By Robert G. Wilkerson, D.Min.
If you could ask God one question and you knew He would give you an answer, what would you ask? Pollster George Barna surveyed a cross section of adults, asking that question. The number one response was, “I’d ask God why is there pain and suffering in the world?”
Before we can hear an answer to that question, we need to understand what God’s word teaches about pain and suffering. In spite of today’s popular “feel good” preaching, the Bible teaches that bad things happen to good people.
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45).
If our devotion to Christ made us exempt from suffering and pain, our motivation and obedience would be totally selfish
. We’d try to be Christians simply to avoid getting hurt. Wouldn’t the churches be full then!
Nothing bad will happen in our lives without God’s permission. Nothing can touch us that God doesn’t allow (read Job). Suffering does not mean that God is upset with us or punishing us. It may be the result of Satan attacking us or just the inevitable consequence of living in a fallen world where everyone hurts.
God is very aware of our pain and suffering. While He does not promise to spare us from these things, He promises us that He will not put on us any burden that we cannot bear (1 Cor. 10:13), and that He will never leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5). When we think about it—that’s enough, isn’t it?
Contact Dr. Wilkerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.