Why does God “make” me suffer? – a line of reasoning
For me to answer this question thoroughly would take books, not a page of notes. But here is a thumbnail sketch of my answer to suffering…
* I believe in God
* I am a Christian
* As a Christian I believe in the Bible, I believe this because of its internal consistency and the external evidence that shows the Bible we have today is trustworthy
* Because I believe in the Bible I believe the answer to the dilemma stated (good God allows suffering) is found in the first three chapters of the Bible
* The Bible is infallible truth but I am a limited human and therefore I don’t think I have all the answers, BUT I can use God’s work to reason and seek understanding from Him
* These chapters tell me God created reality (the universe) and it was good
* Scripture also tells me that man is the pinnacle of God’s creation, made in God’s image
* The Bible also teaches me that God is HOLY (He is separate from the reality that He created, but is active in it)
* God gave man the ability to make decisions and gave him not only the ability to make the right decisions but the wrong decisions
* Humans (in Adam and Eve) chose the wrong way (this is the “fall of man”)
* God (who is just, and must deal justly with the actions of his creatures) corrected man with “the curse” which impacted not just humans but I believe includes natural phenomena such as floods, drought, earthquakes, etc.
* Man was cast from the garden and God’s blessing and is separated from God and needs redemption
* Humans are “fallen”, now must work, suffer, women suffer in childbirth, mankind now becomes sick and gets hurt and ultimately dies (these were not a part of God’s original plan)
Hence, humans suffer because of the choice of man’s forbearers, Adam and Eve (the fall) and his/her own continuing bad choices which are sinful (because of the fall: “we are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners”). The Old Testament tells us of the story of fallen man and his attempts to live life without God and the longsuffering nature of God who is shown to always be ready to forgive man.
God is merciful and immediately put into operation the means for humans to, through faith, believe in and trust God and ask God for help in this fallen world, this is seen throughout the Old Testament and culminates in the work of God coming to earth, in the person of Jesus (who is fully man and fully God, hence sinless).
Jesus came, lived, healed, taught, was crucified, died (this death pays for the sin that separates humans for God), was buried, and then rose again for man, so that
Man can have faith in God through Jesus and be reunited with God spiritually and be filled with God’s Holy Spirit when she/he believes
The Holy Spirit helps “redeemed people”: he comforts us and enables us to get through the tough times of life which will continue even though God is with us, tragedy does not depart from our experience…
The world remains fallen, God’s promise is to have a renewed personal fellowship with Him which will sustain us through life’s trials.
We have made a mess, God promises an ultimate deliverance and an immediate help to bring us through the mess.