This question is continually raised in my mind, and the most encompassing answer I can give is that suffering is for God’s glory. This is hard to believe, primarily because it goes against our autonomous nature as Americans. We like to be treated fairly for no good reason. Really, we do not have a good reason to be treated fairly, most people would say, “Well…because I’m me…” Of course, suffering is due to sin. If there were no sin there would be no suffering, but since there is sin, we have to deal with suffering. I argue that God ordains (you can use the word “permit” if you like) evil, so that His glory would be revealed. Suffering in the life of the Christian is for the works of God to be shown. Light through darkness. I want to offer four resources for further development on this issue.
1) The Bible. The Bible is a book full of suffering. From Genesis 3 to Revelation 22 there is suffering and there is God. Read it because the Bible has the answers for our questions.
2) Spectacular Sins, by John Piper. This book is only 112 pages, but it will change you. It will change the way you read Scripture, and it will change the way you view life.
3) How Long O Lord? by D.A. Carson. I have not read this book entirely, I must admit. A friend of mine who had read this book only months before suffering the loss no man should suffer has told me that this book enabled him to keep his feet firm in the faith. I trust my friend’s judgment, I trust Dr. Carson, and I highly recommend this book.
4) This sermon is moving. Even if you do not agree with the statement that “God ordains evil,” you should still watch this video. I understand the difficulties in accepting the notion that God ordains evil, it hurts, it seems unfair, but your life is God’s possession.Vodpod videos no longer available.