This is the 8th in a 9-part series on Christian Ethics.
There are some philosophies, like Buddhism, which teach that suffering is the root of all man’s problems. If you can eliminate your suffering, and the desires that bring about suffering you can attain a state of enlightenment. Under such mistaken philosophies, suffering is seen as evil, without good purpose. No one who embraces such a philosophy sees any value in suffering.
Suffering is a hard thing. Everyone hates to suffer. Yet the Bible encourages us with three facts about suffering:
- Suffering is only a temporary condition for the Christian,
- Suffering is used by God to bring good,
- Suffering will one day be eliminated.
Though everyone recognizes the hardship of suffering and that it is undesirable, the Bible offers a perspective on suffering that to some people seems like insanity. It presents a picture of the eternal God who created the universe, who is all-powerful, and whom nothing can hurt, embracing suffering, and submitting himself to suffering on our behalf. In fact, the Bible teaches that God chose suffering as the primary means of ensuring we could have eternal life. Why is it that God’s ideas about suffering are so different from ours?
In this study we will examine the role that suffering plays in the Christian life, and why God not only warned us about suffering, but also made a way for us to embraces suffering as part of becoming the kind of person he desires.