Big questions about suffering
Where did suffering come from, does God care, and when will it end?
Okay, so let’s ask the question, what’s the deal with all the suffering, death, and abuse in the world? Who should we point the finger at?
Many think the Big Guy upstairs should take the wrap for all of it, and they’re not referring to their landlord.
But let’s consider this: if a husband commits adultery, should the wife blame God? If a person consumes too much alcohol, gets behind the wheel and hits a child, who’s to blame?
This world is consumed with flawed humans who at times make horrible sinful choices. Sadly, many innocent lives and generations are affected by those choices.
Does God suffer?
Have you ever reflected on how God has to deal with our wrong choices, and how much his heart must hurt from allowing consequences to play out? Let’s be God for a quick second.
Imagine yourself holding the whole world in your hand.
Now imagine you have to allow certain events to play out because you alone know how every choice affects everything.
Now imagine that you’re not distant from the pain, and you feel the weight of every choice and consequence.
Just as Jesus wept with the crowd for Lazarus’ death, he weeps with the widow, the parent, the daughter, the brother, the friend, all of us. This is not a one time event for God, he suffers daily, and his heart aches alongside those who are hurting.
What about natural suffering?
Of course there begs the question, “Well, what about natural causes of death, whose fault is that?” Why did my little brother pass away from a stroke at the age of 12? Why was someone’s mom or spouse’s life cut short from cancer? Why did God allow COVID to happen?
Although it’s hard to accept, death and disease are a part of everyday living. They Bible says everything went wrong right at the beginning with the sin of Adam and Eve.
The choice Adam and Eve made in the beginning represents all of us – and none of us are blameless. Humankind brought sin and death into a beautiful world God created and intended for us to thrive, multiply, and rule over.
Thankfully God made a choice to not let the story end there. He made a choice to become man and redeem humanity in the form of his son Jesus.
When will suffering end?
Man’s choice brought sin and death, God’s choice brings forgiveness and life.
Thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can know with certainty that the suffering in this world will not last forever.
God promises to make all things new when Jesus returns.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:3-4
And in the meantime, he patiently waits for humanity to choose to come back to him.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:9