Essay on The Source Of Suffering

Submitted By jahall93
Words: 2381
Pages: 10

Jacob Hall
Prof. Kent Hogan
Pauline Epistles I
13 October 2014
The Source of Suffering The source of suffering is a controversial topic among Bible teachers in America today. Some blame the devil for all suffering that happens in this life, some accuse the curse of sin as the source of all suffering, and others attribute suffering to the work of God. In the following pages the Scriptures will be examined along with a few Bible teachers who have written on this subject. The main text that will be worked from is 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Paul writes:
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (ESV) Paul was obviously suffering from something. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states: “Countless explanations concerning the nature of his thorn in the flesh have been offered. They range from incessant temptation, dogged opponents, chronic maladies (such as ophthalmia, malaria, migraine headaches, and epilepsy), to a disability in speech. No one can say for sure what his was, but it probably was a physical affliction” (Walvoord and Zuck 583). It was something that bothered him enough that he pleaded with the Lord three times to cause it to leave him. This sounds like a man who is most definitely suffering. The first possible source of suffering is sin. Matt Slick states, “Adam, who represented all humanity as well as creation, rebelled against God and brought suffering into the world” (Slick Slick then references Romans 5:12 which reads: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Slick continues, “Sin is more than simple rebellion and breaking of God's law. It is permeating throughout all of God's creation bringing imbalance, famine, earthquakes, disease, etc.” Looking at the historical account, it can easily be seen in the book of Genesis that God created everything in perfection. Genesis 1:31 states, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” It is not until the account of the first sin in Genesis 3 that suffering comes into the picture. Because of sin the earth is under a curse, and that curse spreads to everyone who lives on the earth. Therefore, in broad terms, all suffering experienced by every person on the earth is a result of sin. Many times, specific cases of suffering come upon people because of specific sins that have been committed. A simple illustration of this would be a child’s disobedience when his mother has told him to eat his dinner. The obvious suffering that a child will experience if he does not eat his dinner is hunger. Because of disobedience, an entire generation of the children of Israel suffered death in the wilderness during forty years of wandering (Numbers 32:13). After experiencing God’s blessing on him for so long, Samson lost his strength, his power, and his life because of disobedience to the Lord. Even outside the Bible, people who commit certain sexual sins many times receive sexually transmitted diseases. Many people spend years damaging their bodies by smoking and suffer from lung cancer. The list could go on and on, but it is evident that it is often specific sins that bring specific cases of suffering into people’s lives. Though this is true, it is not so with every case. The question has been posed for years: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Sin is the cause of suffering