“God doesn’t care when I suffer.”
“There’s too much suffering.”
We live in an imperfect world, and
many things are simply beyond our control. You might be going through a painful
illness. People get mugged on the streets. Our loved ones may die unexpectedly.
Families lose everything in an earthquake. Countless children die in wars.
Our suffering might make us
question God’s love and power. But through it all, God suffers with us each
time we are hurt. More than that, he has dealt with the root cause of suffering
“Why is there suffering at all?”
There are two causes to suffering:
one physical, one moral.
On the one hand, we’re innocent
victims of physical evil. For example, when you get really sick, you suffer,
but it’s nobody’s fault.
On the other hand, we’re active
agents of moral evil. This may sound like a harsh statement, but it comes from
the fact that we have free will. Everyday we’re free to make decisions, and we
might do the wrong thing. Sometimes we pay the price. Sometimes others pay the price.
Evil and malice often overpower
us, even though our conscience tells us to do good.
Have you ever been spiteful, however briefly, toward someone you love?
Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves. So we add to the suffering in the
world, without the power to end it. Even though we can’t be individually blamed
for everything that’s wrong, the entire human race suffers because of moral
But why are there physical and
moral evil? Because we are separated from God. We as the human race have turned
away from him. And without God’s protection and guidance, evil prevails in the
physical world and in the human heart. That’s why we suffer.
“God isn’t doing anything about suffering.”
Actually, God already has done
something. He came into the world as Jesus and suffered life’s hardships with
us. On the cross, he paid the ultimate price for human evil: death and complete
severance from God.
God has defeated evil through
Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus, one day “he will wipe every tear from our
eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation
Even today, he can give us the
same victory and help each one of us through our sorrows in life. How do we
know? Because Jesus was resurrected. When we believe in Jesus, our old, weak, error-prone
self dies with him and we are resurrected into a new life. Then we no longer
fear suffering because Jesus strengthens us, comforts
us, and gives us peace.
“Why doesn’t God end my suffering now?”
You may have seen a loving parent
let a toddler try to walk on its own. The baby might fall and cry, and the mom
or dad naturally feels for the child. But isn’t that how we learn to walk?
Through our suffering, God lets us
see the truth about our predicament. When we realize that we need help to get
away from the world’s evil and from our own
weaknesses, we learn to turn to him. If we ask him for help, God will respond.
Suffering is a sad part of life,
but God can make it a good thing. When we believe in Jesus, our suffering and
troubles become light and momentary, because they are “achieving for us an
eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Jesus came to this world to offer
you a gift: true peace and joy in all circumstances and a real hope of heaven.
The first step to accepting this gift is to believe that he did all this for
you. Ask him to forgive your mistakes and change your life for the better. If
you are determined to be freed from evil and its suffering, Jesus will show you
So what is your response? Will you
remain at the mercy of evil, or will you follow God, who can carry you through
today's troubles and into a lasting peace?
"Come to me, all you who are
weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
– Jesus Christ