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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Smith

How can a loving God allow such suffering?

It breaks my heart every time I hear someone tell me they don’t want anything to do with God because they don’t understand how God can allow such horrific things to happen and to allow such suffering. It breaks my heart because when we take that stance we endure far more suffering and lack of peace and joy each day. Unfortunately, I can relate to this mindset because I have been there myself many times. However, after wrestling with that question over the years in order to give a relevant and applicable answer I discovered so much peace and faith in who God is...truly is!! Not just through scripture but in numerous examples throughout my life. So what did I learn? I learned that God is always good! Always! And that we, on the other hand, are not. God allows us our freedom to be individuals who make our own choices freely. Sometimes we do good, sometimes we do bad. BUT, we mustn’t get the pain and suffering we experience at the hands of someone else’s bad actions confused with God and who He is. It isn’t that He allows evil things to happen to us nor disallows it. He allows us to be the individuals we are and to make our own decisions, good or bad. God is good even though we are usually not. God is still good even when horrific things happen. And more importantly, God is there for us when we endure the painful consequences of someone else’s sin or even our own sin for that matter. He actually sympathizes with our weaknesses. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 He sees ALL things and will deal with them in His Own way and Own time. “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 Yes, He could literally snap His fingers and wipe all evil off the earth, however, where is the line of who is evil and who is just acting out of the evil done to them. God is patiently waiting for those to turn to Him. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 So the next time we feel the need to blame God for something bad happening, we need to remember His true character! He is always good and is LOVE! He is not capable of evil! We must remember His patience and grace that He offers each of us daily and that we actually should be praying for those who are in darkness for they are the ones who are truly suffering and risk suffering for ALL OF ETERNITY. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 

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