The number one question that people ask about faith is: “why do we suffer.”
Maybe because it hits closest to home. Maybe deep down inside, we all know that things will turn out better someday.
But we reel. We feel the pain of loss and it bends the structures of our worldview. We feel helpless in the face of undeserved suffering or blatant, unbound evil, and we feel a cry rising up from those same deep places, cluttered with hope and anger.
As great-grandchildren of the enlightenment, of a generally godless hypothesis, we’ve learned to numb our pain with feelings of abandonment or self-reliance.
Why do we suffer? It’s a question which has yet to erase God from history. It is why organized faith endures. Somewhere, in there, a half-articulated answer has sustained generations. If you feel that great propensity to doubt in the face of suffering, you must first give answer for the generations of suffering humans who have nevertheless worshiped.
They discovered that what first appears to be a massive, insurmountable wall is actually a gate; THE gate.
It’s the reason why Paul, once he regained consciousness from his near death beating in Asia Minor (Acts 14), was eager to make one of his most memorable speeches to the newly-formed churches there: “It is through many sufferings that we enter the kingdom of God.”