Ladies, Christians and non-Christians alike struggle with the topic of suffering. Many wonder why a loving God would permit suffering in the world. Why would He allow pain and struggle?
It all begins with God’s gift to mankind: free will.
God is love. And God wants us all to love. But He wants us to choose love—He doesn’t want us to be forced to love Him. In order to choose love, we must have the choice to not love, and to not love comes from a place of darkness. To not love comes from a place that is not good. A place that is evil.
So, evil is the consequence of having free will. But why would God allow evil to come into the world?
Well, God can overcome evil. And even though Satan tries to work against God’s will, striving to direct people toward darkness, God offers a way out. But it’s up to us. We can choose Satan’s works or God’s will. And if we choose God, then He will strengthen us, because God is stronger and His strength can overcome any evil.
We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
What does that mean? That suffering is good? Well, let’s consider the suffering of our Lord on the cross. He was beaten, abused, spat on and crucified. And yet, out of His passion, we were redeemed. Out of His suffering, the gates of Heaven were again open to us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)
So, not only does suffering unite people to Jesus on the cross, but it also opens a way for good. Man causes the suffering, but if we call out to Him in prayer, God can take these horrific things and design an outcome that is good. How? Well, consider the following examples:
- Elizabeth Smart was 14 when she was abducted from her house. For nine months, her kidnapper raped and abused her. She managed to escape. God didn’t cause the abduction. A serial pedophile did. But since that time, Elizabeth has worked as an advocate against sexual predators, submitting legislation, writing a book about her ordeal and starting a foundation in her name that focuses on educating children about violent and sexual crimes, among many other things.
- 9/11 refers to the date when Islamic terrorists flew into two World Trade Center buildings and into the Pentagon. Another plane targeting Washington, D.C., was forced to the ground by passengers. Approximately 2,700 victims died, including firefighters. God didn’t cause the attack. The Islamic terrorists did. But the event brought people together as they helped and supported each other. The country was unified.
You see, in moments of tragedy, we often see people coming together to show love and support. We see those who have suffered using their suffering to help others. It’s not that God caused the pain so that people could come together. Rather, God is willing to bring good out of the situation for those who call out to Him in prayer. And through prayer, we can ask God to help us, not only to cope with the pain, but also to find a way to make something good come out of it.
Ladies, in moments of struggle, pain and suffering, some people blame God. But God didn’t cause the pain. Rather than blame Him, God wants us to look to Him for comfort and strength. And for those who love Him, He will make sure that the suffering “works for good.”
“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33)
Ladies, have you ever blamed God for suffering? Share your story—we so love to hear from you!