The Problem of Evil and Suffering

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THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND SUFFERING 1

TheProblem of Evil and Suffering

  1. Describe a time when you experienced a significant period of suffering. How did you deal with that experience? How did you find comfort in the midst of suffering.

Human beings experience suffering emanating from either direct orindirect occurrences in life. Disease is one of the causes ofsuffering in today’s society. My family and I have not been avertedto the suffering that disease brings. Four years ago, my brothersuccumbed to cancer of the throat. It was one of the most painfulexperiences in my life as I watched him suffer every day withexcoriating pain that even the pain relievers could not quell. Aftereight months of suffering, he passed away. I prayed a lot during thesuffering for strength as well as talking with my close friends whoencourage me to remain strong. My family members and I comforted eachother since we did not want my brother to get any sign ofhopelessness in us.

  1. Briefly summarize the problem of evil and suffering. Cite and reference Chapter 9 in the textbook

God made a word free of evil. The rebellion that human beings hadagainst God was the source of evil and suffering. God created humanbeings with a free will to choose the right from the wrong. Jobremained a prime example in the Bible when he chose to remainfaithful and loyal to God even after losing all his property andsuffering physically. Evil is like darkness that represents theabsence of light. When human beings act against the will of God, theybecome devoid of goodness, and they become evil (Sharpe, 2014). Inthis fallen world, Christians are bound to suffer. However, sufferingis part of life, and it equips human beings with compassion and thecapacity to comfort others. Just like Christ suffered, Christiansshare in his suffering, and it is one of the ways that they turn backto God.

  1. Briefly summarize the Christian worldview’s response to the problem of evil and suffering. Cite and reference the lecture and/or Chapter 9 in the textbook.

The issue of pain and suffering is contentious among the Christiancommunity. Suffering comes to all people. The true definition of aperson lies on how he/she responds to the situation. Suffering is oneof the channels that lead people to surrender to the will of God justas Jesus did. When people suffer, they look for avenues to ease theirpain (Sharpe, 2014). Those who believe in God receive the spirit ofcomfort, and it is only then that they realize a sense of inwardpeace. People also find comfort from those around them. Theserepresent the church, and they share the love of God.

  1. Imagine that a close friend has just suffered through a great personal loss (death of a loved one, natural disaster, disease, job loss, divorce, or a broken relationship) and your friend asks you why God would let such a terrible thing happen. How would you respond to your friend?

After suffering, one might think that God is not fair and that therebellion that our first parents had against God should notperpetuate to the current generation. A comforting message for asuffering colleague would start by reminding him/her that humanbeings exist in a broken world, and they have to take suffering aspart of their lives (Lewis, 1983). Secondly, it was more than fairthat God gave human beings his only son to suffer for their rebellionand therefore, those who believe in him will conquer the suffering. When he seeks help from God through Christ, he will remain strong andassist him to develop instrumental lessons of endurance in life.

  1. How might the problem of evil and suffering lead one to the conclusion that absolutes exist?

The problem of evil and suffering might lead one to the conclusionthat absolutes exist. When people suffer they feel the impact of thesituation and they are the only ones who understand the gravity oftheir feelings. Some people might feel like they are alone in thesuffering and they might take evil to and suffering to be a personalaffair (Gaebelein, 1954). However, pain and suffering come to allpeople due to the fallen nature of the world. Also, when peoplesuffer, they join Christ in his suffering, and they become one. Ithelps them have the courage to face the challenges. During a time ofsuffering, everything seems to be uncertain, and people lean on Godduring these times because He never fails us. God is an absolutewithin Himself. It can lead others to believe that there is absolutetruth in the words He spoke and the teachings He shared with us.Altogether, someone can become a stronger person through theirsuffering because they learn to rely only on God and His absolutetruth

References

Gaebelein,F. E. (1954). Thepattern of God`s truth: Problems of integration in Christianeducation.New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Lewis, C. S. (1983). Agrief observed. New York, NY: RandomHouse Publishing Group. (Original work published in 1961)

Sharpe, J.(2014). Experiential obstacles to wisdom: Evil, suffering, and thehiddenness of God . In A. DiVincenzo (Ed.), The beginning of wisdom:An introduction to Christian thought and life. Available fromhttp://lc.gcumedia.com/cwv101/the-beginning-of-

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