Board index The Problem of Evil and Suffering

Why do bad things happen? Why is there so much suffering in the world? How can we make sense of it all. Is God not good? Is he too weak?

My parents are dying. How can God be loving?

Postby Panda Bear » Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:05 pm

My father died when I was 13, and my mother is more likely going to die from brain cancer. How can God be a loving and compassionate being that is worthy of worship?
Panda Bear

Re: My parents are dying. How can God be loving?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:58 pm

I'm sorry for your tragic pain and gut-wrenching suffering. We all want God to step in and make things better, to not allow such agonies to plague and destroy us. But if we think that God is only worthy of worship if he doesn't stop all the suffering, we're not thinking through the issue properly. But I know that when life is so bad we don't want to think through the issues, we just want the people we love to be OK and to stay with us.

There's a long explanation to this, but actually if God stopped all suffering, we would stop being human. We'd be robotic, with every action and thought governed for us to prevent any kind of harm. Instead, he most often allows life to take its course, and then he redeems the pain: courage, strength, stamina, fortitude, people who come along side of us in love, and a hundred other things. While you'd prefer to have your dad and mom than fortitude, God promises to make good on the pain in our relationship with him. If he stops the causes of all pain we become less human; if he strengthens us through and after the pain, we become more human. While the death of our precious parents is awful beyond compare, it doesn't make God unloving and uncompassionate to allow it to happen. Just as a surgeon or an oncologist allows suffering for a greater good, so also God can allow suffering as long as the balance of good over evil is sustained, and that good can come out of any suffering. And while that doesn't make your pain any easier, and I'm so sorry for your pain, the existence of suffering doesn't mean God is unworthy of worship.

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