God and Suffering – Why do the innocent suffer?
Two of the most frequently asked questions we hear about God and suffering are: “Why does God allow suffering?” and “Why do the innocent suffer?” The questions come in all forms: Why did God allow my child to be born with severe birth defects? Why did my husband lose his legs in the war? How could God have allowed all those little children to be killed by that evil man? Why was my teen daughter raped? The questions are often filled with extreme grief and come from people who are in their darkest hour. These questions are very hard to answer.
The suffering of a child or an innocent bystander seems more heinous than other forms of suffering. Why is that? Do we expect children to be exempt from suffering? Perhaps we simply wish that was true. That’s how we’d want it to be if we ruled the world.
God and Suffering? Who is Innocent?
Wait. What do we mean by “innocent”? Is anyone truly innocent? The Bible is very clear that our hearts are deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) and that every one of us has sinned (Romans 3:23). So, if by “innocent,” we mean sinless, that isn’t possible. No innocent person exists. We have all been impacted by sin and sin is the very reason that suffering exists.
When people refer to the “innocent suffering,” they aren’t inferring that the person is sinless. They are simply inferring that the person didn’t deserve the trial that came their way. They are inferring that the suffering isn’t fair. It doesn’t fit into the world as we would like it.
Why Do the Innocent Suffer? Why does God allow Suffering?
So why do seemingly innocent people suffer? What’s the purpose? If we believe God is sovereign over all things, why doesn’t He simply stop the suffering? Here are some points to think about…
God and Suffering? How can we survive?
Do you feel like you are suffering for no apparent reason? I encourage you to cry out to God. He already knows your heart. He knows your thoughts. He already knows your questions. Speak to Him and let Him fill you with His peace. He wants you to trust Him and He is waiting with open arms.