In Mark Mittelberg's book, The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask, he suggests these "points of light":
First point of light: the world is as Jesus predicted
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble;" it's good to know that we follow a Savior who really gets it – who sees this fallen world for what it is, and who (contrary to many other religious leaders) tells us the truth about it.
Second point of light: evil was not created or caused by God
The Bible is clear: God is not the author of evil. But he did create us as real human beings with the ability to love and follow him … or not. Unfortunately we chose the "not," and brought sin and evil into the picture.
Third point of light: the cause behind most suffering is human
While it doesn't remove the pain, it can be important to remind people who are tempted to shake their fists at God for the suffering in the world that the vast majority of human pain has been inflicted directly or indirectly by other humans.
Fourth point of light: we live in a fallen world
There is also suffering due to what some call "natural evil" – pain that results from events and disasters that are not caused by humans. The Bible shows, however, that these are the result of the curse we live under due to human sin – see Genesis 3 and Romans 8.
Fifth point of light: God will finally judge evil
Some people criticize God (or those who believe in him), saying, "A good God would eradicate evil." My question for those folks is, "Okay, are you ready to be eradicated, since you – like me – are to some degree evil?" Seriously, I'm glad that, although God will judge and wipe out evil, he's chosen not to yet, out of patience for us and for our friends (2 Pet. 3:9).
Sixth point of light: God suffered too
It's easy to forget that the Holy God of the universe chose, out of love, to humble himself, become one of us, and ultimately to suffer in ways none of us every will (or ever could imagine) in order to purchase our redemption (Phil. 2). As a result, he can not only forgive our sins and freely give us salvation, but also sympathize with all we're going through (Heb. 4:14-16).
Seventh point of light: God can bring good out of bad
Though this truth is often bantered about in ways that are insensitive to the person who is suffering, it is still true that while bad things happen to God's people, he promises that he'll bring good – sooner or later – out of everything we experience (Rom. 8:28).
|God promises to bring good out of everything we experience... visiting with orphans|