How does Christianity address the problem of pain and suffering?

Hello Mr. McAllister, I’ve been studying the concepts of other worldviews such as pantheism, and Indian philosophy . In every philosophy our actions lead to pain or misery in our life. My question is What explanation does Christian worldview offers regarding pain and suffering? And how it differs from other’s.?
Thank you:)

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Hi there,

Thanks for the question. In the Christian view, The world is the creation of the Living God, who designed it and made it for His glory. It has an independent existence but in relation to God, an interdependence. The doctrine of sin and the fall of man point to a good creation gone wrong. To the entrance of death, suffering and sorrow as now, parts of existence and experience due to human rejection of God and His will.

Humans, made in the image of God, defy Him, and as they are turned in on themselves, they live lives of self-fulfillment and selfishness, which spreads pain, greed, sorrow, violence and many other social type ills. We also live in a fallen creation and with hostile spiritual forces, which the Bible speaks of tin Ephesians 6:12-13. This means cumulatively, that our context, our living space, is deeply flawed and conflicted. Sin, suffering and death were not part of the original intent (on God’s part) but once added into the equation (by human action and choice), things changed

The Bible teaches that God Himself has acted to reverse the damage of sin, to pay the penalty of transgressions and to offer a way of salvation and a path of peace leading to eternal life. In John 1:10-14, we learn that He “came” in the person of Jesus, He walked among us, He taught, announced the arrival of the Kingdom of God, He healed and called men and women to Himself, and then He was ultimately arrested, tried and then executed by the Roman authorities, though innocent of any actual crime.

This who had seen and heard Him were distraught and confused. The hope they had was dashed. and then on the third day, He rose from the dead. He subsequently appeared to His followers, spoke to them of the kingdom of God and after some final instructions, He ascended to Heaven promising to return for His Disciples. So what?

  1. Christians came to understand that Christ had died for our sins and offered healing and forgiveness.

  2. He had released the Gift of the Holy Spirit, who brings new life, regenerates hearts and is a downpayment of the life to come.

  3. The power of redemption, love, grace and mercy, are now shed abroad, so that people can be given the opportunity to know God, to be forgiven, to receive eternal life and to experience love and grace in struggles.

In the great prophecy about the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 which the church believes was Jesus Christ, we meet a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. Jesus suffered for us and as us. God comes among us, to bear our sorrows, to walk with us in identification with pain, to conquer evil and suffering and finally to provide a new heavens and earth in which righteousness dwells.

In the Christian story, death does not have the last word and for now, there is a Savior and a present hope leading to final healing. Suffering is real but so is the provision given by God. He offers, life, forgiveness and eternal hope, if we will come to Him.

I hope this brief overview is of help. thanks for your question.

All the best, Stuart.

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