God created everything and called it good, so why is there suffering?
This topic was touched on before, so that part will not be repeated here.
Suffice it to say that God created everything good.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
It is sin that brings forth death.
Every day brings multiple decisions to everyone. When the wrong doorway is opened, sin brings forth death.
Genesis 4:6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
An alternate doorway exists through living in relationship to Jesus Christ.
John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
The actions … or inactions … of mankind have a lot to do with whether or not suffering continues in the earth. In the story of the Good Samaritan, it was the third person who walked by who helped the person who had been beaten and robbed. What if the third person, the Samaritan, had walked on as well?
Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
In “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens there is this exchange between Scrooge and those asking for charity for the poor at Christmas.
“‘At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,’ said the gentleman,
taking up a pen, ‘it is more than usually desirable that we should make
some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at
the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries;
hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.’
‘Are there no prisons?’ asked Scrooge.
‘Plenty of prisons,’ said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
‘And the Union workhouses?’ demanded Scrooge. ‘Are they still in
‘They are. Still,’ returned the gentleman, ‘I wish I could say they were
‘The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?’ said Scrooge.
‘Both very busy, sir.’
‘Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had
occurred to stop them in their useful course,’ said Scrooge. ‘I am very
glad to hear it.’
‘Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind
or body to the multitude,’ returned the gentleman, ‘a few of us are
endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and
means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all
others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I
put you down for?’
‘Nothing!’ Scrooge replied.
‘You wish to be anonymous?’
‘I wish to be left alone,’ said Scrooge. ‘Since you ask me what I wish,
gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas,
and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the
establishments I have mentioned–they cost enough: and those who are
badly off must go there.’
‘Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.’
‘If they would rather die,’ said Scrooge, ‘they had better do it, and
decrease the surplus population. Besides–excuse me–I don’t know that.’
‘But you might know it,’ observed the gentleman.
‘It’s not my business,’ Scrooge returned. ‘It’s enough for a man to
understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s.
Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!'”
The attitude of those who left the man beaten by robbers and the attitude of Scrooge is similar to that of another man spoken of by Jesus in parable.
Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
In all these tales, it is man, or rather man’s refusal to respond to that which is before him, that prolongs suffering.
Paul talks about the body of Christ. Our human bodies only work well and accomplish when every part functions harmoniously. Likewise, in our families, our societies, and our nations it requires everyone to do whatever part God has given each to play to solve problems and lessen suffering.
Christ is the head of his body. We are the hands and feet and functioning parts of the body that need to function under the direction of Christ the head. Only in that way, can suffering be ended within the will of God.
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