If God really loves us, why does He let us suffer?

One of the great truths that God has revealed in the Bible is that “God is love.” By God’s definition, that means God wants our good, our blessing (1 Cor. 13). Love is often demonstrated through giving, or sacrificing one’s own interests for another. God demonstrated His love to us by giving His special, loved Son to die at the hands of wicked sinners. How could allowing His Son to go through so much agony and suffering be seen as love? It was love to us, because that death purchased our eternal life. It was love to His Son, because that death procured eternal glory for His Son, and a bride to be with Him and love Him forever.

Why does God allow us to suffer? This is a question the writer has been contemplating for some time, and this article is an attempt to share what I have gleaned (though only in a small way experienced). We cannot always understand God’s ways. He doesn’t always reveal to us the why in our lives, but we do know that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NASB95). Just as pain has an indispensable purpose in our physical lives to preserve us from danger and damage, so trials are allowed in our lives for a reason. (For example, pain from touching a hot stove causes us to react to not get burned. We would hurt ourselves more if we didn’t have that painful sensation to tell us something is wrong.) Or perhaps you don’t know the Lord personally–you don’t have the peace of knowing your sins are forgiven. Consider that painful events in life may be God’s way of telling you that you need to be right with Him. If you don’t react (e.g. pull your hand back from the hot stove), you will be eternally in pain (the righteous consequence for sin), and God does not want that for you.

Job didn’t know the reason for his trial, but he never blamed God or turned from Him. We must trust God even when we utterly do not understand, and cling to the faithful, loving One when there seems to be no cause. It is easy to love God and trust God when life is going well. Suffering is an opportunity for us to demonstrate to God our love to Him and faith in Him, even when life hurts.

Romans chapter 8 has become a source of strength and comfort to me. The same God who gave up His very best for us is the God who will give us “all things” through Christ (Romans 8:32). Suffering is only temporary–we have much to look forward to! The Lord Jesus told His disciples that this life would not be easy, but that He was greater than all their trials: “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The apostles taught that it is “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

God tells us one of the reasons for suffering is “for discipline” (training) which results in our lives becoming more righteous and like His (Hebrews 12:7, 11). This training is designed in love to make us more like the Lord Jesus. In Hebrews 11, some of the faithful suffered and even gave their lives to “obtain a better resurrection” (reward after death) (Hebrews 11:35). Paul was told that his suffering (not from God, but from Satan) was allowed in order to preserve him from becoming proud (2 Cor. 12:7). Peter says that suffering proves our faith to be genuine, even when tested by the fire of trials, and results in glory, praise and honor (1 Peter 1:7, Zech. 13:9).

Note that God is not the source of evil, nor does he take pleasure in our pain. Rather, He suffers with us. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9). Peter, who wrote much about suffering, reminds us to cast our anxiety on Him, “because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Romans 8 also affirms to us that God loves us, even though He allows suffering in our lives– His people are sometimes like “sheep for the slaughter”. This is difficult for us to understand, but we must accept what our Creator and Redeemer tells us. The writer quotes that even when we are slaughtered continually for God’s sake, we still overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35). “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Why doesn’t God just stop all the evil and suffering? Though God is all-powerful, He still has given mankind the ability to make decisions, whether good or bad. He does not want mechanical obedience, which would be the result if He immediately judged every sin and failure. He does not always choose to interfere, even when His creatures’ decisions harm others. When the Lord Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem shortly before His crucifixion, lamenting that they had not come to take refuge in Him, He illustrated the fact that God has given mankind a free will, and He will allow us to go our own way if we insist upon it, even if it is to our detriment or the detriment of God’s own people, and even though it greatly grieves Him. God put this world into the hands of mankind as stewards, but mankind has utterly failed in that stewardship. During this period of failure, God restrains His judging hand in grace as He calls mankind to repentance, and in love He walks with His own when they suffer as a result, while assuring us that His true and righteous King will one day judge evil and set up a righteous, perfect rule.

We can be assured that though God allows trials in our lives, He gives us grace to match the trial. The apostle Paul went to God with his trials and learned the secret of God’s grace when God assured him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Paul’s response was, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Therefore, suffering forces us to depend upon God, rather than ourselves. The same God that allowed Stephen to be stoned to death gave Him a vision of the risen Christ (Acts 7:56). Job received twice as much after his trial than he had before his trial. Lazarus was sick, and the Lord waited to come until after he had died, but soon after shared in their tears and then raised him from the dead. “God is faithful” to give us the strength not only to resist sin’s temptation, but also to endure in our trials (1 Corinthians 10:13). The Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26). Paul and Silas rejoiced and sang praise to God after being beaten and imprisoned, because they had a heavenly perspective. After Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus Himself approached and began walking with two disheartened travelers (Luke 24:15). The revelation of Himself to them changed everything (Luke 24:15).

