On Tuesday nights, Kit and I did visitation for our church. Because we had missionary experience, our pastor split us up. Each of us took another man and woman to train them. At one home, tragedy in the form of the unexpected death of a loved one had brought great grief. “Why does God allow suffering?” a tearful lady asked.
I had just finished an in-depth Bible study on God’s purposes for suffering. I’m ready for this, I thought and eagerly started explaining the biblical causes of suffering. I hardly noticed that the lady’s expression became glazed, perhaps even stunned. My woman trainee noticed, though. She went to sit by the grieving woman and hugged her. She gave her sympathy and comfort. The lady visibly looked better. That night I was the trainee.
Why does God allow suffering? This is a universal question in every culture and in every heart. And the question is reasonable and valid. Lack of a meaningful answer is a barrier to the faith of many. Shallow answers can undermine faith. Fortunately, the Bible gives clear reasons that God allows suffering.
People in intense grief are not looking for theology. They need comfort. However, when we already know the theology behind suffering, God can use it to comfort us when difficulties come. Therefore, the best time to discover God’s reasons is before a crisis arises and causes faith to waver. Our Bible-based mini-book and discussion guide, More Than Ordinary Faith – Why does God allow suffering?, explores God’s purposes for suffering. We can prepare now for the heartaches that are an inevitable part of life. Life-skills books