Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Why does God allow suffering?  It is a question many people ask especially when they cannot explain why such sadness is allowed to happen.  If God loves us why does He allow especially His beloved to suffer such horrific things?

In virtually every book in the Bible there is suffering.  It is through this hardship that makes these biblical characters stand out.  One of the more classic examples of this is Job.  Job was a godly man who loved God with all of his heart.  He knew God was behind his successes and praised God for it all.  The worst thing imaginable was allowed to happen to Job.  He lost his children, his land, animals, and virtually every earthly success he had was gone.  As if that was not enough God allowed him to be so sick that even his body was attacked with painful sores.
"So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.  Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes" (Job 2:7-8).

Everything Job had worked so hard to attain was gone in an instant.  With these painful sores that covered his body he was unable to get up and start rebuilding with what was left.  How often when we are going through suffering of our own that we too feel like this.  We may not have the physical sores but the grief we are experiencing makes it feels like we are too weak to do anything.

At this point Job had to continue to surrender to God's Will even when his closest friends and his own wife told him to "curse God and die".

The question we have to ask ourselves is what will have to happen before we are willing to surrender to God's Will?  What will it take for us to open our hearts to God?  God is just waiting for us to lay it all at his feet.  So when will you let the love He has for you penetrate your heart?

Through suffering God is telling us "open your heart and let me in".  
Matthew 11:30 says, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

So why was Job allowed to suffer?  Well even Job who followed God's commands was allowed to face such extreme suffering--but why?  To allow God's authority--His love to take center stage.

Following God's commands does not prevent us from experiencing hardship.  In fact God's strongest soldiers are the ones who follow His commands--yet they experience the harshest suffering because He has made them for such a time as this.

God is in control even in the midst of the worst loss--the worst suffering imaginable.  Even though He has allowed this He has built up His sons and daughters to endure the hardship they face.  As children of our Heavenly Father we have taken on this pain to glorify our Father in Heaven.

Matthew 6:33 states, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

This is so because we know there will be a day when we will rejoice in Heaven knowing there will be no more pain.  God has a special plan for all of creation.  Many times our purpose does not make sense to us especially during these hard times.  There are also other times when during these hardships we find out not everyone is a believer.  God has a plan for them too!!

As humans we can't imagine how God could provide for us if He allowed such pain.  It is during this time His glory shines.  His beauty and authority become a reality and unbelievers can see what it looks like to surrender to God's holy Will.

By doing this we are allowing God to be the true Leader, Our Reedmer who is guiding us to where He needs us.


  1. Thanks for a challenging post. Christians need to hear more good teaching on the reality of suffering. Too common is a "best life now" or victory approach that insinuates Christians should never suffer. Or a karma like approach - if I'm a good Christian nothing bad will happen to me. Yet, Job was a good and righteous man and suffered greatly. Have you read Randy Alcorn's book "If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil"? I highly recommend it.

  2. I actually recently bought that book so I will have to start reading it. :)