istock_000017719906small_emag

C. S. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain: "If God were good, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty, He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore, God lacks either goodness, or power, or both. This is the problem of pain in its simplest form."

Of the many questions raised by suffering and evil, these four capture most of the heart issues:

  1. Does God know? (the issue of His omniscience)
  2. Does God care?·(the issue of His benevolence and love)
  3. Can He do anything about it? (the issue of His omnipotence)
  4. If He knows, cares, and can do something about it, why doesn't He?·(the·issue of His purposes and will)

So much about suffering and evil remains opaque and impenetrable. On the other hand, a lot is knowable.

Here's the elevator speech:

  • In this world we all will suffer. Faithful Christians suffer (see 1 Pet. 4:12; John 16:33). The perfection of creation was corrupted by the fall and, with it, human nature. So, because of the fall, we must do our work while feeling the prick of thorns. Humans are not capable of not sinning in their own strength. As it is, suffering plays a large part in the Christian faith on the road to redemption.
  • We are called to suffer. We all must go through hardships (see Phil. 1:29; 1 Pet. 2:21; Acts 14:22; 1 John 3:13). Not only have we been given the privilege of trusting Christ, but also of suffering for Him. He said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
  • There is purpose to suffering. We can handle anything if we think it is for a purpose (Rom. 8:20-21; 2 Cor. 1:9; 1 Pet. 1:6-7; Rom. 5:3-5). "Our light and momentary problems are achieving for us a glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Cor. 4:17).
  • There is comfort in suffering—because there is purpose to it (Ps. 119: 67, 71, 75, 92; Heb. 12:7-11). Like David we all can say, "It was good for me to be afflicted. Now I obey your law." God uses suffering to redirect us back to Himself.

I love suffering. Not while it is happening, of course. But as I look back, most of the progress in my life took place after God "refined" (by fire) something that I could/would never have dealt with on my own. Some of our greatest heroes discovered and declared this truth: Daniel (Dan. 11:35), Paul (2 Cor. 12:8-10), Peter (1 Pet. 5:10), and James (James 1:2-4).

I love suffering because it produces in me the life of Christ, and I know of no other way to get it. I haven't been able to get it by self-will. I didn't get it through prosperity. It hasn't come to me through learning.

 Great Quote: "He whom God loveth he beateth the hell out of." —Jamie Buckingham, writer and pastor

Patrick Morley began teaching a weekly Bible study to a handful of men on Friday mornings in March 1986. This group grew to the 160 men who meet weekly in Winter Park, Fla. Since 2000, Internet technology has enabled thousands of men from around the world to participate each week by viewing or listening to the study. Pat is the author of The Man in the Mirror, a landmark best-seller for men drawn from Pat's own search for a deeper relationship with God. For more teachings by Pat, go to pastoringmen.com, or visit his ministry online at maninthemirror.org.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit