Suffering, Evil, and Pain:
Symptoms of BROKENNESS
Many people stumble
But it isn’t good for finite people to make rash assumptions about an infinite God. We end up either making fools of ourselves or turning God into an enemy. So, let’s consider this question for a bit.
We live in a broken world. But it is a world that looks forward to better things. Pain, evil and suffering are merely the birth pangs leading to a better world. (See Romans 8:16 – 22)
Romans 8:16 – 23
… uses the concept of suffering to explain what it is like to be a Christian. It also gives us some reasons why suffering is important. Notice the two pictures that Paul gives us here. On the one hand we have suffering Christians. On the other hand we have nature, also suffering.
For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. (Rom 8:16-23 NLT)
Here are some concepts
… from this passage.
- If we expect to share in the glory of Christ, we need to accept his suffering. Why should we expect the one without the other?
- Any suffering we might face is nothing in comparison with the glory we look forward to. So why should we balk at paying the price?
- God had created man and woman perfect. He had also created nature perfect. In this perfection there was no evil, no pain, and no suffering.
- Sin changed it all. It broke us, and we died spiritually. God also cursed nature, because broken humans needed a broken home to live in. Now nature is broken too. Broken beings and broken things suffer.
- God told Eve that she would be saved by child birth. I’m sure that every time that she conceived a child she looked forward eagerly to her labor pains. Maybe this child would be the savior! Nature too is suffering labor pains. Suffering reminds us of better things coming. It is a very foolish mother who thinks that she can have the joys of child-birth without suffering labor pains.
- It is through suffering that we give birth to the glory in store for us. Nature will also be reborn someday and will be part of a new heaven and a new earth—perfect once more. It will the perfect home for a perfect people who have been reborn with perfect bodies and perfect, sin free spirits.
No mother enjoys the pain of delivering a child. But through that pain she receives a “new” son or daughter. It makes her a mother!
My grand daughter was delivered by C-section. She didn’t go through the pains of being born. But the painful experience of birth is necessary for the health of a child. She suffered later because she didn’t suffer those pains. Even so, we wouldn’t become perfect people living in glory without the labor pains we suffer here on earth.