What are some Bible verses about why God allows suffering?
- Romans 5:12
- 2 Timothy 3:1-4
- Romans 8:28
- James 1:2-4
- Romans 8:18
Everyone experiences suffering in life. You don’t have to go very far to feel how life can be devastating. Tragedy, heartaches, failure, and disappointments — you probably know all these things too well. Now that there is a pandemic plaguing societies, suffering from sickness and death becomes more rampant. Even Christians who follow Christ can experience moments of suffering. During these times, it can be easy to ask “Why does God allow suffering?”. In order to shed light on this issue, let’s delve deeper into the five Bible verses about why God allows suffering.
God has given mankind the sense of responsibility of decision-making. Because He made us with a purpose of love, we are able to make our own choices. However, this means man also has the choice to make good and evil decisions.
Adam and Eve had the sense of responsibility of decision-making when they were in the Garden of Eden. According to Genesis 3:3, Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden or they will die. However, they decided to disobey God and were banished from the Garden of Eden. Why does God allow suffering? When they fell because of Adam’s decision, sins spilt into the world.
Romans 5:12 states that “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people because all sinned—”. Today, mankind needs to be accountable for the consequences of sin. We are to experience hardships and eventually, death. There is no one in the world who can claim he or she has never sinned. Romans 3:23 clearly states that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
2 Timothy 3:1-4
As there is a gift of the sense of responsibility of decision-making, we are capable of doing sinful things. By nature, our hearts are deceitful. Jeremiah 17:19 reads, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”. Mankind is not only capable of doing sinful things, but also bringing harm to others.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 reads, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”. The Scripture clearly states that mankind is a contributor to suffering in the world because of sinful hearts.
Living a sinful life can make you and others directly or indirectly suffer. Sin also separates you from God. Isaiah 59:2 reminds us that, “…iniquities have separated you from your God, your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear”.
Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
In Genesis 37, Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him. Later instead of killing Joseph, his brothers decided to throw him in a pit and sell him to the Ishmaelites to live as a slave in Egypt.
In Egypt, Joseph was accused of raping Potiphar’s wife and he was thrown for a crime he did not do. All these scenarios in Joseph’s life depict some of the most intense sufferings that can happen in life. It’s true that what happened to Joseph was unfortunate but the reality is God was able to use the situations to fulfill His purpose.
Joseph’s trials made him grow spiritually. Even through his sufferings, God was with him. When Joseph met his brothers who tried to kill him, he said “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
You may not understand the purposes of the challenges you are going through right now, but remember that God works in mysterious ways for the ultimate good. For those who love God, all the good and bad situations happen because of a greater purpose.
According to James 1:2-4, we should, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”.
It is important to remember that your sufferings are not allowed by the loving Creator to destroy you. Instead, God uses these sufferings so that you can persevere despite all the challenges that life throws at you. He will always achieve His purpose. For every suffering you face, He is faithful and He will provide a way for you to be victorious.
It’s important to remember that there are two kinds of suffering that mankind can experience: temporary suffering and eternal suffering. We must never forget the value of the latter.
As Christians, we should remember that this world is not our permanent home. According to Hebrews 13:14, “…we are looking for the city that is to come”. God allows temporary suffering so that we can repent and not suffer for eternity (Luke 13:1-4).
Eternal suffering awaits sinners who depart from God. It is clearly stated in 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 that those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel will be “punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”.
If you are suffering at the moment, remember that these sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory to be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). It is an important foundation for people to repent and avoid eternal suffering.
These are just some Bible verses about why God allows suffering. If you study God’s word further, you will understand that pain and suffering are a part of life.
Nonetheless, God is always in control and everything happens according to His purpose. It’s not too late for you to surrender your life to God and let Him guide you. Ultimately one day, you will experience a painless life when God fulfills His promise of eternal life.