In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the suffering it’s caused, I’ve been writing about the question which has been asked for centuries: If the God of love exists, why do evil and suffering exist in the world? One reason is because evil proves that good exists, which proves that God exists. Another reason is because humanity has free will and often makes bad choices. Today I’d like to propose one more reason.
Wouldn’t it be great if pain didn’t exist? If you stubbed your toe, you wouldn’t feel it. If you hit your head on a low-hanging beam, it wouldn’t hurt at all. That would be great, wouldn’t it?
Well, what if your clothes caught on fire and you didn’t know it? Sure, you wouldn’t feel pain…but you could be burned very badly before you knew what was going on. If you were going through the beginnings of a heart attack and pain doesn’t exist, you would feel no tightening of the chest, no pain running down the arm. You’d have no warning signs, nothing that would motivate you to go to the hospital so you could be treated. You’d end up dying.
You see, suffering can actually be beneficial to us. In fact, suffering is what tends to help us grow up and become better people (Heb. 12:5-11; Job 3:17). Think about it. What tends to help you become more patient? What helps you become more compassionate? What helps you grow more courageous? What motivates you to long for heaven and thus grow in your Christian walk? Answer: the hardships of life. The suffering you go through. I don’t know anyone who has grown to become closer to what God would have them to be without experiencing any sort of suffering and hardship in their lives.
So why would a God of love allow evil and suffering in this world? Because such things, while terrible, tend to be the catalysts that cause those who are searching to draw closer to God and be more like his Son to reach those goals.
I don’t claim to have all the answers for why evil and suffering exist. However, what I’ve shared in this article and in the other two are things which have crossed my mind while pondering this question. I hope they are beneficial to you and your walk with God. Thanks for reading!