I recently finished teaching a course on evangelism to a group of high school teens at my church.  They each had a willingness to spread the gospel, but also a hunger and curiosity to learn more about the validity of it.  The class consisted primarily of kids who were raised in Christian homes where they were taught to believe in God, Jesus and the Bible.  Yet within these students resided many unanswered questions that they never asked Mom and Dad.  One of the top 10 questions we talked about was, “How can a good God allow suffering to exist?”  

At the end of our class one Sunday morning I told the kids that the following week we would look to discuss this question.  One particularly bright student chimed in, “I look forward to hearing your answer to this question.  Usually when it’s brought up in conversation, I change the subject immediately.”   At that moment, I knew that my response could significantly impact this young man’s spiritual life and had the potential to reinforce or weaken his confidence in the Christian message.  I therefore set out to diligently seek God and His Word for some enlightenment knowing that He “rewards those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)  In His faithfulness, God provided me with a greater understand of His purposes and plan in suffering which I now call “The Seven C’s of Suffering.” 

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Understanding Suffering
Pierre Eade
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