Stated simply, the problem of pain is this: If there is a God worth trusting and following, he must be all good and all-powerful. But if he is all good, why would he let the evil of suffering exist, and if he is all powerful, why wouldn’t he stop it? Why does an all good, all wise, all-powerful God let pain persist?
This message comes from the book of Ecclesiastes, and I invite you to turn there. The sermon is divided into two parts: (1) Our problem of pain and God’s providence, and (2) an answer to the question, “Why does pain exist?” Perhaps more than any other biblical book, Ecclesiastes wrestles deeply with the problem of pain––yours and mine. My interpretation of this book is different than many, but I hope to show you from the text why I believe he was a godly sage who grasped reality rightly. For my own family, the Preacher’s ponderings over pain and his hopeful conclusions have served as a great guide and comfort to my own family through life’s various trials. Turn with me to Eccl 7.13–14, which will serve as our starting point.