What Causes Pain and Suffering?

Ross Parsley discusses the sources of the hurt and pain in our lives.

Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection

  1. Would you agree with Ross's statement that there are several forces at work in the world? What do you think those forces are?
  2. Why do you think God—assuming there is one—doesn't get rid of the bad things in the world?

You know, you don't have to look very far to see pain and suffering all around the world. You can see it in your neighborhood, you can see it in your city. Injustice— there's something that's not right in the world, and people sort of know it. They, they know it intrinsically. Something, something is wrong. One of the difficult things for people to remember is that God created a perfect world, and what entered into it was a resistance to him, a rejection of him. I think it might be instructive to understand that there are several forces at work in, in the world, and one force is God's will. One force is the, what we would call the devil's will or the darkness that, that evil that people see. One would be man's will, just people making decisions. And the other would be natural law. There's viruses, there are earthquakes, all this stuff, and people ask the question, "Why, why doesn't God just get rid of all the bad things?" Well, there's an enemy who's out there who is really trying to kill and steal and destroy. That's what the scriptures say, and he's working against God's desire to bring people life and strength and help. And then there's just the crazy decisions that people are making all over the planet, and when you realize that all those things are happening with, at the same time, sometimes you're not sure what the source of the suffering really is. We, we had a situation just in my son's high school this last week where a, a girl died because she was in a car wreck. And some students had decided to skip class, and they they went out, and she wasn't wearing her seatbelt, and the guy who was driving was driving too fast and, and the car flipped over going around a corner and, and she died. And, and my son was really broken about this. We had a, a, a really long discussion about this, and we want to attribute the cause, we want to get rid of the cause of this. This seems so senseless. Suffering is here, and the role of Jesus, he came to identify with our suffering. He was the beginning of a solution, and the solution is the message of life and peace and grace and mercy for people's lives to deal with the struggle that we're in between good and evil. Jesus is the solution to that.