Josh Steed's Blog
Author of "Faith & Football"

Why Does God Allow Suffering?



 I had a college student ask me last week why God allows bad things to happen. She told me that her college professor was questioning her and her classmates and every time they tried to give a reason, he would question the students further. Even though I know that ultimately it is God who has to touch a persons’ heart, it often helps to hear things from another person. The following is my response to the college student. I wanted to share it with you also. 

“The reason we have evil in the world at all is because if God didn’t allow Adam and Eve the option to disobey him and thus bring sin into the world then humans would be nothing more than robots in a sense. We would only obey God and do everything He told us without a choice and that would be fine except for God’s divine nature of LOVE. Love always demands a choice or it isn’t love. Love can’t be forced on someone or it isn’t love at all. God didn’t want a race of robots when He created humans. He created us with the choice to love or hate, to obey or disobey. He knew we would disobey but that He would make a way for us to be forgiven by His grace alone if we would choose to accept this gift of grace that would come only by sending His one and only Son to offer Himself as a sinless sacrifice to atone for our sins. When we sin we use our flesh to do so and our flesh is made alive by BLOOD. That is why God demands blood to atone for sin but not just any blood. It has to be sinless blood in order to pay for sin. That’s why we can’t save ourselves because we are all sinners. That’s why God became a man and dwelt among us (and never sinned) and gave Himself (sinless blood) to pay for our sins. So that’s why we have evil in the world from the start…because without the choice to disobey we would have no true LOVE.” 

Then I offered 6 brief reasons why God continues to allow suffering:

1. To keep us from getting too attached to this life (to make us seek God Hebrews13:14)
2. To bring out our best (ex. Family crisis,9/11, gives us a chance to show our love is real 1st Peter 4:19)
3. Gives us a chance to prove our critics wrong (1st Peter 2:15
4. Makes us thankful for what we haven’t suffered (when we see others who have it worse than we do. 1st Peter 5:9)
5. Makes us rely more on God than ourselves (we should stay fully relying on God but we often wait until we are suffering greatly and have no where else to turn 2nd Cor. 7:10)
6. Prepares us to be more sympathetic towards others (you can help them in their pain cause you have been there before Romans 12:15)

I hope and pray these reasons and explanation have encouraged you. God loves us and has never abandoned us, even when it appears that all hope is lost you can always count on His faithfulness in the end. And if you ever doubt His love for you, just look at the cross. He loves you that much. 

Thanks for reading,

Josh Steed
Phil. 4:13


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