3 Reasons Why God Allows Suffering
Why does God allow suffering? Chances are, you’ve heard of this question before or perhaps even asked it at some point in your life. Well, you’re not alone.
In fact, this question has been asked multiple times by believers and non-believers alike, taking different forms such as “Why does God permit suffering to exist?”, “Why does God allow pain to be experienced in this world?”, among others.
Why? Because all of us - sooner or later - will experience some kind of suffering or pain in life. Whether deserved or undeserved, a physical ailment or mental burden, an emotional pain or hurt… people suffer.
This is a deep and personal question, which can be carefully explained by looking at suffering in 3 ways.
#1: SUFFERING IS A PRODUCT OF CONSEQUENCES
We live in a world where decisions have consequences. More specifically, where ungodly decisions have ungodly consequences. As broken and imperfect people, we are bound to make bad decisions. This, in turn, breeds suffering and pain.
If someone out there makes a bad decision or acts out in brokenness, people will get hurt by it. For example, we may suffer the consequences of poor choices we make for ourselves, others around us may suffer because of our own brokenness, or we may even suffer unfairness and injustice because of the sinful decisions and broken actions of the generations before us.
Regardless of its form, the suffering we experience - whether by our own hand or other’s - is a consequence of our decisions. And as long as mankind is allowed to make decisions, suffering will be one of the products of this.
#2: SUFFERING IS A PLACE OF TESTING
There will be seasons and moments in our lives when we will be tested, especially for believers. During these times, suffering will become the platform where our faith is revealed. (Just as Abraham, Job, David, Daniel, the Prophets, the Apostles, the New Testament Church, and Jesus were tested.)
Think of it as a school examination that is used as a tool to assess students - not for condemnation, but to reveal where students are at in their studies. Similarly, suffering can also reveal where a believer is at in their faith in God.
A believer’s reaction in the midst of suffering will either reveal where one lacks in their faith or become the platform where God-pleasing faith, which is more precious than gold or silver, is expressed.
After all, it is easy to say that we love God during the good times but only during the tough times is real love and faith expressed - just like how it is with our own earthly relationships.
#3: SUFFERING HIGHLIGHTS OUR NEED FOR RESTORATION
Just like physical pain in the body when you suffer a cut or a broken bone, suffering acts as a trigger that sends out a signal to us to tell us that something is not right. We don’t want to embrace pain, we - in fact - want to avoid it.
And as much as physical pain signals a need for a healer to restore our bodies, the pain and frustration we experience in our suffering also tells us that we need to find a means to restoration. (To desire what is better, good and whole again.)
Simply put, we need a healer and that healer is God - our eternal physician who will restore all things in His time, end all suffering and restore all life even after death. So, suffering acts as a signal that tells us not to embrace it, but points out to us our very need and desire for restoration.
At the end of the day, our intention is not to trivialise anyone’s pain, hurt and suffering, but to offer comfort and hope that there is a place for it and a way to approach it. But more importantly, we want you to know that you don’t have to suffer alone because the church that our Lord Jesus Christ suffered for is here to share your journey with you.