If God Loves Me, Why Am I Suffering?
This post was written by a pastor friend of ours who wants to remain anonymous. I believe it will bless you!
It is hardly surprising that so many followers of Christ struggle with the reality of trials in their lives. The question is often stated this way: “If God loves me, why am I suffering as I am?”
There are a few misconceptions when we even ask such a question. The first misconception is that God owes you a pain free life. Hidden in that misconception is the perspective that we are such good persons we don’t deserve trials or difficulties. The Bible is quite clear that none of us are righteous, in fact, without regeneration by the Spirit, we are actually objects of God’s wrath.
So we need to dispel from our thinking that God owes us anything but His anger and His punishment for our sins. But the believer in Jesus should firmly fix into his or her thinking the wonderful truth that God is, by nature, a good God. God’s nature is goodness itself and all that God has created and all His ways and actions toward His children are always good and for our good. At no time does God ever act toward one of His children in a way that is not for His child’s welfare.
Someone will immediately ask how a good God could allow cancer to take away a loved one, or allow the cruelty of war to take away the lives of millions. Perhaps the most devastating loss is the death of an infant or child. How do we respond to such a devastating loss?
What we should not do is abandon our core belief that God is good. His ways are always right. Surely there are not just one or two reasons why God has taken a child from us, but a thousand reasons. We are unable to see into the future to understand God’s purposes. But there are many comforting truths that can help us during the devastating times.
Is the trial you are undergoing causing you to pray more fervently? If so, is that a good thing?
Is the trial helping you to recognize your own weakness and your need of a Savior? If so, is that a good thing?
Is the trial reminding you that this life is short and eternity is long? If so, is that a good thing?
Is the trial making you long for heaven, to be dissatisfied with this world? If so, is that a good thing?
And is this trial making you glad that Christ’s suffering at the cross was in order to ultimately rescue you from sin and suffering, death and hell? If so, is that a good thing?
The Bible makes clear, especially a passage such as James, chapter 1, that trials are for our good, sent by a good and gracious God. Trials are, in fact, what God uses to sanctify and perfect us. Don’t look upon trials as tragedies.
Instead, see them as heaven-sent by a God who always does what is good and right for our good and to make us increasingly like Him. In fact, thank the Lord for trials. They have been sent because He loves you and knows what is best for you you both now and for eternity.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
10 thoughts on “If God Loves Me, Why Am I Suffering?”
Excellent article. The bible tells us that it is part of Gods will that we suffer as Christ suffered for us and that if we suffer patiently for doing what is right, it finds favor with God (1 Peter 2:20-21). Unfortunately though, the first part of verse 20 is much more likely in our culture.
Much (if not most) of the suffering that we experience is the simple result of our own sin. We make the wrong decisions and we do the wrong things. No doubt God uses that to our good also but we make it harder on ourselves (and those around us) than it needs to be by not obeying all that God instructs us to do.
The story of Job is an excellent one and teaches us much about suffering and our God but don’t deceive yourself into thinking you’re Job when you are really King Saul.
I recently found your Facebook and it subsequently led to your blog. It has kept me coming back to check new updates. Being completely honest, I don’t agree with everything you post and I might not see eye to eye with your regular followers. If I don’t agree I tend to just move on and agree to disagree, not wanting to cause a stir. As I read through older posts, a few things have stuck out and convicted me that I’m now working on. I’ve never commented, I just take what convicts me and pray over it.
This post was everything I needed. I couldn’t exit without saying that this was perfectly timed. As a single woman in her late 20s who lives on her own and is struggling with health and financial issues with hospital debt and car repair debt rising, this is what I needed to read. And I’m so frustrated because I long to be married and teach from home (I love teaching. I’m a middle school and high school teacher at a small Christian school) but it’s difficult to see the horizon sometimes. I’ve struggled with the idea of the goodness of God this year. Thank you for posting this. It has encouraged my spirit. May God continue to bless you and this blog.
