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How Can A Loving God Allow Pain And Suffering? God Uses Suffering.


While there is a lot we cannot know about God, there is a lot that we can know.  We can know what God reveals about Himself.  Consider the following points.

  • God does not have any joy in seeing any person suffer.
  • God is absolutely just, and there will be no suffering in vain.     Every person will see, in the end, that everything is fair, just, and right.
  • All suffering has a part in working out God's ultimate plan. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground that God doesn't know about. Every hair on your head is numbered. There will be a day when we understand, as God does, the purpose for every bit of suffering and sorrow of every person.
  • In the light of the glory that shall be revealed in the faithful, all the sufferings of the present are insignificant.
  • God makes progress in everything He does, even when we don't understand how that could be possible.
  • In the light of Hell, all the pleasures of sin are insignificant.
  • It is part of the human condition that humans want to assume that anything they don't personally understand must make no sense or that it must not be true. This, however, is only an illusion.     The natural mind is totally rebellious against God and cannot understand spiritual things.     If you or I think we can analyze these types of things or come to an understanding by intellectualizing them, we are just stuck in our own prideful fantasy.
  • God understands the entire situation and is ultimately in control.
  • If there were no sin on earth, there would be no suffering.
  • If there were no sin on earth, there would be no death.
  • When Adam sinned, that put Satan in charge on a temporary and limited basis. Yes, Satan is real.     God will even use Satan to bring about His ultimate plan.
  • God has a plan by which He will turn all of this around.     That plan is being executed by God through a remnant who are learning to be obedient to the Spirit of God.
  • God's heart breaks for people with pain and suffering.
  • God has disappointment with us and is saddened by our rejection of Him.
  • Much of the suffering is a reward for not loving and obeying God, or not worshiping and respecting God, or not believing God, or not receiving God's free gifts.
  • Some suffering is for other purposes, such as tempering the faith of the faithful, or bringing those who have been born to maturity, or filling up the cup of iniquity of those who cause suffering, or for purposes we may not fully understand yet.
  • God would have all to be saved.
  • As in Adam all die, so in Christ, shall all be made alive.
  • Beyond all of this, God does not look at things the way that we do. He understands what is going on, while we only see from our limited viewpoint.     He sees the end from the beginning. God knows exactly what He is going to do and how He is going to do it.

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I am reminded of a recent trip to the dentist. While the dentist was cleaning my teeth he said to me, "I do not believe in God." Now this dentist knows what I do for a living and how important my faith is to me, yet for numerous reasons (one main one being his hands were in my mouth) I uncharacteristically remained silent, allowing him to explain; "How can God exist and still allow all the suffering and pain in the world?" I remained quiet until he was finished (and of course put his drill away) and told him that "I do not believe in dentists." This confused him greatly so I clarified for him that if there are dentists in the world, how can so many people have broken, infected and missing teeth? He answered me "I cannot help anyone who does not come to me to have their teeth fixed." That reply is the same for faith. He cannot help people until they come to Him in repentance and faith, accept Him in their lives and ask Him for help.

Family Research Council

Last updated: Jan, 2013
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