If God is so loving and so powerful, why does he allow hurt and suffering?
We all have asked hard questions regarding God, to the point where we even
question if our faith is real. First of all, God is not angry or bothered
when we ask tough questions, in fact he welcomes them. He desires to show
himself strong to those who fear him (2 Chronicles 16:9). God even poses
the tough question himself: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is
anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). We equate our faith with
happiness. God never promised us a happy life. Before you cry heresy, keep
reading. Jesus told his disciples that in this world you will have trouble
(John 16:33). He is letting them know ahead of time that because they
follow him they can expect suffering and hardship. But Jesus doesn’t leave
them hanging there. He also says, “I have told you these things, so that in
me you may have peace.” He finishes it up by reminding them to take heart
because he has overcome the world. Every disciple, except John and Judas,
was martyred for their faith. Do you know what that tells me? It tells me
that they were holding on to something greater, that they knew something
better was in store for them than anything this world has to offer. When
you experience that, it doesn’t matter what you go through, because you
know what awaits you on the other side. Paul the Apostle went through so
much (2 Corinthians 11:16-30) and yet he writes that what we are
experiencing now is light and momentary, but our eternal glory far
outweighs it all. He encourages us to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but
what is unseen (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). I can’t tell you all the reasons
why things happen. There are some pretty horrific things that unfortunately
happen that even the greatest reason wouldn’t be sufficient. But I can
point you to someone who understands you, Jesus. He was completely without
fault and was condemned to die a horrific death that he didn’t deserve. He
was nailed to a cross and suffered a common criminal’s death. He knew what
Paul knew. Something better awaited him. Because of the joy awaiting him,
he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place
of honor beside God’s throne (Hebrews 12:2). In the midst of your suffering
you can experience joy, not happiness but joy. There is a big difference.
Your weeping may last for the night but joy will come (Psalm 30:5).
Whatever you have gone through or are going through, justice will come.
Even though it seems like bad people are getting away with things, there
will be a day where everyone will stand before God and give an account for
what they have done. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with
justice by the man (Jesus) he has appointed (Acts 17:31). So if you are
discouraged or have tough questions, don’t lose faith! Take heart!! Go to
the one person who completely understands and sympathizes with you, Jesus. He
has experienced every emotion/situation you are facing and you can come to
God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that you may receive mercy and
find grace to help in your time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
P.S. As First Assembly of God we believe in journeying with people and if
you need some encouragement, deliverance, or just someone to come along
side you, we have a ministry called Freedom Recovery on our Victorville,
Hesperia, and Apple Valley campuses. On our Littlerock campus it is called
The Most Excellent Way.