An interview with Joni Eareckson Tada, who was been paralyzed since she was 17, has suffered chronic pain for the last decade, and at 60 years old now faces breast cancer. She has also been mentioned in Francis Chan’s latest book, Forgotten God.
You have hinted at a classic question: How can a good God allow such suffering in the world? How does your latest book, on God’s sovereignty, address that?
When people ask that question—even I struggle with that question—we aren’t accepting the fact that this earth is wired to be difficult. The rule of thumb is that we experience much suffering because we live in a fallen world, and it is groaning under the weight of a heavy curse. If God being good means he has to get rid of sin, it means he would have to get rid of sinners. God is a God of great generosity and great mercy, so he is keeping the execution of suffering. He’s not closing the curtain on suffering until there is more time to gather more people into the fold of Christ’s fellowship.
That answer suits me, and I think it would suit others if they stop and think: Suffering is connected to sin; if God were to get rid of suffering, he’d have to get rid of sin, and then he’d have to get rid of sinners—and God is too merciful to do that.
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