Why does God allow pain and suffering?

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By BibleAsk Team


Sin Brought Pain

God created the world perfect. He does not bring pain. For “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). Pain and suffering are the consequences of the original sin (Genesis 3). Because of sin, the whole earth became subject to the rule of the devil and he inflicted suffering and pain on all: “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all me” (Romans 5:12).

God Overrules Suffering

The believer should realize that joy and courage are based, not on external circumstances—which may often be most painful—but on faith in God’s overruling providence and an intelligent understanding of His dealings with men. For “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). If God allows suffering and perplexity to come upon us, it is not to destroy us but to refine and sanctify us (Romans 8:17).

The apostle James encourages the believers saying, “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3). Thus, to the believer, the suffering and pains of life bring Christian growth. There is no experience in life, however painful, that may not, in the providence of the Lord and by the grace of Christ, promote Christian maturity, bring us closer to the Lord, and adds to our understanding of His love for us.

Paul is the classic New Testament example of how a believer can turn every failure into triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14; 4:8–11; 12:7–10). When Paul pleaded with God to remove the thorn in his flesh that was causing him great pain, the Lord answered him saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness’ most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Real strength of character grows out of weakness. Christ promised Paul more than meets his need – abundant grace.

Christ Experienced Pain on Our Behalf

The believers can rest in knowing that Jesus suffered pain more than any one on the cross so that we can be delivered eternally from it (John 3:16). He did that “For the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). And through Christ’s victory over sin, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Thus, death will be swallowed down in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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