Answer:  Part of being human is to suffer.  Christ said in John 16:33 (NLT), "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Because Jesus said so... is not always the most comforting answer, so the question remains - Why?  Why do we have to have trials and sorrows in this life?  Can we blame it on those in authority?  Proverbs 29:2, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."

It seems like wickedness, evil and suffering are all tied together.  God has given man the power of free choice and this freedom to choose can have positive or negative consequences.  Sometimes these painful results lead to wars, fighting, and suffering. 

Does God really allow suffering or could our own actions lead to self inflicted hardship and pain?  In Galatians 6:7 it says, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."  

Accidents and time and chance happen to us all and suffering is not always easily explained.  Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 (ESV),  "Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.  For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them."

Human suffering is the result of transgression and sin, which entered into the world with Adam and has been persistent through every year and every generation since (Romans 5:12).  Suffering is part of our human condition and just as God the Father allowed Christ to suffer He also allows us to suffer so that in our suffering we can be made perfect, accomplished and complete so that we can better serve God and be of value to Him in His Kingdom. Hebrews 2:10, "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

James 1:2-3 (ESV), "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."

We understand that this does not represent a comprehensive answer on this topic. Comments? Suggestions? Discuss with a minister?

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