I receive about 10 emails a week for seekers who are exploring what it means to know and follow Jesus. Some have just recently received Christ. Some are still on their journey towards Jesus.
Some of the recurring questions I receive are in the area of “How can a good and loving God allow pain and suffering and evil?”
This is not an easy topic for mature Christians and is sometimes a stumbling block for those seeking to know our God of love and forgiveness.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Letters and Papers from Prison:
It is a good thing to learn early that God and suffering are not opposites but rather one and the same thing and necessarily so; for me, the idea that God himself suffers is far and away the most convincing piece of Christian doctrine.
I’ve found several things that help questioners address this important issue. Here’s an email I sent today to someone asking this question.
Hi, my name is Keith and I wanted to thank you for visiting our web site.
I appreciate your desire to investigate Christianity and the claims of Christ. This is definitely not a decision to be taken lightly and if there is anything I can help you with on your spiritual journey, please let me know.
My hope and prayer for you is that you will experience God’s peace and plan for your life.
I do not want to trivialize your questions about God’s existence and the deep issues of pain and suffering. Here are some articles that I think might help you think through this very important issue. Would you read these and write me back? I would like to know what you think.
Deliver us from evil (This website was developed by a friend of mine)
Father of mercy and love, I ask you to reveal yourself to ________ as he works through the deeply painful issues in his life. Would you please show him your love. Show him your desire to help him make sense of the pain and suffering in his life.
I look forward to hearing more from you.
On the journey with you,