How Great is Our God in HEBREW,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The "Problem of Pain" - Revisited

I've been thinking back again on the topic of suffering. I've been in conversation with a woman who is of a Jewish background but who has totally abandoned all pretence of faith due to this very issue. In fact I was in conversation with a woman via comments on a video on Youtube and this woman was virulent in her furious attacks on a God who can allow pain and human anguish to exist. Isn't that the way it so often is? People are so appalled and wounded by the fact of suffering that they target God as, not only the potential overcomer of human pain and injustice, but also its very source.

This is a bit of a twist in their logic. For we understand from Scripture that suffering has its root in mankind's departure from the path and plan which God had initially devised for man. It is due to the fact that we have departed from the security and goodness of God's plans for us that our pain exists. It is due to the fact that we have fractured that oneness and intimacy of relationship with a loving God that we have wandered into the dark regions of pain. And from this point, our enemy has taken the ball and run with it.

Now it is true, theoretically, that God could have and can still, put out His all powerful hand and say, "STOP!" to all of our agony; that He could interject in the paths of Nature and man's will and twist the outcome of things, wresting His will, despite all logical outcome, and magically erase all suffering and injustice.

But you see, God doesn't work like that.

He designs rules....and then He lives by them. He doesn't force His way on us...or IN us. He abides by the laws of cause and effect. And He has in fact, designed a way to defeat and overcome all of our pain, ONCE AND FOR ALL (not merely a sporadic or one time solution) which obeys all the laws of logic and cause and effect. He has created a FINAL SOLUTION--not a final solution of death, (like that of Hitler, that architect of pain) but the ultimate victory of LIFE--over the problem of pain.

And you see, if God randomly jumped in and wrested His will for a happy existence in the lives of man, it would really have messed up this Final Solution of His. Because, ironically, not only does pain make us furious with God and want to spit in His face; it also drives some of us to run straight for His arms.

There is a quote which I believe I've used before which is about this very fact. It is this:

"It’s been said that pain is the second best thing because it leads us to the Best Thing (God). For, it is only when we come to the end of ourselves that we come to the beginning of God. And it is only when we come to the beginning of God that we come to the beginning of life."

I’m Thankful For Pain
Posted November 26th, 2009 by Tullian Tchividjian

Post a Comment