Posted on Jul 12, 2018 by Mike LeDuke
God wants you to know Him as a Father.
Does that take your breath away? Does it blow your mind? It should. But for me it often doesn’t.
Perhaps one of the problems is that I forget that He wants to be my Father. Or, when life is frustrating and I feel shattered, it’s not that I forget per say, but rather that I struggle to believe that He wants to be my Father. How could my Father allow me to suffer through things like this? How could my Father seem so absent when I need Him and am asking for His help so fervently?
Have you ever felt like that?
Ultimately, this leads us to the perennial question: why does God allow suffering?
As should be expected with something as expansive and as multifaceted as God and the way in which He works, there is no simple answer. But, there are a few points that we should consider. This post will first look deeper into the question, while the next post will begin to consider answers.
Thus, first of all, it’s essential to understand that the original question is off base. Just consider what Moses spoke to the children of Israel and how it change this question of why God allows suffering: “And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2).
A similar thing was said once Israel entered into the Promised Land: “I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the LORD as their fathers did, or not” (Judges 2:21-22).
And, even the Lord Jesus Christ experienced the same: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1).
Can you see what is wrong with the original question?
It shouldn’t be why does God allow suffering––but it should be why does God lead us into circumstances where we suffer!
And the answer––or perhaps, as mentioned above, one facet of the answer is certainly not intuitive: God leads us into situations that are difficult and that break us specifically because He is our Father.
But how does that make any sense?
That, Lord willing, will be the subject of our next post.
— Jason Hensley