Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why Pain and Suffering

Why Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering are a fact of life. Why? Couldn’t God have created us in a place where there was no pain and suffering? He did! Pain and suffering were unknown in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 1:31; 3:17-19) In His sovereignty He created man with a free will – the ability to choose. “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.”(Psalm 115:3). What an awesome gift! Herein lies the seed of pain and suffering – CHOICE. Choices have consequences. Most of us have questioned our existence, God’s purpose, eternity, etc. God created us for a purpose. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) We have a purpose and our Father desires to bless us. Whether or not we receive that blessing is our choice. He didn’t create us and hope we would discover how to please Him; He gave us the Bible (the infallible, inspired, authoritative word of God - the Manufacturer’s Handbook) to reveal to us how to make choices. He established spiritual and physical boundaries for us to live by, e.g., natural laws such as the law of gravity and spiritual laws such as the Ten Commandments. If these boundaries are violated the result is pain and suffering for others and ourselves.

Consider five reasons for pain and suffering: ME – I can make choices that will cause me (and indirectly others) pain and suffering. Examples: jumping over a cliff, smoking, pornography, sexual immorality, gambling, laziness, etc. 2. OTHERS – others make choices that may cause you pain and suffering. Examples: murder, abortion, adultery, stealing, gossip, slander, anger, etc. 3. SIN – because of man’s disobedience the Bible tells us that all of creation is in turmoil. Examples: earthquakes, tornados, disease, mutations, etc. (Romans 8:18-22) 4. SATAN – He goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). He has come to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). 5. GOD – “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and punishes everyone He accepts as a son.” (Hebrews 12:4b-6).

Living with freedom of choice requires discipline as well as the understanding that we alone are responsible for our choices. With every choice there is a consequence – good or bad, they go hand in hand. Remember the Law of the Harvest, “ Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7)

Christian counseling encourages individuals to set “boundaries” and make “choices” established by God that will enable them to find the fruit of the Holy Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) What if the Bible (the Manufacturer’s Handbook) is true?

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