Read the introduction to this series here.

The existence of suffering is often times used to deny God’s existence.  The purpose of this series of posts is to show why there is suffering in the world.  The hope is that we can answer the critics charges that God cannot be good and suffering exist.

Having looked at the basic cause for all the suffering we see on this earth (read post here), we will now turn our attention to more specific causes of it.  Although suffering, in general, is a result of the curse placed upon the earth by man’s sin, specific instances of suffering are not directly caused by this source.  This truth is seen very clearly in the book of Job, which teaches us that suffering is not always specifically linked to sin.  The next few posts will deal with specific causes of suffering.  Two will be discussed in this post.

The first cause for suffering we find in the Scriptures is that we suffer for our own sins.  The axiomatic truth in Galatians 6:7 states that we “sow what we reap.”  Many people will face suffering because of the sins they committed.  This, to me, is the initial area that we should investigate in our lives.  This is clearly seen today when a murderer is sent to prison because of his sin or a drunkard faces physical ailments related to alcoholism.

The second specific cause for suffering is the sin of another person.  Although the guilt of someone else’s sin is not given to us (Ezekiel 18:20), we can experience the consequences of someone else’s sin.  This is scripturally illustrated in the account of David with Uriah.  Uriah was killed and suffered by no sin of his own, but rather, due to the sin of David.  Today, a drunk driver might hit an innocent by-stander and thus cause suffering.