Why is there so much suffering in the world?
Summary: We have FREE WILL in a FALLEN World.
Six “Causes” of Suffering
1. My Sin/Choices
2. Sin of Others/Their Choices
3. Satan (Luke 13:17; Acts 10:38; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Revelation 2:10)
4. Time and Chance (Ecclesiastes 9:11; Luke 13:1-5)
5. A Fallen World (Genesis 3:17; Romans 8:18-22)
- “Some other religions try to deny all pain, or to rise above it. Christianity starts, rather, with the assertion that suffering exists, and exists as proof of our fall. One may dismiss the Christian explanation of the origin of suffering—that it was introduced into the world as a consequence of man’s aborted freedom—as being unsatisfactory. But at least the concept of a great-but-fallen world matches with what we know of reality.” (Philip Yancey, Where Is God When It Hurts?)
6. The Allowance of God Himself (Job 1:12, 21, 2:6, 10; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Genesis 50:20; James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-5; 2 Corinthians 1:8-10)
Three Keys to Understanding Romans 8:28
1. This is a promise only to those who “love God”—those who answer the call of His purpose.
- If you’re not right with God, seeking to DO HIS WILL in LOVE, don’t expect this assurance. You don’t have this promise.
2. Not that it IS good, but it turns out FOR our good.
- Sin is still sin, and evil is still evil, but God is great enough to use something that is wrong for our good.
3. Not that it is what is absolute BEST, but it is still what is GOOD.
- “Best” would be if everyone were healthy, faithful, and going to heaven, but God can still make it “good.”