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The four parts of the Christian Biblical narrative of creation, fall, redemption, restoration can help tell us about suffering and disease. There is a great deal of suffering that we go through in life but there is comfort in the Bible’s teachings.
The book of Genesis tells us about the creation of man and the world we live in. It tells us that God created man to rule over the His creation (Genesis, 1:26, ESV). God made us in his image; we are made exactly how we are supposed to be. Even when there are malformed babies, disfigured bodies, or anything that is not physically or mentally pleasing, we have to know that God sees us as whole people full of value and worth.
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Shortly after the creation, man’s fall to sin is told in Genesis 3:1-19, leaving us with the consequences for their disobedience, which is death, disease, and suffering. God did not punish mankind because he hated us, but because he loves us. Pain and suffering exists, but we have a way to think outside of ourselves and have supernatural healing from emotional and physical illness. Jesus tells us “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Redemption is ours because God sent his one and only son Jesus, to take the punishment for all sin. Jesus was free from sin, lived a human life with us on earth. He is God’s way to regain order on earth; Jesus paid the price with his life. When we are suffering through disease or sickness, we have to look to Jesus. Jesus felt emotional pain, physical pain, the worst possible pain. He suffered and felt death. He understands us and can give us comfort if we seek him out. The idea that we are weak, mortal, and not in control humbles us, leading us to God for comfort and strength. God is involved in our suffering, we can respond to suffering through faith, and we can trust God’s compassion and mercy (Shelly & Miller, 2006). God’s plan for restoration is to bring all creation back to its original order. We read in the Bible that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Disease and illness is inevitable for all people but comfort and peace is found in Jesus.
Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2006). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. ISBN-13: 9780830827657. Retrieved from http://gcumedia.com/digital-resources/intervarsity-press/2006/called-to-care_a-christian-worldview-for-nursing_ebook_2e.php