Is it True that God Allows Suffering?

Like David in Psalm 22, who cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? “we frequently feel God has abandoned us and left us to suffer. Why are you standing so far from me and my cries for help?

On the crucifixion, even Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, cried out the same thing, as recorded in Matthew 27:46: Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? Jesus cried out in a loud voice at around the ninth hour. that is, “My God, my God, why have you left me?”

Given these instances, it is possible for us to question whether God really did abandon his own people and his sons. However, Jesus must have recognized that God does not forsake his people. Therefore, why did he ask such a question of God throughout his suffering?

One could even argue that Jesus’ cries contradict Isaiah 41:17–18, a passage from God’s word. When the poor and needy look for water and find none, and their tongues are dry from thirst, I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not desert them. In the desert and on dry land, I will create pools of water and open rivers in high places and fountains in the middle of valleys.

But let’s not forget that this same Jesus was roused from a deep sleep by his followers when he was on a boat in the middle of a storm, the disciples believing they were going to perish. Jesus chastised them for their lack of confidence in God when they accused him of being unconcerned. The storm and the seas then chastised him to calm down.

However, while in agonizing anguish on the cross, Jesus effectively asked the same question of God. This and numerous other incidents can cause us to wonder if God enables pain and why he permits us to endure it.

Let’s examine a few of the reasons why we endure suffering under God’s supervision:

Penalty for Our Sins

Sometimes the purpose of our suffering is to make us aware of a specific sin that needs to be immediately atoned for to save our souls. The Old Testament contains multiple instances in which God immediately executes his disciples for breaking his laws.

As an illustration, Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6 was killed when he touched the ark of God.

Nadab and Abihu died in front of the Lord in the Sinai wilderness when they offered filthy fire to him (Numbers 3:4).

To pay for his sins, even Moses had to pay the price.

Do you recall the tale of the man cured by Jesus after 38 years of disease? Following that, Jesus saw him in the temple and addressed him, “Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing occur to thee.” John 5:14

As a result, we must realize that some of the pain we go through might be God’s direct response to our sins.

Because sin keeps us outside of God’s protective arms, it isolates us from Him and gives us misery and suffering.

When we disobey his commands and teachings, God allows us to suffer—not out of hatred for us, but rather as a warning and a way to bring us around.

A Test of Our Belief and Allegiance

There is little question that God occasionally uses adversity and suffering to try our resolve and faith as well as to cleanse our spirits.

In Job 1:6–22, God boasts about how devoted and loyal Job is to him. Satan then challenges God to test Job’s devotion and faithfulness, which God agrees to do.

Christians are occasionally put to the test in a variety of unpleasant circumstances, including sorrow and pain. God is not intentionally torturing us; rather, he is demonstrating his appreciation for our faith and devotion to him. If we keep firm and cling to our faith in God during this test, there is always a huge reward to be earned.

When grief and sadness overtake us, we must hold fast to our faith and cultivate patience while praying to God for the insight and guidance we need to get through this trying time. God will never leave us in the midst of suffering, so keep that in mind.

The Impact of Abusing Our Free Will

God has given us free will, or the capacity to form moral judgements, one of the greatest blessings he has given humankind. The problem is that most people consciously choose to do evil rather than good.

God gives us the magnificent gifts of freedom and love, but at the cost of the evil, we choose to commit in the world. And we shall suffer the repercussions whenever we abuse our free will.

God created a tree in the Garden of Eden and forbade Adam and Eve from eating its fruit, according to the tale of Adam and Eve. If he doesn’t want them to eat from the tree, we could wonder why he placed it there. But he made it apparent to them that they would undoubtedly perish if they ate it.

Even though the forbidden tree was in the garden, it is obvious that God warned Adam and Eve not to eat from it and then proceeded to teach them what would happen to them if they disobeyed. Nevertheless, despite being aware of the negative effects, they continued to eat the fruit from this tree.

This is an illustration of how we frequently abuse the free will that God has granted us. As the sons and daughters of the Living God, our free will was intended to grant us freedom and independence, not to bond us to sin.

God, however, is Very Concerned!

God loves and cares for us as his children, but he also corrects us when we misbehave or disobey his instructions.

But he’ll never let us go through any pain we can’t handle. People, not God, are to blame for the sorrow, pain, destruction, and death that exist in the world. We will undoubtedly receive what we sow when we disobey God’s loving commands and commit other sins.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear, but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2

We are cut off from God and unable to have communion with him as a result of our transgressions and sins. But the Lord would not forsake his people. In advance of the creation of the world, God had a plan that was already in operation. God took on the form of Jesus Christ in Isaiah 53:5 because He was not only resolved to comfort humanity, but He was also determined to share in man’s suffering.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed.”

“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 

Sin is a factor in human suffering. 

“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” Genesis 3:7 

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s word and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, suffering and death entered the world (Genesis 3:14-19).

The Initial Concern

Returning to the original query, “Does God actually permit suffering?” He does, that much is clear.

But he also provided a means of escape and the option to reject his ways.

When God created Adam and Eve, He knew they would commit sin. He was aware of the suffering the world will experience. He did, however, give people free will and enable atonement.

God’s ultimate plan was for His son, Jesus Christ, to take on human flesh, live a human life filled with all the suffering that results from a fallen world, be crucified even though He had done no wrong, and then rise from the grave, having defeated both sin and death.

And whomever puts their faith in Jesus will be saved.

God purchased His gift of grace for us at a heavy cost. God comprehends human pain better than we do.

And He is aware of the depth of joy and fulfillment that salvation provides (Romans 1:18-32, 8:18-39).

Although it is true that God allows suffering, we must take into account the free will and compassionate, weak, suffering Savior we obtain.