Today’s post I feel the Lord wants me to put forward my thoughts on ‘why does God allow suffering?’. I know it would be easy to cover suffering and Covid-19 and why is God allowing it. But I don’t think another post on ‘is God punishing mankind’ or ‘we live in a fallen world’, will do no-one any favours.
We are living in a fallen world, but as history shows there have been numerous periods of times that humanity as whole has gone through periods of suffering. On a daily basis there are millions of people who go through suffering in silence, who don’t make it known to the wider world. Do we think Jesus knows, cares, is incapable of helping? No we don’t believe that about Jesus, but for those who aren’t followers of Christ and have questions about why does God allow suffering to go on how are we to respond?
We can forget that Jesus suffered during his life; the first situation which comes to mind was when Jesus spent 40-days and 40-nights in the wilderness, not only did he fast, was tempted by Satan but would have had to use a rock as his pillow being exposed to the elements. Then we have the shortest verse in the Bible “Jesus began to weep” John 11:35, where his friend Lazarus had died and been buried. Jesus would have known that he was going to raise him from the dead, but knew Lazarus would die again later on in life. Then we have the process of the crucifixion, being betrayed, whipped, spat at, nailed to the cross, separation from His Father and then death.
It can be hard sometimes explaining to fellow Christians let alone non-believers why God allows suffering. A few years ago my family and I had a massive curveball in life thrown at us, I was angry scratch that I was really angry at God about our situation and why he was allowing it to happen. When I heard someone on YouTube preaching about suffering and they mentioned Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” [NRSV] It hit me like a thunderbolt that even before God started Creation he knew mankind would turn against him and commit sin and His only son Jesus would have to become man and sacrifice himself in order to save us, still out of love He still proceeded to create mankind me included and didn’t stop after creating creatures of the land and sea.
C.S Lewis in The Problem of Pain says “Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself. ” (page 25) Yes we could live in our own ‘bubbles’ confined to home, where physically we will be relatively safe, but at what cost? For one our freedom to move, socialise with people would no longer be present and this way of life is not what God intends for us. Jesus didn’t stay at home writing letters to his followers, he went about and travelled, joined in at parties, going to peoples houses for meals etc.
This coming week as Spring starts to show its arrival try and take time out to see His Creation, and trust in Him.
All Bible quotes and links were taken from http://www.biblegateway.com