Thank you my sister for this post, it is so true. Christ told us to expect to suffer some affliction for his sake and we know that whom God loves he chastens.
Yes, sometimes the trials we are going through is for our sanctification, we ask God to deliver us from our fleshly, sinful ways and he uses circumstances to sanctify and strengthen us in certain areas. He also uses our circumstances as an example and as our testimony of His goodness!
Praise be to God our Father who is sovereign and just, who loves us and knows exactly what we need when we need it.
Look, there’s a part of me that wants to write off what you say as a load of trash. But the greater, quieter party can’t deny the truth in what you say. It bucks against the world’s system, but truth has a tendency to do that, and truth won’t be denied.
Honestly, it’s difficult to subscribe to your words, because it’s not a thing taught, so the benefits of it are lost on so many. All I can say is, keep up the good work. How is anyone to learn if they have no one to teach. If Good is in it, he will show.
One thing a pastor friend of mine told me is we are not saved from suffering but through suffering. Very powerful words. When suffering comes we accept it and lean on Jesus. We trust Christ in the midst of suffering, very true. I weep daily, and repent of my sins, asking the Lord to conform me to His will, not my own. It is so hard. Our flesh wants to run from God in those times of pain. The bible says we are sorrowful yet always rejoicing. I do not know if daily crying and feeling so much sorrow in my heart is normal or if I am depressed. I try to love others and give thanks to God, with tears in my eyes and my heart breaking every day. What else am I to do? I know others suffer worse, Jesus most of all. But I have unceasing anguish in my heart. God bless you.
Hi, I hope you feel better. My heart hurts and
I cry most days too, at my mistakes mainly and things I wish I could Go back and re do . For some reason some people seem to be given a lot of pain and take it so strongly. (It can always be worse) but I know that doesn’t always help. I have become very aware of my own sin and how I fall short. I understand God is going to sort all of this mess out according to scripture. So I hope we all gain strength until then
Philippians as an Epistle is partly about maintaining joy in suffering.
I come across this article when I searched google!(Why does God allow me to go through so much pain if he really loves me) and this came up. I can’t find this helpful, because I have been taught different similar things about God’s love. I have been through so much , from being defiled at a really young age, to being the less favorite child, to having multiple medical conditions that brought so much shame and bullying to my life, to bad lucks in my life, spiritual attacks, rejections. I’m a sinner I have been on and off with praying and committing to God. But I’m at the point of my life where I think no one can convince God loves or cares about certain people. Like why would a father see his child suffering and suffering and be okey with it? I want to understand and nothing above is helping me really. I feel like I don’t have a God and I have been on my own my whole life. I feel like I’m just forcing a relationship with God he doesn’t care or see me any way who am I to be noticed and to be cared by a whole God. Lol maybe I should find my own path.
I encourage your to read 1 Peter slowly, carefully, and over an over again. This world is sin-infested. We are promised tribulation in this world. Everyone will suffer in some degree, some more than others but all with suffer and we’ll all die one day. I have suffered physically a lot in my life but I never asked, “Why me, God?” No, I asked, “Why not me?” He uses our suffering for good if we allow Him to; for He promises that ALL things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His promises.
I think that too often we equate all suffering with sin and punishment, but I’ve noticed that the majority of our misery is simply a condition of this life. We don’t get a cold because we were naughty last week, it comes from bacteria that enters our body through no fault of our own, and we experience a lot of discomfort and pain as a result.
So I’ve contemplated the purpose for suffering in this general sense, and I’ve found that the contrast is important for us to experience pleasure and happiness. Think of how good even simple food tastes when we’re really hungry, and how much we enjoy normal life after we get over that cold. We understand the difference and appreciate the pleasurable aspects of life when they are missing.
If we think forward to the resurrection, we will all have perfect bodies that don’t get sick or have disease or get old, but if we had them now, how many of us would really appreciate them without this short experience of mortal suffering? In this sense, suffering is is very good for us and is evidence to me that God really does care about our happiness. Through misery we learn to have joy.