Why Would an All Loving God...

“Why would an all loving and all-powerful God allow so much suffering?” asked the man as we stood on the street corner. I was there to share the Gospel with others but didn’t expect to hear such a challenging question. I would love to say I answered the question effectively, but instead I stumbled over my words and gave a convoluted answer. I’m the type of person who doesn’t think fast on his feet or rebuttal spontaneously. But give me about 30 minutes to ponder my answer and o-boy, I can really come up with some thoughtful insight. The only problem is, I’m always a half hour too late and the person I was speaking with is usually long gone by then.

If I could do it over again I would have said, “If we’re full, do we want to eat? If we’re not thirsty, do we ask for water? If we’re not sleepy, do we go to bed? If there were no suffering, would we seek God? God created this world to be perfect. His intent was that we would experience no suffering and would live forever. But then Satan came along, tempted Adam and Eve, and sin entered the world. So now that we live in a fallen world, which would we prefer, zero suffering and we all end up in hell for eternity, or a God who prompts our hearts to seek Him such that we’re able to find Him and be saved? Throughout the entire Bible, we see entire people groups who gain wealth, prosperity and comfort and almost immediately forget all about God. When we listen to the salvation testimonies of people in our church or elsewhere, we often hear a story of that includes suffering.

Not long ago I heard the testimony of a Muslim who, at the time, lived in a Muslim country. He was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that nearly killed him. His face was badly cut, and his eyes were seriously injured. In his country, any person with a disability such as blindness is treated like an outcast. He knew his life would be over. His brother visited him in the hospital and asked if he had prayed. The man said yes, but nothing happened. The brother suggested he pray to Jesus. The man was furious and told him to leave. But the brother said, “The doctors can not fix your eyes, Allah has not fixed your eyes, what will it hurt to just ask Jesus?” After brother left, the injured man lay in his hospital bed alone. He said, “Jesus if you fix my eyes I will follow you.” Six weeks later, the bandages came off and he could see clearly. Today he’s a Christ follower who declares the Gospel of Christ to Muslims in the free world.

Of course, not every story of suffering has a happy ending. Evil exists in the world and bad things can and do happen to good people. Life is more complex than can be answered with just a three-paragraph devotional. But the point is that God wants to bring us back to a place where there is no suffering and where we live forever. That was His intent from the beginning. But if God were to make the fallen world to have no suffering, none of us would seek after Him. Change only comes from a position of discomfort. God longs to have a relationship with us. To get our attention He will often allow us to experience suffering.

Read: John 16:33
(Gary Howell)
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.

Based on Finding Purpose in Our Suffering on February 10th, 2018 - Watch Sermon

Have You Ever Been Pushed Around?

Not that we can add anything to Christ’s suffering for us, but the Bible is very clear: God has called us to suffer for Christ and in so do...

Keep Reading

Trouble? Take Heart!

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the w...

Keep Reading

Are You Suffering?

If your answer is “Yes,” don’t despair. My friends, we all suffer or have suffered in different ways. For some of us, it could be emotional...

Keep Reading

A Powerful Testimony

Have you ever found yourself comparing your testimony to that of someone else? Saying that “if only, I had suffered through ‘this’ or ‘that...

Keep Reading

Perfected by the Holy Spirit

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) I’m sure He shocked qui...

Keep Reading

The Great Adventure

A few weeks ago, my son and his fiancé came to visit us in Panama. While they were visiting, they joked about making Bingo cards with commo...

Keep Reading

Regarding Demons and Salvation

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:...

Keep Reading

Faith vs. Fear

Fear is a powerful tool that Satan uses to keep us from accomplishing all that God has designed us for. One of my favorite quotes that I am...

Keep Reading

A Heart of Stone

I can remember the precise moment when I was reborn. I can’t exactly recall the day, month, or year, because suddenly, time had become unim...

Keep Reading

Subscribe

Enjoying our daily devotions? Subscribe to have them delievered everyday to your email!

Subscribe