. We can look forward and appreciate the joys of heaven.

       

    7. It may be God's judgment on sin (1 Corinthians 11:20-30).

       

    8. General calamities that are the result of man's fall (Luke 13:1-5)

       

    9. Satan's attacks (Luke 13:16)

       

    10. God's punishment and correction (Hebrews 12:5)

       

    11. Trial and strengthening of faith (1 Peter 1:6-7)

       

    12. Prepares us for ministry to others (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).

       

    13. Suffering for the display of God's works. God uses these experiences in two ways:
      1. To sustain His child in the test, displaying His enabling grace, as with the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.
      2. Showing His delivering John 9:1-7.
  1. The greatest evil -- Christ's death, provides the greatest good -- eternal life for those who believe.

See also:

How Could a Good God Allow Evil and Suffering?

Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering?

Understanding suffering in a Christians life

Problem of Pain