Why Does Suffering Exist? (Discussion)

Today I’d like to do something a little different. I want you to share why you believe God allows suffering.

At first glance, the answer may seem obvious, but as I have studied Scripture, it doesn’t seem so black and white. Something we would maintain must be an “either/or” is an “and/but” with God.

Knowing other perspectives and opinions forces us back to Scripture to read what God said. And that’s what I’m hoping we will all do.

To start, let’s each answer these questions:

  • Why do you believe there is suffering in this world?
  • Why does God allow suffering?
  • What is your favorite verse on trials?

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

6 thoughts on “Why Does Suffering Exist? (Discussion)

  1. I think a more appropriate question is why does God allow good to happen. Suffering came from humanity as a result of the fall, and goodness comes from the hand of God! We have a choice whether or not we do evil things, and therefore we can stop ourselves from inflicting suffering upon others. We can choose to do evil too. There is that choice, but when it comes down to it, we still have our sin nature. Jesus offers to cleanse us, and He has taken the ultimate step to free us from condemnation. How much more beautiful our lives become when we are freed from our sins and begin to follow the Lord!! As a result of the fall of man, suffering does happen, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust. God, however, is always just, and because of the righteousness of Jesus accredited to our account, one day there will be no more suffering or pain. Every day, He bestows thousands of little blessings to help us keep our eyes on Him. We have hope in the Lord!!!

    1. Okay, now to actually read your comment! XD I was so happy to see you.
      This is definitely more of an introspective question. I want us to think about this because we so often hide this question until deep tragedy happens. The philosophical side doesn’t cut it when tragedy strikes.
      You’re right, Reba. We don’t deserve good things. We may think we do. You may be interested in one of the first posts on the WRJ:
      where I talk about that in detail.

      1. Oh! And not to overload you, but if you like, you can subscribe so you get notified about each post. Otherwise my regular posting day is Tuesday. 😉
        I may or may not be haunting the mailbox! I can’t wait to hear how you’re doing.

  2. The first verses about suffering that come to my mind (and, most likely, the minds of many other people) are those in James 1. They are also some of my favorites. James 1:2-4: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” I think that it’s helpful to keep in mind that suffering is a process. Of course, knowing that before you go into it is one thing. Actually being in the midst of suffering and remembering that it’s being used to a purpose feels much different, but it DOES give you perspective like you never had before. This is the “testing of your faith” which finally ends in “lacking in nothing.” No one is complete without God. In fact, everyone is nothing without Him. When you lack nothing as a result of having gone through trial it means that you have actually gained by losing. God uses suffering to give us something priceless.

    Ultimately, when I take both what scripture says and how I have seen it affect lives together, I would say that the purpose of suffering is to keep our attention in the right place. You could spend your whole life in the midst of what you think is “reality,” but you will never see the truth of eternity unless the fantasy you are living in is somehow shattered. God has chosen to use pain in my life to remind of who I am, where I am, and where I’m going, and that causes me to want to know more about who He is. I strongly feel that trial is inseparable with God’s process of redemption because of the truths in James 1.
    Testing my faith produces steadfastness. I will be “perfect and complete” in Christ, “lacking in nothing” because I have Him and He is all I need. One interesting thought occurs to me: what would David’s Psalms have been like if he hadn’t endured so much? I don’t think they’d have had the depth and beauty that they do if God hadn’t taught David through suffering.

    This was an interesting post idea, Bethany! Thank you for starting a conversation on this topic. I clicked this link hoping to read what you have to say about it, and I still hope to see that somewhere down the line of comments here!

    1. Beautiful thoughts, Michaela. “I will be “perfect and complete” in Christ, “lacking in nothing” because I have Him and He is all I need.”
      I promise I will share my thoughts at some point. 🙂 It’s such a big question, and I’ve come to realize that there isn’t one “right answer.” God may allow suffering for many reasons-and usually, He doesn’t share them. Soon I’ll write out an article about it.

What did you think?