Summary: Why would God, who is good and full of love, allow suffering?
Why Does God Allow Suffering?
(with help from author Lee Strobel)
When a doctor prescribes medication, it is supposed to be for our good and to help us with whatever may be ailing us. But have you ever noticed all the side effects that come with the prescriptions? You take a pain reliever for a head ache which will help ease the pain, but the side effects may be nausea, dizziness, weakness, night sweats, etc…Makes you wonder if it’s worth it. Life should come with a list of side effects as well. I think 5 minutes before the delivery of a baby, every mother should be given a slip of paper that says something to the effect of: this baby will bring you great joy and pleasure but the side effects may be illness, abuse, betrayal, sorrow, heartache, disappointments, injuries and death. Actually, life did come with a warning. Jesus said in John 16:33 that in this life, there will be trouble. But the question that millions of people want an answer to is why? Why does there have to pain and suffering?
That question was first asked thousands of years ago by Job, and it’s repeated through out the Psalms. Why God? Why is this happening? Throughout the wars, the Holocaust, the famines of Africa, the emergence of AIDS, 9/11, the tsunami, the hurricanes, and this week, a ship sank on the Red Sea where at least 1000 lives were lost. Why God? Why would a God who is good and full of love allow these things to happen?
In a recent survey, the question was asked: if you could ask God any one question, what would it be? The number one response was “why is there suffering?”
All of us have had personal times in our own lives of disappointment and tragedy and we too have wanted an answer to that question. I wish I could stand before you today and give you a complete and accurate answer but I can’t. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says that in this life, we only see dimly, and from our perspective, we don’t understand life or God at times. And it’s probably because we’re not supposed to.
Yet there are some things that we CAN understand and I’d like to discuss with you some possibilities for why God allows suffering in our lives.
Have you ever been driving on a foggy, rainy night and couldn’t see anything in front of you? Then all of a sudden, you notice tail lights on a vehicle in front of you and you begin to follow those tail lights to guide you in the right direction.
The same is true for our understanding of life-there are some things that are foggy and unclear and we feel lost and disoriented. But there are some key biblical truths that provide enough light for us to find the right direction. And as long as we have those truths to shine in our life, we may not clearly understand everything, but we know we’ll eventually get to the right destination where “we’ll understand it better bye and bye.”
So when we’re lost in the darkness and can‘t understand why, what are those biblical truths that will help to illuminate our paths?
1) God is not the Creator of evil and suffering-