Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What does the Bible say about suffering?

It's interesting that the Bible acknowledges the fact that good people are just as likely to suffer and experience an early death as evildoers.

Ecclesiastes 9:1-2: "This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God's hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor. The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don't."

Maybe the Bible is one of the first documents to point out this fact. But on the plus side, good, righteous people are doing God's will in their lives, and they go to eternal life when they die. Whereas evildoers reject being with God forever.

If we trust the Bible we know that God is in control of our lives although it seems like chaotic randomness a lot of the time.

Psalm 32:8-9: "The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control."

Psalm 68:19: "Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms."

I think the Bible's answer is that because we are currently separated from God (although Christians are technically not, we have not yet come into our inheritance) basically life must involve a lot of suffering (Gen 2:17; Rom 5:12-14). We don't know exactly how separation from God leads to our suffering, but it somehow does. The comforting thing is that genuine Christians do God's will in their lives and go to eternal life (which means no longer being separated from God, see Rev 21:3-4) after they die.

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