Why Does God Allow Suffering?
While we acknowledge the fact that God’s providential care rescues us from countless dangers, still, we may wonder about the times when He didn’t deliver us, or why we had to pass through so much suffering before He did. What about the rape, murder, and illness which Christians experience?
The psalmist makes it clear that safety does not exist in the absence of danger but in the presence of God. The beautiful Twenty-third Psalm acknowledges this: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (v. 4, emphasis added). I worship the Lord not because of the absence of adversaries, but because He “prepare[s] a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (v. 5).
We can rest in the goodness, grace, and sovereignty of our loving heavenly Father and so endure the worst of life’s circumstances with quiet confidence. Daniel’s three friends faced the fiery furnace with this conviction: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it…. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods…” (Dan. 3:17–18).
When the hard times come we have to trust in the wisdom of a God who prohibits evil from touching us without His permission (Job 1–2), and who promises to make all things work together for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). When we don’t understand the reasons behind our sufferings, we accept them by faith, trusting that some day our “faith will be made sight.”