If There Is A God, Why Is There Suffering? ~Part Two~

If there is a God, then why is there suffering?  This question is asked by people all over the world. It is asked by the Christian and the non-Christian. This question has been at the height of religious debate for years.  In my first blog, we discussed how our freewill and choices can cause suffering for us and those around us. Then we ask, why does suffering happen to good people?

I will be honest, I have asked this question in my life as well.  I wondered why my mom was taken from us in such a horrible way. I have wondered why so many kids have cancer and other illness. We see the innocent killed in horrible tragedies. I have wondered why so many bad people seem to prosper in this life. These questions alone can cause some people to question God’s existence. Why would God allow these things to go on?

Suffering is a part of human experience. No man can completely understand everything about the problem of suffering. I certainly cannot give you a complete answer myself. I do not have the mind of God. We as human beings cannot even comprehend the mind of God. There are just some things we will never know. The point is, there is no formula for suffering. There is no one answer. When I think of suffering, I think of the book of Job. Although, the book of Job may help us to understand the question of human pain and suffering a little more, it is still hard to grasp.

Job is described as “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:3). He was a good man, always seeking to please God. Unfortunately, he endured such a terrible tragedy. He lost his ten children, his livestock, and his servants all in one day. Plus he was stricken with painful physical ailments. Job, with all his suffering, in the end, he endured. He became a far more humble and compassionate man as a result of what he went through. Job came to really know God deeply, than just know about Him. Sometimes we know of God, but we don’t get to really know Him. Learning these lessons was the key to his emerging out of the darkness of life and into the sunlight once again.

So what about people today? God said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Jesus said we would have trials and suffering. Unfortunately, when disasters strike, men and women seek answers. People cry out to God. They complain bitterly to God wanting answers. People become impatient and lose faith.  They begin to think maybe there is no God or God doesn’t care. We want a God who plays by the rules…our rules.

We fall into the trap, and unlike Job, who refused to curse God, they turn on God, and erase Him out of their lives, and refuse to have anything to do with Him! But lest we forget, we have a vicious enemy who hates us and is out to steal, kill, and destroy everything…Satan. Remember, if you blame God and reject Him because you are suffering, then you are doing exactly what Satan wants you to do.

As we go through these trials, there are benefits to our pain and suffering. Just stay with me here. Have we ever thought that our pain and suffering can help us to learn important lessons in life? Pain and suffering can bring about great courage to do something life changing. Suffering can bring out the best in people. Pain and suffering can help us to comfort others who are going through similar pain.

I am reminded of the little boy, six years old, by the name of Adam Walsh. He was abducted and murdered in 1981. It was a horrible case and I remember it vividly, even at my young age. The brutality of this case was one I have never forgotten. You may be familiar with his father, John Walsh of the TV show, America’s Most Wanted. The loss of his son made him become an advocate for catching violent criminals. Through his and law enforcement’s effort, they have captured over 1200 criminals. His tragedy has helped so many people over the last 30+ years get the closure they need. If our pain can help someone else, what a great comfort to know that we are not alone.

We must remember this world is not our home! If this world were perfect, with no sin or suffering, we would not desire heaven. Did you know, in our darkest moment, when we are crushed, Jesus is close to us? Instead of looking for answers, we need to look to the comforting presence of Jesus Christ. He will carry you through, if you let Him. Remember, Jesus was innocent, yet He endured the cross. He endured the cross for you and me. He suffered for us.

Things happen that we cannot understand. Some of life’s events are a great mystery to us. One day we will understand completely. Revelation 21:4 says, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” How comforting those words are. I know we will always have trials and sadness in this life. It is in the midst of suffering we can find hope. It is in the midst of the bad, we can look for the ways God is still working for the good.

The only way to overcome hardship is to maintain your faithfulness to God in spite of it. We may never know why, but we can know who to lean on. Our trials can make us bitter or they can make us better! Which will yours do for you?

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