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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

21 June 2013: Rev'd Chris Williams. St Mary’s Liss

Suffering

What about suffering? That is the biggest problem people have with the idea of a loving yet all-powerful God - and I admit it is a real problem. I certainly can’t answer that in a paragraph, but any attempt at a response I think must start with the fact that the all-powerful God of Christianity expresses his power in suffering and dying. There are a lot of gods disproved by the reality of suffering, but this God actually comes into our world to bear the suffering and grief of the world; this God goes to the cross as a suffering servant; this God identifies so completely with the human condition that he experiences our life and suffers our death – and all because he loves us so much.

I don’t believe God causes our suffering, but I am convinced that when we are faced with pain and grief he understands it and that he is with us through it. Let’s face it if God is not there in the very darkest of times – then he’s not there at all. But he is there. Often in the face of suffering and pain we run away from God. Maybe we should, rather,  turn to him and allow him to bring his love, which we need so much, into our lives. Something to think about.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Herald on 21 June; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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