Why Does God Allow Suﬀering?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But takeheart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Being a Christian has tons of advantages. You get the Holy Spirit inside of you to help guide your thoughts and actions. You’re no longer a slave to sin, but instead you have a choice to do the right thing. Plus you get the awesome prize of eternal life in heaven. There are so many perks to following Jesus!
But being a Christian does not mean you won’t still have problems. Jesus says straight up, “In this world you will have trouble.”
What kind of trouble have you experienced? Have you ever gotten sick? Broken a bone? Become discouraged or hurt by unkind classmates or gossiping friends? Maybe you struggle with fear or anxiety, or your family has been through hard times, and you wonder if God sees your pain.
Many “bad” experiences can happen to us in life. But the truth is God is not just aware of them, He allows them.
Not because He enjoys seeing you suffer. Quite the opposite! God loves you; He stays close to you when you’re suffering, and He hurts to see you hurting.
But He also knows the experiences we call “bad” are actually meant to produce something good in our lives. He never allows suffering without a reason, and He is sovereign over our struggles. Our job as Christians is to trust Him—that even the hardships we face are somehow a part of God’s love for us, and He’s working them all out for good. God’s plan always wins!
THINK ABOUT THIS!
- Can you think of a time when something happened to you that seemed bad at first, but actually turned out for good?
- Do you think Jesus allows trouble? How can suffering help make us stronger or grow us closer to God?