Why does God allow suffering?
- We can’t know for sure why God allowed suffering to come into the world, but much of it is a direct result of our own human sinfulness, e.g. greed, lust, envy, pride. And even where it is not our own sin, it is usually someone else’s. War and fighting is an obvious example; but things like drought caused by cutting down of forests to make money for a few, that leads to crop failures and hunger for others. Sin is at the root.
- Suffering comes because this is a fallen world – it is not how God made it to be, but how sin has twisted it in every way. And that includes what we call natural disasters. The Bible tells us that the created order around us was impacted by the entry of sin into the world – that even now we could describe it as groaning as it waits for sin to be undone by God.
- Sometimes God uses suffering to cause us to turn to Him from our own ways – they say there are no atheists on a shipwreck! Sometimes He uses suffering to discipline His children; sometimes to teach us important lessons about depending absolutely on God for everything. It is usually very difficult, and often wrong simply to say that a particular suffering was for a particular reason – especially if we are saying it about someone else! Often we only see as we look back how God was close to us, helping us through. But for the Christian we also have the assurance that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) There is no suffering therefore that is ultimately pointless – even our pains have meaning in God’s plans.
- The good news of the gospel is that God has done something about our suffering – Jesus died and rose again so that everyone who believes in Him should have eternal life. That life will be in a new creation when God at last does away with the old, and makes everything new. Then there will be no suffering – especially because there will be no sin. The point then is where you’re heading to.