WHY DOES AN ALL-POWERFUL, LOVING GOD
ALLOW INNOCENT PEOPLE TO SUFFER?
As we examine the world around us there are many things that seem “unfair” to us. One man asks, “If God is a God of love, why did my wife have to suffer with cancer? She was always trying to do good…” We must be honest and accept that we are limited in our ability to understand the dealings of God with man. “How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor” (Romans 11:33,34)?
Sometimes God allows suffering TO GET OUR ATTENTION. People often turn to the Lord in time of crisis. I know of an atheist who was unconcerned about spiritual matters until he was in a terrible car accident. It was there lying in the hospital bed that he was forced to stop and look up to His Creator. He received Christ as His personal Savior, through suffering from the trauma.
Other times it is TO DISPLAY HIS GRACE. The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Illness or struggles in life can be used to draw the believer closer to the Lord. In times of trouble we often sense the Lord’s comforting hand as He manifests Himself to us during prayerful fellowship!
Then too it is all PART OF GOD’S PLAN TO MAKE US BETTER PEOPLE. The Lord allows suffering to build character in His children. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3). Adversity builds character.
And of course, sometimes God allows suffering TO PUNISH HIS CHILDREN FOR DISOBEDIENCE. But remember, not all adversity is God’s chastening. Just as we see God bless His children, also ungodly sinful people enjoy healthy and wealthy lives...
God is full of love and always does good. The Word of God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways Higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8,9). God is on His throne, ruling and reigning this universe.
Every born-again believer recognizes this world’s injustices. But we can trust God even when things seem “unfair or unjust”. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Although our limited minds cannot comprehend some apparent unfairness’ in this life, people suffering, children with disease, etc. We know that God has a purpose and a plan and yet as humans we ask why...
I ask you, what is fair in this sin cursed world of ours? Life on earth was paradise in the beginning, before Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden and brought suffering upon mankind. We talk about “innocent” people suffering, and so it would seem. However, some neglect to face the Word of God as the criteria for their analysis. We are ALL a disobedient people who have no right to tell our Creator what is right and what is wrong! “For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in Earth... all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16,17).
By His merciful grace, we have the free will to live with God or without Him. If everyone received what they truly deserve from God almighty, we would all be burning in Hell because of our sinfulness. “ As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23). So no individual is truly innocent! The fact is God loves mankind, His creation! He has proven that by sending His Son to die for our sins. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17)!
The question we should ask is, “Why did the innocent Jesus Christ suffer on the Cross for you and me?” The answer is, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). If you have never received Christ as your Savior, do it now. He endured the Cross and shed His blood to pay for your sins. Go to Him in a word of prayer, confessing your sin. Ask for Him to save your soul and come into your heart and life!