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Category: Apologetics (page 3 of 9)

Suffering and the Existence of God–Specific Reasons Part 3

Be sure to read part 1 and part 2 in this series.

The fifth specific cause for suffering is to test our faith.  I Peter states that suffering is an opportunity to show our faith to be genuine.  Peter describes it as a fire that allows our faith to be purified (1:7).  James tells us that we should “count it all joy” when we face suffering because it is a testing which produces positive results.  Paul would say these results include a great hope (Romans 5:3-5)

The sixth specific cause is our choice to follow Jesus.  Paul’s letters, Acts, the books of Hebrews, I Peter, and the Revelation, all address the special suffering facing the community of Christ.  When one investigates I Peter we realize Christians are called to “do good and suffer” (I Peter 2:20, 21).  This fits with the warning of Jesus that His disciples would be hated by the world because He was hated by the world (John 15:18).  The Christian will face suffering in this world because our standards are so much different from the world.

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Suffering and the Existence of God–Specific Reasons Part 2

The purpose of this series is to answer the critic who states, “There cannot both be a good God and suffering in the world.”  My goal is to show that the ultimate cause of suffering is not God, but the results of Adam and Eve’s disobedience (read that post here).  Then, to provide reasons to why we suffer in the world today.  Ultimately, this paper will show that God is not the cause of suffering and that, after the fall, suffering is beneficial for man’s spiritual development.

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Suffering and the Existence of God–Specific Reasons Part 1

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.

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Suffering and the Existence of God–General Answer

Remember the purpose of this series is to give a reasonable explanation to the suffering we see in the world, so as to show that this suffering does not negate God’s existence.  (You can read the first two posts in the series here and here).

In order for us to understand the general cause of suffering we must begin with the creation.  The Scriptures teach that when this world was created it was created “very good” (Genesis 1:31).  Everything about this world was perfect and it was perfectly equipped for its original purpose.  The original purpose of creation, and more specifically of man, was to have fellowship with God.  God created us so He could extend His love and fellowship to us, and so that we could reciprocate the like.

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Suffering and God’s Existence-Humility

The story of Job centers around the suffering of the righteous.  It attacks the ancient (and current) notion that the evil suffer and that the righteous are blessed.  The suffering of Job proved this theory inadequate.  It is true that sometimes suffering comes as the result of a person’s evil choices but not always.  A second theme of Job is that sometimes the answer of why we suffer will be beyond our grasp.

The hope of this series is to provide a few reasons why suffering occurs.  However, I want to begin with the fact that sometimes we will never know (at least on this side of eternity if ever) the why behind the particular reason that we are experiencing suffering.

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