WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING?
One of Satan’s best arguments to turn people against God is the issue of suffering. If God is good, how could He allow suffering? If there is a God at all, how could He allow suffering?
The question as to why some have so little has no clear answer. Why does God allow people to suffer and struggle? How can a God of love allow so much evil to continue? God doesn’t defend Himself or explain what He allows. He gives us a free will choice and as a result sin and the resulting evil are the natural consequences or turning from Him. Still, innocent people suffer.
The implication is that either God isn’t in control of everything or He isn’t good. Either way He loses. No wonder this tool is so effective for Satan and his forces. How can we answer it?
We can’t try to evaluate God’s person and character by these things for He has proven His character and love by leaving heaven, becoming a man, living on earth, then going to cross to take on the punishment for every sin we would ever commit. That proves His love for us beyond a shadow of a doubt. He definitely is good. If it weren’t for the cross we would all deserve eternity in hell from this moment on. So anything less than hell from now on is His grace and mercy. Why He seems to show more to some than others is not up to us to judge. God isn’t accountable to us. We cannot stand in judgment of Him until we know all the facts as He knows them and see everything as well or better than He sees it. So we trust in His character as revealed by His works in our life. We focus on the known, not the unknown.
Many things seem unfair to little children but they must trust their parents. Getting an injection from a doctor or having a pretty shiny knife taken away may seem to a child that a parent doesn’t love them but a child doesn’t have the perspective to truly view what is happening. We don’t have God’s perspective on life either. We fall back on the fact that He is in sovereign control of everything and that that all He does is out of love for us. More than that we cannot know.
Romans 8:35-39 Who can keep us away from the love of Christ? Can trouble or problems? Can suffering wrong from others or having no food? Can it be because of no clothes or because of danger or war? 36 The Holy Writings say, “Because of belonging to Jesus, we are in danger of being killed all day long. We are thought of as sheep that are ready to be killed.” 37 But we have power over all these things through Jesus Who loves us so much. 38 For I know that nothing can keep us from the love of God. Death cannot! Life cannot! Angels cannot! Leaders cannot! Any other power cannot! Hard things now or in the future cannot! 39 The world above or the world below cannot! Any other living thing cannot keep us away from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
What do you say when people ask how a loving god can allow innocent people to suffer? When are you most apt to doubt God’s love and goodness? What have you learned from this blog that can help you better trust Him when you don’t understand?
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer, Christian Training Organization