We have also dealt with a miscarriage. Both of us have lost our fathers too early in life. Each of us have said goodbye to many friends.
As Christians, we understand that death and pain are a result of the curse of sin in the world. Yet, I have often wondered why a loving, powerful God would allow suffering.
Job lost seven sons and three daughters on the same day. This was allowed by God.
Job did not curse God. Job maintained his integrity even when he experienced difficult losses.
Job’s health failed. He was in such physical agony from a skin disease that he sat in one place all day, scraping his skin with a broken pot.
Job’s wife encouraged him to give up living, but Job refused to allow the hope within him to die. Job, who had a strong relationship with God, would not let the most intense blows of unexpected suffering to knock him out spiritually.
Romans 8:28 promises “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This implies that everything that comes into our lives has been allowed by God. Also, it teaches us that there is a “purpose.”
Unfortunately, it does not guarantee that any of us will completely understand the purpose for any specific tragedy. Sometimes terrible events are harvested because the seeds of bad decisions have been sown. However, that often is not the case.
We may live another fifty years after a horrific event in our lives and still not fully comprehend the reasoning behind that event. In eternity future, when we get to Heaven, we will understand more completely the purpose of pain and suffering. Even the ultimate question, “Why did God allow Satan to continue to exist after his fall and cause so many problems?” will make more sense.
God can take the greatest tragedies and create the greatest triumphs. The crucifixion of Jesus is the best example of this. Jesus, the most kind, gentle, compassionate, powerful man was taken and brutally murdered.
The Devil worked through the heart of Judas so that Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. How could God allow something so unjust?
God’s plan also allowed the crucifixion of Jesus. The Bible says, “It pleased God to bruise Him” [speaking of Jesus’ death]. It was through the death of Jesus that God accomplished that greatest work of grace and mercy.
God allowed the death of His Son to happen for a greater purpose — your eternal joy and salvation. Can God take your personal pain and suffering and create eternal joy in some way? I chose to believe that God can and that God will.
If we try to explain the inexplicable, we are beating ourselves up. When Jesus was weeping in the Garden of Gethsemane, He wanted His friends to be there with Him. That’s what Jesus knew was most important as He faced the Cross.
Jesus knew that it would be relationships, prayer and love that would help Him face His greatest crisis — not philosophical answers and theological lectures.
So why does God allow specific events that seem painful and unfair? Why does he allow death?
If you are a believer, you will get a much better understanding in a few years or few decades when it is your turn to pass from this life to the next. When you die, your friends and family left behind on earth will be asking the same “Why?” questions about your passing.
So, these mysteries will be with us as long as life continues — until Jesus returns. Yet, even though we do not know all of the answers, we can still know Someone who does.
— Chris Crain, Pastor, South Roebuck Baptist, Birmingham and North Valley Church, Margaret