All of us will go through physical pain, emotional pain, and heartaches, these are all things that even all the insurance in the world cannot shelter you from. Everyone goes through stages in which they ask God; “Why do You allow us to suffer?” If you have been saved for any length of time you know all too well that one of the most frequent questions you get asked is, “Why would such a loving and good God allow so many bad things to happen to people?” Let’s take a look at what God’s word says in regards to this very important and timely question.
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING?
• God created mankind and the Earth without pain, suffering, or death: Turn with me to (Genesis 1) To truly understand why God allows suffering, we have to start in the beginning, In Genesis Chapter 1 we have the account of God creating everything, and look what He says in regards to His creation: (Genesis 1:4, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31)---READ--- God created a perfect place that was very good, there was no pain, no disease, no sickness, no sin, and no death. What an amazing place for Adam and Eve! It was a paradise! But we all know it didn’t stay that way. God warned Adam that if they disobeyed and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they would surely die that day (Genesis 2:17). Now we all know what happens, Eve eats of the tree, and then gives to her husband Adam, and because they disobeyed God’s commandment they had to reap the payment that they were warned about. Adam and Eve spiritually died that day, and because of this: (Genesis 3:16-19) sin death, pain, and suffering came into this world (Romans 5:12-14)---READ---
• We need to understand that it was never God’s will, plan, or desire to have even an ounce of pain death or sorrow in our lives. It is sin that brought it. Everything God made in the beginning was perfect, even the devil himself was perfect and without sin! In (Ezekiel 28:15-16) God says to the devil; “Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee…thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God…”
• So the ultimate reason we have pain and death today is because of our disobedience, it is not God’s fault. God did not create us as robots that would always obey Him no matter what, that is not true love.
Now that answers why we have suffering and pain in this world, but another question still remains; “Why do some seem to suffer more than others? Why does it seem like God chooses certain people to suffer more?
• God allows some to suffer today so that they can see their need to be saved: Turn with me to (Luke 18:35-43)---READ--- It is very hard for someone that has riches, fame, power, and great health to feel like they need or have any use for God. A great saying that rings very true is this; “Some people won’t look up to God until He puts them flat on their back.”
• Another Biblical example of this is found in (2nd Kings 5) in regards to Naaman who was captain of the host of the King of Syria. Naaman was very powerful and could care less about God or his need for God. But he had leprosy, which eventually caused him to go to the man of God Elisha, who told Naaman of the true God of Heaven, and we see that Naaman gets healed by God of his terrible disease and as a result we are told in (2nd Kings 5:14-15) that he then knew the God of Israel, he never would have known the Lord or cared if he hadn’t been stricken with this disease!
• When I pray for God to save my friends, family, and neighbors, I ask God to have His will and way, I ask Him to do what is necessary for them to have their eyes opened for their need to get saved from their sins and saved from a lake of fire for all of eternity, even if that includes getting a terminal diagnosis.
• God allows some to suffer to bring others to Christ: Look with me in (John 11:1-6, 45) Many could not understand why God would allow those He loved to suffer. Mary and Martha had to watch their brother that they loved die while it seemed as though Jesus was nowhere to be found and it seemed like Jesus didn’t even care. Why would Jesus allow their suffering along with Lazarus’ suffering? Because many believed on Jesus Christ through this experience and got saved!
• So many times we hear of those that are hurting and are in the hospital, that have been able to witness to those roommates in the next bed over, and witness to nurses and doctors and visitors, and many times see them get saved because of the testimony of those that are sick and how they can still have great joy and gladness in knowing that they are saved and on their way to Heaven!
• Some Christians suffer because God is chastening them for being disobedient: Look with me in (Hebrews 12:6-11), (1st Corinthians 11:31-32), (Revelation 3:19). We need to confess and forsake our sin to the Lord and He will forgive us and take the chastening away! (1st John 1:9).
• Many times God will teach and mold us through suffering: (2nd Corinthians 12:7-10)---READ--- Paul didn’t have this specific thorn in the flesh because of his sin, but so that God could mold and use him, so that he could see victory only came through Christ’s power not through his own. (1st Peter 1:3-7), (2nd Corinthians 4:16-18)---READ--- Our hardships and sufferings try our faith to allow us to lay up treasures in Heaven for the Lord.
• A Science Article had this fact about eagles: “When a mother eagle builds her nest she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and other items that seem dangerous and harmful to its offspring. But then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs. We have witnessed that by the time the growing birds reach flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave. And that’s when the mother begins "stirring up the nest." With her strong talons she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and branches to the surface. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. Eventually, this and other urgings prompt the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move on to mature.” That sounds much like us doesn’t it? Whether we like to admit it or not affliction and suffering many times is what makes us who we are.
• A famous evangelist once told this account of a friend of his: “I have a friend who in a time of a business recession lost his job, he lost a great fortune, and he lost his beautiful home. To add to his sorrow, his precious wife also died; yet he tenaciously held to his faith in Jesus Christ – which was the only thing he had left. One day when he was out walking in search of employment, he stopped to watch some men who were doing stonework on a large church. One of them was chiseling a triangular piece of rock. 'Where are you going to put that?' he asked. The workman said, 'Do you see that little opening up there near the spire? Well, I'm shaping this stone down here so that it will fit in up there.' Tears filled my friend's eyes as he walked away, for the Lord had spoken to him through that laborer whose words gave new meaning to his troubled situation. It was cemented in his heart that God was in control and was molding him to be more like Christ.”
• You can learn from your affliction and better comfort others going through the same thing: (2nd Corinthians 1:3-4)---READ---
• God takes some away from us early to keep them from more pain and evil in this world and takes them to Heaven! (Isaiah 57:1) “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” A great example of this is found in (1st Kings 14:10-16) in which Jeroboam’s son’s life was taken by God before judgment fell on the Nation because we are told there was some good in the child.
Is Heaven going to be your home? (Revelation 21:4) A place of no more tears, no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain! If you haven’t received Jesus Christ as your Saviour then this pain and suffering on this earth will be nothing compared to what you will feel in eternity (Revelation 21:8) God didn’t even make hell for us. Many ask the question; “why would a loving caring God make a place of torment and pain called hell for us?” The answer can be found in (Matthew 25:41) in which we are told that God created hell for the devil and his angels, not for mankind! But since all mankind has sinned along with the devil and his angels, God had to enlarge it after since Heaven is a Holy place that cannot accommodate any sinner.
For those of you that are saved: You can either get angry at God and live a selfish and meaningless life, or you can trust God and serve Him even though you don’t completely understand why, and see great victories and triumphs won for Him! Someone said this great truth; “Most of the Psalms were born in difficulty. Most of the Epistles were written in prisons. Most of the greatest thoughts of the greatest thinkers of all time had to pass through the fire. Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress from jail. Florence Nightingale, too ill to move from her bed, reorganized the hospitals of England. Semi-paralyzed and under the constant menace of apoplexy, Pasteur was tireless in his attack on disease. During the greater part of his life, American historian Francis Parkman suffered so acutely that he could not work for more than five minutes as a time. His eyesight was so wretched that he could scrawl only a few gigantic words on a manuscript, yet he contrived to write twenty magnificent volumes of history. Sometimes it seems that when God is about to make preeminent use of a man, he puts him through the fire.” So what will it be for you? Will you glorify God in the fire that everyone goes through, or will you throw in the towel? Never forget “God is always good, and God is always right”. (Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”