Pain and Suffering

November 20, 2011

During a morning service at Menlo Church in Menlo Park, California, John Ortberg asked Dallas to explain how there can be a good God when there is so much pain and suffering in the world.

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Pain and Suffering

During a morning service at Menlo Church in Menlo Park, California, John Ortberg asked Dallas to explain how there can be a good God when there is so much pain and suffering in the world.

Pain and Suffering

Questions:

  1. With so much pain and suffering in the world, how can you believe in a powerful and loving God?
  2. When we think about children dying every day, where is God? Why doesn't he do something? Couldn't it be otherwise?
  3. God is all powerful, he could stop all suffering. And yet suffering still exists. So he must either not be fully loving or not be fully powerful, right?
  4. In the scriptures, we're told that Jesus, who is God made flesh actually suffers on the cross. How significant is the idea that in Jesus, God was suffering? And how unique is that to Christianity?
  5. James says, "Consider it pure joy brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds." But we struggle with finding joy in the midst of pain and suffering. How do joy and pain relate to each other? 
  6. There's no way to understand the problem of suffering without an eternal perspective. So how should we think about that?
  7. How does one make sense when their teenage son takes His life? 
  8. How can we become the kind of community where people who suffer pain and brokenness find healing?
  9. Why do we feel so alone and forsaken when bad things happen to us through no fault of our own? How can we feel closer to God instead? 
  10. The Bible says suffering can actually lead to spiritual growth, so how do we pursue that? How do we try to use pain to grow spiritually, because it doesn't happen automatically?