The problem of suffering is a personal topic that we all will wrestle with at some point in our lives. How are we to respond to pain as Christians, and how do we respond to those who point to suffering as a reason to doubt God's love, or even His existence? We recommend beginning with the "Get Started" content for good overviews. "Going Deeper" expands on these topics . "Further Study" will set you on a trajectory of lifelong learning!

Get Started

How Could God Allow Suffering? - D. A. Carson (article) | Here is a short blog that summarizes the 6 points that Carson makes in his talk. If you have time to listen to the whole thing, I would encourage it. However, if you only have time to quickly get yourself familiar with the points this is a good summary.
Response to Suffering - Pete Bullette | A manuscript of the Elements of Life: Suffering message. (5 pages)

Going Deeper

How Could God Allow Suffering? - D. A. Carson (video) | This video gives 6 theological pillars from the Scriptures to help us understand and live in a world of suffering. It is 1 hour and 35 minutes, but is worthy of a listen. It gives a holistic framework for us as we live in a world of suffering.
Elements of Life: Suffering | If God is good, why do we and people we love suffer? The Bible doesn't ignore this issue, but instead explains why there is suffering in the world and how we can have faith in a world full of suffering. Monday Night Live message by Pete Bullette (36 minutes)
Two Themes That Haunt Me: Suffering and Grace - Philip Yancey | A lecture given at the University of Virginia in 2015. If you are short on time, from the 4 minute mark to 36 minute mark is a beautiful response to suffering that is deeply compassionate and thoughtful.  However, the entire talk is worth listening to. (1 hour 30 minutes)

Further Study

The Problem of Pain - C.S. Lewis | One of the most renowned Christian authors and thinkers, examines a universally applicable question within the human condition: “If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?” With his signature wealth of compassion and insight, C.S. Lewis offers answers to these crucial questions and shares his hope and wisdom to help heal a world hungering for a true understanding of human nature.
A Grief Observed - C.S. Lewis | Written after his wife's tragic death as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moment," A Grief Observed is C.S. Lewis's honest reflection on the fundamental issues of life, death, and faith in the midst of loss. 
Lament for a Son - Nicholas Wolterstorff | Wolterstorff, a well-known Christian philosopher, lost his 25-year-old son to a mountain climbing accident. His reflections in the wake of that tragedy are at times deeply personal, but always he expresses a prayerful anguish with which most bereaved parents will identify. Above all he refuses to turn from the "demonic awfulness" of death and, as he moves faithfully through grief, discovers new meaning in the Beatitudes, together with a new understanding of a suffering God.
Share by: