What if God eliminated suffering? – A Reflection for Good Friday

One question that skeptics and believers both ask frequently is: “if God is so loving, why does He allow suffering and evil?”

The Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 120-134) are written to facilitate the worship of God’s pilgrim people on their journey up to Jerusalem. One notable feature of the journey of faith is oppression and suffering.

Good Friday is a great time to reflect on Psalm 129. In it, the Psalmist laments the repeated and frequent afflictions of his people. This Psalm is most applicable to Jesus on Good Friday for He is the ultimate sufferer whose back is plowed to bring healing to us – His sin-sick people.

But what would life be like in our fallen world if God eliminated suffering? Malcolm Muggeridge, a noted British author and journalist answers:

“Supposing you eliminated suffering, what a dreadful place the world would be. The world would be the most ghastly place because everything that corrects the tendency of this unspeakable little creature, man, to feel over-important and over-pleased with himself would disappear. He’s bad enough now, but he would be absolutely intolerable if he never suffered” (Jesus Rediscovered, 1969. pp. 199-200).

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