One of the biggest questions asked by Christians and non-Christians alike is "Why does God allow suffering?". Non-Christians often point to the problem of evil and suffering as conclusive proof that a loving God cannot exist. Many Christians struggle with God's goodness even though they know that the Bible contains many verses about the inevitability of difficult times such as "we must suffer many hardships to enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). It seems all of us need to know the truth about this subject so universal to everyone who has ever lived.
Randy Alcorn, who has written more than 40 books including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and Safely Home, takes on this issue in a clear, concise fashion in his new book, The Goodness of God: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering. His simple, easy to read style makes a complex issue understandable by any reader; one does not have to know "Christianese" to be able to grasp his points. He looks at the origins of evil and suffering and then takes us through the problem of sin, alternative explanations for evil/suffering, alternative worldviews on the subject, and the overarching resolution of those through Jesus' atoning death and resurrection. He tackles tough questions such as why there is so much evil in the world post-resurrection, why God allows it, and what the Bible has to say about promised prosperity for His people. He discusses what purposes God has in allowing suffering, and how we can handle tough times. A book by such a renowned Christian would not be complete without a clear explanation of the gospel and an invitation to salvation.
What I will carry away from the book more than anything, and I think Randy would feel his purposes in writing it successful to know it, are two things: that we can be enveloped in the comfort of God's presence even in the midst of terrible suffering, and that God's Word provides a sure, secure place of stability when our worlds rock and reel.
I encourage you to take a sneak peek at Chapter One and then dare you not to want to read the rest!
Randy can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/randyalcorn
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.