Seven Sticky Theological Questions to Ask Ourselves in the Wake of Hurricane Matthew (or Any Tragedy)

Given the relationship between suffering and Christlikeness, is being spared suffering necessarily a good thing? (1 Peter 2:21-25)

Why would the Father ever spare me suffering--especially considering the fact that he did not spare his own Son? (Romans 8:31-32)

Do I secretly believe that the people who weren't spared deserve to suffer in a way that I do not? (Psalm 103:10)

Have I devoted prayer or resources to relieve the suffering of my brothers and sisters who were not spared? (Galatians 6:10)

If I really believe that I live on a fallen planet and that death will usher me immediately into the presence of Yahweh, why am I so relieved to find myself still here? (Philippians 1:20-26)

Am I praising God's name because I escaped suffering or because he is worthy of praise regardless? (Psalm 96)

Would I still be praising his name if I had lost everything? (Job 1:21Job 2:9-10)

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The linked verses are by no means a complete study of overall Scriptural teaching on any given question. They are, however, a good place to start.

For Further Reading:

CS Lewis: The Problem of Pain
Elisabeth Elliot: A Path Through Suffering
Tim Keller: Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering

Photo Credits:

By NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). Caption by Kathryn Hansen. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Barbara Ambrose NOAA/NODC/NCDDC. (NOAA Photo Library: wea02986) [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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