February 26, 2022

Why does God allow suffering?

By Tim

“In dealing with the problem of evil in the world, we run into many problems like this one. Could God have prevented the Holocaust? Yes, He could have. He could also have prevented Stalin’s massacres in the U.S.S.R., the Spanish Inquisition’s torture, and Nero’s reign of terror. In each case, God allowed evil men to exercise a certain amount of power for a short period of time.” (GotQuestions.org)

But know this, God’s permission is not the same as His approval. God allowed Adam to eat from the forbidden tree, but He did not approve of the sinful action. In the same way, God’s allowing suffering in no way suggests His approval of it. God is grieved by the sinfulness of man and the hardness of his heart, and suffering in this world (Genesis 6:6; Mark 3:5). 

We also know that God has done everything possible to redeem us from the sin and it’s effects. He gave His only Son, who sacrificed His life for our sin and took our penalty. All who turn to Jesus Christ in faith are saved. The sin in this world, and wars (like Ukraine with the Russia invasion), are a direct result of mankind’s continued rebellion against God.

In all of His doings, God is just (Psalm 145:17). The blame for suffering lies squarely on the shoulders of sinful humanity and the fall from grace ever since the rebellion and sin in the garden of Eden. So, we must realize that God is not responsible for the wicked acts of evil men.

The Bible tells us that humanity is desperately wicked and sinful (Romans 3:10-18, 23). God allows human beings to commit sin but does not approve of it. Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought.

And, the book of Job deals with the issue of why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Job was a righteous man (Job 1:1), yet he suffered in ways that are almost beyond belief. Job questions God Himself and learns valuable lessons about the sovereignty of God and his need to totally trust in the Lord.

Bad things may happen in this world, but this world is not the end. As Christians we have an eternal perspective: “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16–18).

God allows things to happen for a reason. Whether or not we understand His reasons, we must remember that God is good, just, loving, and merciful (Psalm 135:3). Often, bad things happen to us that we simply cannot understand. Instead of doubting God’s goodness, our reaction should be to trust Him. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6). We walk by faith, not by sight.


(Thank you to GotQuestions.org ministry for the quick information)

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