Suffering

You’ve probably watched ‘Lord of the Rings’ or other films or series that show the conflict between good and evil. It is a common theme. It is also very real in our experience. The world is full of good and of evil and we are not detached from it. One day we see the goodness of humanity in helping someone struggling and the next day we see the pain and hurt caused by others. We feel it within ourselves, often wanting to make the right choice or say the right thing to people but being drawn to doing or saying the wrong thing. 


Our highest experience is love.

We meet someone and fall in love. It is the purest and loveliest emotion and experience. We want it to last forever (and it can with care). But as we continue in the relationship, maybe get married or live together, the things of life start to interfere – we get tired, perhaps stressed and easily annoyed, we don’t agree about decisions, conflict arises. We feel like we are the one who has to let go all the time. We find ourselves in a battle inside, wanting to do or say what is best but saying or doing the wrong thing. It takes a lot of effort, humility and focusing on love to overcome our unhelpful emotions. Sadly 50% don’t and the relationship becomes broken beyond repair. We usually see the other party as being at fault but the reality is that the problem is in both of us (as any marriage counsellor knows).

So what is going on?

God made the world a beautiful and perfect place. He gave us responsibility to care for it and organise it. But mankind decided to go its own way and write its own rules – taking more than giving; the stronger ruling over the weaker, doing what we want regardless of others. The reality is that there are forces for good and evil. God wants the best for us – He made us and loves us. But there is an enemy whose desire is to destroy what is good and everything God has made and frustrate God’s purposes. We are all caught up in it. The whole planet is caught up in it. 

This might at first seem extreme but it is the reality in which we live in. We would like to think everything is lovely and rosy and can be fixed in a moment but that is not the way the world works. Greed means the West lives comfortably but much of the world goes hungry. Disease spreads where medicines or cures are not available. Governments and leaders become corrupt, looking after their own comfort more than the people they administer.

The reality of this conflict is evidence for God, rather than against.

A battle means there are two sides. We have to choose sides, deliberately or otherwise – to fight for what is good in our world or give in to the easier way of living for ourselves. Jesus said ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’. God’s path is to come alongside and support those who choose to walk with Him and learn from him, becoming an influence for good and helping change this world. Evil will quietly seek to draw us away into a self-based world in which we think we can do whatever we want. Sadly the reality is that ‘enjoying doing whatever I want’ is an illusion - it is often leads down an unwanted path ending in broken relationships, poor health, stress and frequently destructive habits or addictions. It is not the path to happiness we might at first imagine.

Good over evil

Films are usually about the triumph of good over evil. It is what we want to see. But it takes help and support to be a part of what is good and to help in shaping our world and caring for those who are struggling. Jesus came to reveal the truth about God, about life, about changing our world and to guide us towards a caring God who can come alongside us and help us win the battle within and change the world around us. 


We hope the above will open your eyes to the conflict that is very real and which we are all caught up in. If you would like to ask questions, please fill in the form below and we will try and answer them or point you in the right direction. Below are a number of links where you can find out more. There are no short answers to the reasons for suffering but hopefully the above will give you an introduction to what is happening and why churches are important in our community. 

Churches in Harborough provide help in lots of ways – click here to discover just how much is done to help our community.

Our church seeks to make a difference in our town and amongst the poor and disadvantaged in Malawi, in Burkina Faso and in a poor township in JoBurg, South Africa. Learn more about the project in Malawi by clicking here.

Watch the videos below for further information

 
 

If you want to really understand what the bible teaches about justice have a look at this 6 minute animated video on justice that shows how God works through us to help this world.

 

Further thoughts on suffering

Answers to tough questions are provided by Christianity Explored

This video material is provided by Christianity Explored who provide a course for discovering more about the Christian faith. For more information click here

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