How Can I Trust God in Suffering?
It is one thing to see evil in the world, in our state, in our neighborhood and think, “Why does God allow this?” Would not a God of grace and mercy put a stop to some of the suffering we see around us?
What about when pain and suffering hit home? A sudden pain in the arm is the only indicator of a heart attack ten minutes following. Difficulty breathing reveals emphysema. A nagging pain in the back is determined to be the result of a cancerous tumor on the spine.
Then there is the suffering that is not physical. Kids, raised under the truth, leave home, never to cross the threshold of a church again. A seemingly ideal marriage is shattered without warning when one partner reveals a decade-long affair. Suffering is caused by the loss of mental sharpness that comes with aging.
Suffering Exists because of Sin
Pain and suffering are part and parcel of life on this planet. From the fall of Adam until this day, and until God redeems His entire creation, the effects of sin are felt. The apostle Paul, in the Book of Romans, calls it “groaning” (chapter 8). If all of creation groans, how much more do those who are personally related to God?
When God tested Job in the book that bears his name, three of his friends essentially accused Job of being in sin. “If you were living right,” one asserted, “none of this calamity would have happened.” Job protested, however, that he had done nothing wrong. At the end of the story, God vindicated His servant. Job, God said, had done well.
When we suffer, it almost always feels undeserved. Why should the faithful servant of God get cancer? Why did the house that burned to the ground belong to that sainted old piano player from the church?
The Bible tells us that the entire creation is under a curse. Nothing God created – from an electron to the most massive star – has escaped that foul reality.
As a result, we live in a cursed, sin wrecked, pain filled world. No one escapes the effects of this damaged place until we leave here by death or Jesus Christ returns victorious.
The Bible is Our Guide
The Bible is our only infallible guide to understanding the purposes of God. If God spared not His own Son, but offered Him up freely for us all, God’s plan to eradicate evil in the end will not be thwarted. Until then, we find comfort and assurance where God’s people through the ages have found it: in His Word.
It is there we learn death’s valley holds only a shadow (Ps. 23), that weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning (Ps. 30:5), that God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness (1 Cor. 12), that God empathizes with us in suffering (Heb. 4), and that not even death can separate us from His love (Romans 8).
How can I trust God in suffering? Because God is completely trustworthy.
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