why does god allow my child to suffer
This is a very difficult topic indeed. The underlying theme is, "how can a good God allow the suffering of children? "
Ten years ago, my eldest daughter was born with a genetic defect that severely impacted her cognitive abilities. To this day, her mind is perhaps at the maturity of a two year old. Kaitlyn was born with Holoprosencephaly, an extremely rare medical condition that joined her left and right brain at the wrong place. When my wife and I first learned about this, it completely broke our hearts. We could not comprehend why this happened to us. We were not saints, but we never cheated, stolen or killed anyone. We were "good" people. But far more than that, why would God punish our daughter? She had absolutely nothing to do with our sins. She was punished by virtue of association - she was our daughter. Nothing more. We sank into despair and I renounced God. There is no God. If there was such a God that allowed evil and suffering, I wanted no part of Him. That was ten years ago. To cut the story short, since then, God has slowly worked His way into our lives. Bit by bit, our hearts were won over, and we witnessed an amazing restoration in love, peace, joy, acceptance, renewal and completion. God is so good. This topic is likely better served outside of a short eBible answer, for a webpage does not do justice to capturing God's intention and love for your friend. But I shall attempt to provide what little insight I have in my personal journey and restoration. First, recognize that we truly live in a fallen world. This means bad things can happen to good people, and good things can happen to bad people. When we (humankind) broke away from God and went our separate way, we choose a path without God. And where God isn't, suffering and evil prevails. Second, recognize that all pain and suffering is not in vain. It is not pointless. Just because we cannot understand why something bad is allowed to happen does not mean there is not a good reason. The story of Joseph in Genesis greatly underscore this. Joseph was hated by his brothers by virtue of his mother, Rachel. His step-brothers were from Leah, Jacob's first wife.
They imprisoned him in a pit, and sold him to slavery. After years of bondage and misery, Joseph was molded by God to become the "Prime Minister" of Egypt. In the end, he saved his family and his people from starvation and fulfilled God's promise to Abraham for the creation of the Israel nation. My wife and I didn't know God. While I was "born" into a Christian family I never truly "knew" Him. When we committed our lives to Him a few years ago, our entire family of five got saved. Had God not allowed Kaitlyn to "happen", eBible would not have been created (I am one of its founders) and you and I would not be having this "discussion" today. But now I count myself blessed that my three kids, my wife and I will all be together for eternity. Our entire family is now saved, as Joseph had saved his family. In 2 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul speaks of a "thorn" in his flesh. Three times he begged God to remove it. Three times the Lord denied him. God's answer:
2 Corinthians 12:9
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. "
I did not understand it then. I thought Kaitlyn's suffering was pointless. But today I understand that God's grace was with me the whole time. Grace means "unmerited favor". God did me a favor by allowing Kaitlyn to suffer. In other words, some day, when I'm in heaven, and I talk to God, I will look back and completely agree with Him that what happened to Kaitlyn was the best possible thing to happen to us, that the result was so glorious, so restorative, so rewarding that it is worth far more than any suffering, sacrifice or pain we had to endure. Let me end with this. Is suffering one of many tools that God uses for His glory? It would be hypocritical if God didn't allow it to happen to Himself. He did. Jesus Christ, Son of God, came down on earth, and suffered humiliation, torture, anguish, pain, suffering, and DIED for us. He went to hell and was risen on the 3rd day, for all of us. God would never do to us what He would not do to Himself. Tell your friend to believe that God has a greater purpose for Him. That out of the ashes of pain and destruction, will come restoration, glory, love and abundance.
Jesus was with him, is with him, and will always be with him. His suffering is not pointless. There is justice. There is victory. But only if we choose to let God carry us through.
Why Does God Allow Suffering? FAQ: Hold on. Now that I'm thinking about children, I realize I still have a problem with all the suffering I see in the world. You just told me about a perfectly loving God, but you didn't explain why He allows so much pain and suffering? The "problem of pain," as the well-known Christian scholar, C. S. Lewis, once called it, is atheism's most potent weapon against the Christian faith. Our human intellects and notions of fairness reject the apparent contradiction between a loving God and a world of pain. Therefore, the only way to reconcile this issue is to view the world from God's perspective. The only way to even begin to understand God's perspective is to read His Word, the Bible. The Bible tells us that God created a "very good" world (Genesis 1:31). Mankind was blessed to live and fellowship in a beautiful garden planted by God Himself (Genesis 2:8,9). However, mankind rejected God and His "very good" creation. Mankind disobeyed God's simple rules and chose to taste of the fruit of evil. As a result, suffering entered the world (Genesis 3). God's initial purpose for suffering was punishment for Satan, Eve and Adam. Since Adam was mankind's first representative, Adam's punishment affected all of creation (Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 5:12, 8:22). God's ultimate purpose for suffering is redemption for mankind (1 Corinthians 15:22) and renewal of all creation (Acts 3:21). Jesus Christ is the perfect model of humility, servanthood and suffering (Romans 5:8). He experienced temptation, pain and death just as we do (Hebrews 2:17,18). With Christ's death on the cross, He reclaimed what Satan stole in the garden, and provided the way to redemption for all mankind (Hebrews 2:14,15). Suffering was the means by which Christ set creation back on the road to restoration. We forfeited our chance for eternal life without some cost when we rejected God in the beginning.
This cost applied to Jesus, God's only begotten Son, and it applies to each of us, God's adopted children. Although suffering had no place in God's original design, it became nevertheless useful to God's ultimate plan. Our sin caused our separation from God and made Christ's suffering necessary. Our sin caused our fallen world and made our suffering inevitable. God takes no pleasure in the suffering of His children (2 Peter 3:9). He is patient, loving and merciful, operating for our eternal good outside our notions of time and fairness. His only goal is to reconcile His children to Himself. The Good News is that God loves us so much that He provided a free ticket to renewal and salvation through the suffering and death of His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Suffering and death in this corrupted world are guaranteed for each of us. It's our choice whether to accept God's free ticket to eternal life in paradise (Acts 4:12). Many argue, "Why would an all-powerful, all-loving God allow pain and suffering? " The only way to begin answering this question is to view our fallen world from God's perspective. You see, God dwells in the dimension of eternity. His primary objective is to love us and have us love Him in return. From God's perspective, He uses the trials of this painful world to lovingly prepare His children to spend eternity with Him. The Apostle Paul said, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). In Hebrews, we learn that Jesus himself "for the glory that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). Suffering is a fact of this fallen world. The Bible is a testimony to this reality. However, the complete message of the Bible is that God has His plan for redemption all worked out. Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ have a wonderful hope - a hope of eternity with God in a place where there is no more suffering, evil or death (John 1:12, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Revelation 21:4). Read More Now!
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