Suffering is one of the profound mysteries of existence. The fact that we recognise suffering assumes good and evil, which philosophically, is strong evidence for the divine. 

fire

PICTURE: Cullan Smith/Unsplash

In a materialistic world, such categories would simply not occur to us!

So how are we to understand suffering?

Much suffering is simply pure evil, to be undone at some future date. 

But is seems that some suffering is essential for us to have abundant life.

The problem is we think life is about happiness, rather than wholeness.

Could it be that life’s trials and tribulations are a refining fire? They are clearing away all within us that is unholy, leaving us holy-er and whole-er - and closer to joy and contentment.

When you understand that we can’t live in God's presence till we are holy, it all makes sense.

Paul Clark’s musings can be heard on radio across Australia and at atthetop.org.au.