Why does God allow suffering?

A lot of people get hung up on why God allows suffering. But in order to be angry with God, they must believe in Him. What do they expect to gain by being angry and rebellious against God, anyway? Do they think that God is evil? What, or who rather, is their alternative? And do they presume to think that they are more merciful or just than God, or would be, if they were in His position? He is the very epitome of those things. We would not know about them without God having first given us a little piece of Himself. While I do not doubt God’s mercy or justice, I have often wondered why he allows suffering. But I don’t anymore. I believe that God is doing whatever it takes in this world to get the attention of every individual soul, in order to give them the opportunity to choose Him. Even I believe that all of the suffering in the world is justified by this opportunity, and God’s picture is infinitely bigger than mine.

I pray almost every day for God to do whatever it takes to save as many people as possible. But in a way, I feel silly saying that prayer, because I know that He already is. He wants everybody to be saved more than I do. He loves them more than I do. He suffers at the suffering of others more than I do. I think my prayer is just my way of telling Him that I won’t get angry if he takes my family or my comfort or my money. If He does, I trust Him enough to believe that it is for the best, if not for me, then for someone else. If I am slain, or homeless, or widowed, or afflicted with pain for the rest of my existence, what does that matter to me? I have a glorious eternity waiting for me! So if by my suffering, even one person joins us forever in eternity, it will have all been worth it.

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5 responses to “Why does God allow suffering?

  1. This has been a huge stumbling block for me, and it caused me to wander away from God during my teenage years because I had some pretty painful things happen, sickness-wise, and no one else around me was afflicted. So why was I? I got mad at God and, when no one could give me a good enough answer — because “God’s plan for you is a good one” wasn’t ringing true at the time — I denied Him.

    I regret turning away from God, but I don’t regret getting angry with him.

    What do they expect to gain by being angry and rebellious against God, anyway? Do they think that God is evil? What, or who rather, is their alternative? And do they presume to think that they are more merciful or just than God, or would be, if they were in His position?

    Personally, that’s not how I saw it at all. I wasn’t intentionally being rebellious against God with my anger. I didn’t know why God was allowing these things to happen to me, and Him being absent from my life crossed my mind more than Him being evil. The other thing was, for me, there was no alternative; I simply felt like I was stuck in a sort of blank limbo because God had abandoned me to the pain of the world. I think some people, when they get mad at God, are crying out in pain at their own situation. However, like I said, I do regret denying God, though I wouldn’t change the events. I’d rather deny Him again and come to that conclusion so that I could return to Him a better person, if that makes sense. Probably sounds a little bad, but if I could do the events over again and learn what I did without denying Him, I would, but I don’t know if I would’ve — because that’s not what happened.

    I believe that God is doing whatever it takes in this world to get the attention of every individual soul, in order to give them the opportunity to choose Him.

    Personally, I’ve learned that God never guaranteed a safe and happy life on this earth — He actually promised the opposite, though for some reason that is never preached (at least the churches my husband and I grew up in — two totally different types of churches in two totally different states, California and Texas) in church. I think some of the suffering in this world God allows to happen, kind of like with Job while other suffering is caused by our free will. He doesn’t like to see it, but He did give us the choice to follow Him or do what we wanted, and our actions have consequences. That’s how I see it anyway, based on personal experience. But I do know God has never abandoned me, even when it felt like He did.

    And again, sorry for the super long post! You just provide such thought-provoking material for me. =)

    • No worries! I love reading long responses, especially from people who have something interesting to say! I guess it all boils down to trust. We trust God with our afterlives; do we trust him with our mortal lives?
      Glad that your past brought you to where you are today. You couldn’t have known that it would, but God did. Hopefully, everyone who suffers a perceived separation from God will wind their way back around, just as you did!

  2. My “why?”s happen when I forget the big picture. Not that I’m likely to ever actually *see* the big picture, with my limited human vision, but there is one. God can see it. God painted it. He’s got the happy ending in his sight, and my little troubles on my tiny corner of the canvas are somehow a part of that. We can feel free to be curious as to specific “why”s, but the ultimate reason is the same for all: Because the God who knows best has willed it so.

    • I think that’s part of the problem. People want God to show them the big picture; they want to know why they’re suffering. I agree with you and don’t believe that it is wrong to ask why. David did all the time, and he was a man after God’s own heart! If we’re asking why in our hearts, we might as well ask why in prayer. He desires our honesty. But He also desires for us to trust Him!

    • I really like that! =)

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