I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
Suffering, unanswered prayers, and the unfairness of life naturally lead us to question God’s goodness and sometimes to question God’s very existence. Ask atheists why they reject the idea of God, and this will be among their answers. But ask thoughtful Christians and you will find that they, too, have wrestled with these questions throughout their lives.
The question is traditionally posed in this way, “If God is loving and just, then God must not be all powerful. Or, if God is all-powerful, God must not be loving and just.” For if God were all-powerful and loving and just, then God would stop the evil, pain, and suffering in our world.
I have spent much of the last twenty-five years in ministry helping people wrestle with these questions. I’ve done this by inviting them to question the assumptions they have held about God and God’s work in the world, and by helping them to see how the biblical authors and the leading characters of the Bible wrestled with and ultimately answered these questions.
One thought has often struck me when I meet people who reject God in the face of suffering. Rejecting God doesn’t change the situation that has caused our suffering; it only removes the greatest source of hope, help, comfort, and strength we have.
Suffering never has the final word in the Christian faith. As we have seen, Christianity does not promise that we will not suffer, but it does promise that suffering will never have the final word.
The Israelites were set free from slavery. David found deliverance from his affliction. And on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. God does not bring unjust suffering upon God’s children. But God will, however, force such things to serve God’s good purposes. God will walk with us through the fires and the floodwaters. And God promises that, “the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
What questions do you have about suffering in light of God's love?