Acts 18:9-18; Psalm 46(47):2-7; John 16:20-23
The problem of suffering, has been the subject of many studies. One of the most noted, is in the book 'The Problem of Pain" by C.S.Lewis. His wonderful, part biographic 'Surprised by Joy' also deals with suffering and loss, and has been filmed (its on BBC iPlayer at the moment). 'Shadowlands' seems to show CS Lewis as being obsessed by the need for us to suffer to be saved - he then he has to accompany his wife, Joy, as she suffers from cancer and dies. This is a journey many of us have already, or have yet to travel, so it is a question we are all likely to face - Why does God allow us to suffer, if he loves us? It seems that even minds as great as CSL's, need to experience the full journey of suffering to understand it fully - the change in his character portrayed so well in that film by Robert Redfern is beautiful to see.
Pain and suffering do not go away - but unlike the early CSL where it seems to be a necessary blacksmiths' anvil on which our character is beaten into us - the love of God at the end, completely overcomes what came before. Although it remains hard to understand, that problem is neatly answered at the end of todays' Gospel in just a few words of Jesus -
"When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions."
We might also remember the words in Romans 8 - 'there is nothing, that can come between us and the Love of God'