“For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.” Job 5:18
Why does God allow suffering?
This is an age old question that I wish I could answer. I wish I understood why He lets bad things happen to good people, and I wish I understood why people have to go through horrific things. This is a mystery that we may never understand for as the Lord says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways.’” (Isaiah 55:8)
Suffering for a Christian is a painful paradox because we know that with one word God could end our pain, and when He doesn’t we wonder, “Does He really love me, and if He does then why isn’t He taking this from me? Am I really asking too much? Our wounded hearts feel rejected and hurt, trying to figure out how our loving heavenly Father could allow us to suffer.
He sympathizes with us, understanding our pain and hopelessness. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
We may not be able to see it, but our suffering does indeed have a purpose. In suffering we find out how strong our faith is, and in suffering we have to lean on God more than ever. When we suffer, we get the unique chance to see and experience the faithfulness of God up close and personal. We can also comfort others with the same comfort we found through our trials.
When we are weak He is strong, lifting us up above the waves of depression, shame, and hopelessness.
It does gets tiring, fighting day in and day out, not seeing a change. It hurts, it is discouraging, and at times gut-wrenching. But remember: hope is never lost.
No matter what your burden is, there is always hope. There is a light in the darkness, even if it is a small sliver. This earthly suffering that you are going through will end, and in the darkest of nights God will always be there, holding out His hand and urging you to not let go.
He knows your pain, and He knows the despair you feel, but He also knows that you will emerge from the darkness a stronger person than you were before.
I leave you with the following hope: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10) and in the words of the apostle Paul, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)