Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Goal of God

One of the fundamental issues underlying the question of the existence of suffering in the world is, What is God's purpose for our lives? In Scripture, that basic purpose is to bring us back into right relation to Himself (Romans 3:23-31; 5:6-11; John 3:14-18), and based on that, to transform us into the kind of people we really should be (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 2:8-10). God's goal is not to make us happy or to cater to our natural desires, but to bring us to the point of being willing to put others before ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40; 16:24-26; Romans 12:1,2). And God uses the suffering in our lives to help bring that about (2 Corinthians 4:16-18; James 1:2-4; Romans 5:3-5). Now this in itself is not a full answer to the existence of suffering. In fact, by itself it would amount to an end-justifies-the-means mentality. But I am convinced it needs to be at least part of any answer to the question. If we believe the universe exists solely for the purpose of making us happy on the level of our own selfishness, it is virtually impossible to reconcile the existence of a good God with suffering. But if we believe the universe exists solely to make us happy on the level of our own selfishness, we are bound to be disappointed anyway. Whatever alternative we accept, that one is not realistic.


  1. I have thought for some time that the will of God is to conform us, via the Holy Spirit in us, into the image of his son. In doing that he works all things, even those he had absolutely no part in (directly or indirectly), to the end that we would be like Jesus.

    1. I agree that God works all things together for our good. As to whether God controls all things we will have to continue to agree to disagree.