In Christianity there is a belief that humans were created to exist in a devoted relationship with each other and God. The Bible talks about how love cannot exist where there is no freedom of choice. Human Beings have misused the gift of freewill.
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6).
The majority of Christians believe in heaven and hell. There is a belief that Jesus’s death and resurrection occurred for everyone. That by sacrificing himself on the cross Jesus entered into human suffering and thus took the world’s suffering upon himself (Tamou, 2014). According to Christian beliefs nobody will suffer a fate that they do not deserve. Therefore those who live their life with love and without selfishness will go on to heaven beyond death. Those who live their life full of sin will go on to hell (Tamou, 2014). In Christianity there is a belief that everyone will be accepted, forgiven and welcomed into Jesus’s presence when they die. This belief Christians hold in an afterlife relates to their faith in God. Faith and disbelief in God can be initiated by suffering. This relates to the ultimate question,
“Why does suffering exist?”
The link between suffering and evil also should be considered. Having the freedom of choice leads to the problem of evil.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
One should not allow themselves to be conquered by evil but should do what they see as right whatever the personal cost. Humans are responsible for their actions. For example when they choose good instead of evil or love instead of selfishness.
As Soviet and Russian novelist, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said:
“The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being”
Throughout history the reason and meaning for human existence has constantly been questioned. The question “why does suffering exist?” has been being asked for years. For many people suffering causes them to disbelieve in God. One’s attitude to God is connected to the problem of suffering and evil. In order for there to be suffering there must first be evil and for there to be evil there must be good. The power behind good and evil is initially equal. There is an eternal struggle, a cosmic battle between the forces of good and evil (Raeper. Et al, 1991).
Process Theology provides a more modern Christian approach to the problem of suffering and evil. In this alternative Christian view it is believed that, “God is not the universe, but that God is apart from the universe, yet also in it” (Bitner, 2014). God is not seen as omnipotent and does not control the universe, however he is subject to the limitations imposed on the universe (Gaarder, 1994). Therefore God is a part of the universe that has control and influence over the structure of things. The evil in the world is merely a degree of the extent to which God’s will has been opposed. God cannot be blamed for allowing evil as preventing it is not within his power.