Job, Suffering, and a Game of Chess
by Luke Nix
The Ultimate Game of Chess
As a Christian I come across many challenges to my worldview. Some challenges come from those in other worldviews; others come from other Christians. One of the most common challenges from outside is to God’s existence. One argument observes all the evil and suffering in the world and asks how a good God could allow it. Many Christians also struggle with this very issue. They know that God exists, but they see suffering in their own lives and wonder why God is allowing so much. Because of this some question whether God is even there, or if they’re not willing to go that far, if God is even good. This was articulated to me very clearly not too long ago: "The story of Job is just a chess game between God and Satan, and my life is no different."
Dealing with Suffering
Before I get deep into how Christianity deals with suffering and evil in the world, I want to make one thing clear. Every worldview MUST deal with the existence of what we call "evil" or "suffering". We cannot escape its existence simply by dismissing the existence of God; neither can we ignore the fact that suffering does exist. All worldviews are faced with this challenge and must offer a coherent explanation. I believe that it is only in the Christian worldview (properly understood) that suffering and evil makes sense.
Our Purpose And The Purpose of Suffering
If Christianity is true, God has created each individual with many purposes. One of those purposes is to become more like Christ. By this we mean that we are to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). The more our hearts and lives reflect these, the more we will be like God. The more we are like God, the more personal and intimate we will be able to be with Him when we live with Him eternally…
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