So about a month ago, or longer, I said I was reading Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, but I got derailed when I start reading If God is Good by Randy Alcorn. This book deals with the problem of evil suffering and reconciling that with an omnipotent, omniscient God. It is fabulously written!! Randy Alcorn is an incredible writer and has created a logical, yet Biblical case where he shows how suffering, evil and God do fit together. Here are some quotes from the chapter entitled, "What are Some Possible responses to the Problem of Evil and Suffering?"
Here is Alcorn explaining how trials can test faith, for the good.
"Believing God exists is not the same as trusting the God who exists. A nominal Christian often discovers in suffering that his faith has been in his church, denomination, or family tradition, but not Christ. As he faces evil and suffering, he may lose his faith. But that's actually a good thing. Losing your faith may be God's gift to you. Only when you jettison ungrounded, untrue faith can you replace it with valid faith in the true God – a faith that can pass, and even strengthen in, the most formidable of life's tests." (p. 12-13)
"Sufferers have told me, 'We did everything right. We attended church and gave our money to missions – and then God did this to us. I don't get it.' At times like these our faith gets exposed as an insurance policy in which we pay our premiums to protect us from harm." (p.37)
"We need only read scripture, look around us, or live long enough in order to learn that trusting God doesn't ward off all evil and suffering. He never said it would." (p. 38)
Alcorn also explains that a fundamental lack of understanding in who God is oftens lead to a misunderstanding of trials and suffering.
"A friend wrestled with the problem of evil after a terrible accident. He concluded that we err whenever we speak of only two or three attributes of God in relation to the problem of evil. He meant that we must bring all of God's attributes to the table. If we see God only in terms of His love, mercy, and compassion, we will not envision the true God, but only an idol of our own imagination – and that is precisely what we see in the airbrushed God of various modern solutions to the problem of evil." (p. 37)
Click here to order this great book.