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Download PDF Why Life Hurts: Understanding Why God Allows Pain, Suffering, and Evil

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Therefore, when you suffer you should look for ways to learn humility. Do you know why God let the children of Israel wander in the wilderness for forty years? As the Lord gives you grace to respond to each circumstance like Jesus would respond, you will develop Godly character. The Bible tells us that even the Son of God learned obedience through what He suffered. See Hebrews Carefully review the list of character qualities as you ask yourself, Which ones could be developed in my life as I respond correctly to this circumstance? Have you disobeyed your heavenly Father? Because God loves you, He will chasten you as a Father chastens a son.

If the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, repent. The life of Joseph provides an excellent example of suffering that thoroughly prepared a man to fulfill his destiny to be a great leader. For example, when Joseph served Potiphar, he learned to be a manager; when Joseph was betrayed and abused, he learned firsthand the value of justice and mercy. Is God allowing your suffering to prepare you for leadership? If your employer makes foolish decisions, you will probably suffer too. For example, at one point in time, Israel experienced severe famine for three years.

When King David finally asked God why He had let this famine i. When King David brought restitution to those who had suffered injustice at the hand of King Saul, God ended the famine. See II Samuel — That choice is yours. To avoid the trap of bitterness, compile a list of benefits that God wants to bring about through your suffering.

Using the questions above and the list of character qualities as tools, ask God to show you ways that He wants to redeem your suffering. Often the benefits you discern will motivate you to respond to your suffering with joy and peace as you trust God to fulfill His purpose for your pain. Jesus Christ Himself endured the suffering of the cross for the joy of the rewards that were to come through His obedience and sacrifice. Jesus commanded us to love one another. See John , Through your suffering, He wants to broaden your perspective to be like His.

So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God. By His Spirit, God can give you life and peace—in every situation—as you look to Him for the answers. I think one thing people miss about this topic is that God doesn't cause bad things to happen to you.

God Helps Us in Our Suffering

It is true that he allows bad things to happen but he doesn't cause them. But according to the verse, it's pretty clear that God doesn't cause bad things to happen. How can a good God allow bad things to happen? This question has been asked by both believers and non-believers alike. This question is often asked in times of deep despair and mourning.

It is often used in our own judgment of God, as if that were possible.

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As a child I was angry at God for allowing terrible things to happen to me and even today as an adult it often hinders my ability to place my trust completely in Him. Recently, I came to a different realization as to why God allows bad things to happen.

Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

Many years ago when my father passed away I remember receiving the call from my step-mom telling me that my father had drowned. When she spoke the words the thing that struck me most was the finality of it all. He was gone and I would never hear his voice again, never hear his laugh again, never feel his touch again. The finality of it all is what struck me to the very core of my being. After pondering the finality of death, I began to realize that when we ask how a good God can allow bad things to happen we truly do not know what we are saying, we truly do not understand the implications of what we are asking.

At that moment there will be no more second chances, there will be no more time, there will only be a final judgment of mankind. If our good God stopped bad things from happening today how many people will be instantly standing before a Holy God with no hope, no savior, no ability to stand in his presence. Throughout the Bible, there are references to God suffering along with His people. The pain of His children is also felt in His heart.


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The Bible also speaks of the necessity of pain at times as a consequence or reaction, as a guide, and as a learning tool. Joni Eareckson Tada believes that there are various benefits to pain and suffering for humanity. The first of these benefits is that it has the ability to turn a person from a dangerous path. Far from it!

But looking back, he could now honestly admit that it had produced a good effect. There can be no denying that pain and suffering can aid someone in turning away from a dark path. This is where the concept of cause and consequence comes into play. A parent will tell their child not to touch a hot stove. The child, having the ability to choose, decides to touch a hot stove and subsequently burns their hand. The child now learns through experience why the parent had established that rule.

A teenager is instructed by his parents to stop associating with a certain crowd at school. The teenager views it as the parents simply desiring to ruin his life and disallow fun, so he rebelliously does it anyway.

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One night, as he is hanging out with the crowd, one of the teens reveals that they have drugs and the entire group engages in illegal drug activities except for the boy. They are discovered by the police and are all arrested. The child had to learn the hard way that his parents were prohibiting the association to protect him from a situation like the one he now found himself in. The same principle applies with God, biblical principles, and law of morality.

Jen Hatmaker - Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

The Bible states that drunkenness is a sin and is against the will of God. Often times, people learn the hard way drunk driver kills an innocent person or two drunk strangers engage in sex and become pregnant. This then brings up the idea of the innocent suffering for the evil choices of others. The gift of free will is beautiful and produces such wonderful pleasures, joys, and love, but with that comes the risk of pain and suffering. In addition, it comes with the risk that others also have this gift and may abuse it.

These abuses of free will may very well affect a multitude of people, including the innocent and the righteous.

A World of Evil and Suffering

In order to have the great joys and pleasures that come from the gift of choice, one must accept there will be troubles, pain, and suffering ahead. To ask other readers questions about Why Life Hurts , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 11, Alyssa rated it it was amazing Shelves: forever-favorites. It gives us not only a new perspective on pain and why it exists, but also a deep understanding as to why it is even necessary to have pain in this life.

Jim uses good life examples and beautiful Bible passages to back up his knowledge. Reading one or two chapters a day gives me a devotional approach and a chance to meditate and understand that in painful moments we are given an opportunity to rely on God and serve Him and each other. Especially knowing that pain and evil will soon be eradicated and we will be free in our everlasting life after this, is the biggest comfort. Definitely a "forever favorite! Jun 08, Michelle rated it really liked it. Yet the work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.

It is as if we were torn and stripped. But l "Benjamin Franklin wrote in advance the epitaph that would be on his gravestone; "The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, it's contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding lies here.