Why God Allows Suffering
24 Reasons God Allows Suffering
1) Refining out impurities.
a. Jeremiah 9:7 See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do, because of the sin of my people.
b. Daniel 11:35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless…
c. Zechariah 13:9 This third then I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.
d. Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…
2) Preparation for service.
a. Isaiah 54:16 See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work.
3) Christians go through a very minor tribulation here on earth. We are not in Heaven yet. This world is ruled by the Prince of Darkness.
a. 1 Peter 4:1 …because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
b. Romans 5:3-4 Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
4) Sin brought God’s Curse onto the world.
a. Genesis 3:17 Cursed is the earth because of you…
5) Discipline. God only disciplines his own children. He doesn’t discipline the children of another being. Discipline makes us into who we could become.
a. Proverbs 3:11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
6) So we experience and develop empathy for the many sacrifices God went through in coming to live with us and be crucified.
a. Psalm 109:2-5 For wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship, they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.
b. So we experience and develop empathy for the pain and agony God the Father suffered watching his blameless, innocent and pure son sacrificed and tortured for us. (Not just for one day but for all the generations before and after it happened. Each new generation heaps more sin onto the God/man hanging on the cross.) This is the point of the outrage we feel when we see or hear about lambs having their throats slit, Abraham being asked to sacrifice a son he waited for so long, the 70 X 7 times we ask and expect the Lord to forgive us.
7) When a crime is committed, there is both a sentence and a fine. Even though Christ served our sentence, we still have to pay our fines.
a. Paul paid for persecuting the Church by being:
ii. Shipwrecked three times
iv. Lashed 40-1 five times
v. Beatings with a rod three times
vi. Overboard at sea 1 night and 1 day
vii. Sleep deprived
viii. Without a home of his own
ix. Knew hunger
x. Knew what it was like to be cold and naked
xi. Faced danger from:
1. River crossings
4. His own countrymen
8) To prove beyond doubt our love is offered freely, not bought. Our lives are being observed like players on a stage, performing before our friends and families who have gone on to Heaven before us. They are our cheering section.
9) But we also are fighting on behalf of the Defense against the “rulers…authorities…powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.”
a. Job 1:9-11 (Satan accused God of protecting Job to buy his love.) “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
10) Chance to Witness. Especially during life threatening illnesses. (See also Job 1:9-11) Suffering allows us to teach others through our example how God can work all things together for good.
11) Cancer is an earthly object lesson, displaying in terms we can understand what we inflicted (sin) on a pure and perfect God. He didn’t do anything to deserve being inflicted.
12) Freedom of Choice. God set up the laws of physics, anatomy, biology and physiology as to how this world is going to work and then warned us not to violate those laws or there would be penalties. If He stops you then you didn’t really have the freedom to choose. But He warned you. There are penalties, they exist, and are not generally waived. “Receive unto thy body the penalty thereof”.
13) To empty us out, purify us and fill us with Himself.
14) Because when He calls, we won’t listen…so when we call, He won’t listen.
15) Psalm 119:71 It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees.
16) John 15:2 Every branch that bears fruit He prunes (a painful process), that it may bear more fruit.
17) Romans 8:17 We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.
18) Warn us of danger. Without pain, we wouldn’t stop doing whatever it is we are doing that caused the pain. We wouldn’t know to let our bodies rest, go to a doctor (God) for healing, stop sinning so we would stop hurting those who love us.
19) Make us aware of something good we had, which we had been taking for granted. When it is taken away, we then know it’s true value.
20) An opportunity for others to grow in compassion and outpouring.
21) Preparation for transition. To begin the transition away from what we value here on earth and prepare us to look forward to the life to come.
22) Causing improvements in the lives of others. Doctors and others who suffer something, rather than hearing about it can better feel the need for finding and implementing solutions. Cures for diseases and changes in societal accepted norms, such as slavery and not allowing women to earn money or own property, would not have taken place.
23) To get people to seek God and develop a relationship with God.
24) Show us how much we need each other. God uses suffering to pull us together and get us working toward the same end results. As the future body of the Bride of Christ, we need to learn how to function together and not go it alone.