God and Suffering

It is a common question, and one that leads many to a conclusion that there is no God, or that if there is one, they want nothing to do with Him. “Why would a loving God who is supposedly perfect, good, and graceful allow pain and suffering to fall upon innocent people?”

There are two things to remember about this world and God’s role in our lives. First, that we are given a free will. While God detests sin, he also allows us to make our own decisions, and often allows the suffering that results from them (though I wonder how many miracles go unseen). If God were to intervene and stop people from making harmful choices – toward themselves or others – then how could evil exist at all? God would have to remove all consequences of free will, which is essentially negating free will altogether, and earth would become no different than heaven.

The distinction between earth and heaven should remind us of the second fact – that according to scripture, this world is one ruled by sin and death, and that as we all fall short and none are worthy of eternal life, we are all on a pathway to death. The question should not be “why does God allow suffering in our world?” Rather, is should be “why does this world allow life, hope and salvation?” Why does God intervene at all to delay death and to give peace and hope to humanity?

We look at a half-empty glass and assume it was supposed to be full when God clearly tells us that this world is an empty one. It is by God’s grace and mercy that we live another day, and that we do not succumb to the death and disease that rules this earth. Since we are all imperfect and guilty of sin – the wage of which being death – then the default state of man is not that innocent people are unjustly attacked, but that guilty people are unjustly given freedom!

Therefore, be thankful that you woke up this morning; that you have escaped the grave by the grace of God. Since we know that there is nothing in God’s actions that is without purpose, take to heart that there is a reason for your presence on the earth. The place you live, the time in which you live it, and the people you live it with are all part of the story. I’ve never been one to pray every day when I wake up, but it’s thoughts like this that make me want to start.

2 Comments

  1. Our default is to look at things and question God’s goodness. As you point out, we’re not seeing it correctly. When we start to see it from His perspective, then we get a glimpse of how much grace we’ve been given, even in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s also difficult to accept that God does/allows things that we don’t understand, yet He does all things for His purposes. I’m thankful that He loved us first. Good post.

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