A bright life without pain and suffering awaits us beyond the darkness of this broken world’s night (Revelation 21:4). Take heart, dear child of God, there is light at the end of this tunnel. “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence” (Psalm 42:5).

Helpful passages: Psalm 23; John 14; Romans 8; 2 Thes. 1; 2 Tim 2:1-13; Hebrews 11-12:11; 1 Peter 4-5; 1 John 4


In summary:

Can I trust God when it comes to suffering?

  • The apostle Peter in his first epistle (which has the theme of suffering saints) reminds us that God cares for us, and that we can trust a faithful Creator.
  • We can trust that God feels with us in our suffering. He feels what we are going through.
  • We have a great High Priest who ministers to our needs and feels for us, who Himself suffered far more than we will ever suffer.

Is there always a reason for suffering?

  • We know that the primary reason for suffering is that it is the result of sin. God is not the author of evil.
  • We know that God eventually uses suffering to bring good, even if it doesn’t seem good at the time. This could include character adjustments, bringing us closer in our relationship to Him, teaching us lessons, eternal reward, etc.
  • Some suffering God uses to discipline or train us, to make us more like Him. Tribulation purifies us and produces endurance and proven character (Romans 5:3-4). We can come to know God better through trials if we have the proper frame of mind and do not become bitter.
  • Suffering for Christ’s sake gives us a way to prove our love for Him.
  • Suffering results in future glory and is a prerequisite to reigning with Christ.
  • We are called to be like Christ, to suffer like He suffered.
  • Every suffering now will turn to honor and glory in His presence. Everything detrimental now will be turned to future good.

How can I get through suffering?

  • Paul learned in his physical illness and weakness to depend upon God’s grace and strength. He found that he could rejoice in his sufferings and weakness, because when he was not depending on himself, he was forced to depend on Christ and His strength
  • We know that suffering for the believer is only temporary.
  • It is possible to have joy in the midst of difficulty and sorrow if we have a heavenly perspective. “If we endure, we will also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12)
  • The presence of the risen Christ is a comfort. The revelation of Himself to us changes everything.

Key passage: Romans 8:31-39

  • We conquer through Him who loved us.
  • The proof of Christ’s love is His death for us, willingly suffering at the hand of both God and man the consequences of sin
  • Mankind has not changed. What they did to Christ, they will do to us
  • God didn’t spare His Son from suffering, though He loved Him dearly. God allows us to go through suffering as well
    • God has given man a free will, which He does not violate
    • God is not the source of evil–God is for us.
    • God comforts us in tribulation, supports us in it, and suffers with us in it
    • God’s kingdom has not yet come to fruition on earth, when He will set things right
  • God promises “all things,” a bright future after death, to those who trust Him. The proof of this is He gave Son for us. These promised blessings far outweigh present suffering (Rom 8:18).

Do we need to wait until we die to experience the effects of God’s love?

  • No; the Holy Spirit pours out the love of God in our hearts (Rom 5:5). This enabled Paul and Silas to rejoice and sing in prison after being beaten, the disciples to rejoice that they had been counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake, etc.
  • We also see God’s goodness in our lives, and experience the love of God through other believers as we willingly sacrifice for one another in the face of adversity. Difficult circumstances give us the opportunity to show what true love is by helping others in distress.
  • God does at times choose to miraculously deliver us and work in our lives, revealing that He is present with us in our suffering.

While we cannot expect to have “smooth sailing” all through life, we can depend upon the God of all grace for sufficient grace for every trial and the God of all comfort who feels for us and cares about us in every difficulty.

Please feel free to comment on how God has encouraged you in your suffering.

Pandemic, Plague and Promise

A pandemic like COVID-19 should cause us to step back and consider our lives, our loved ones, and our futures–as they relate to God and His message to us in the Holy Scriptures. While God is not the author of evil, He does design or allow everything for a purpose. This article aims to consider (in brief) a few of the many things that God would like us to learn from a situation like this, as well as verses we can turn to for instruction and hope.

Israel’s Plague

During a situation like this, I am reminded of 1 Chronicles 21 and the plague that killed 70,000 people of Israel in just three days. In verse 1, we are told that Satan provoked David to count the number of men in Israel’s army/reserves. That is to say, God allowed Satan to prey on David’s tendency for pride. It would seem that David wanted to take the census out of pride to see how many people were “under” him, and to determine how strong (in human terms) their nation was. Though we are not told explicitly, I would suggest that David’s attitude of pride and self-reliance was representative of Israel’s attitude as a nation. What we are told is that the LORD’s anger burned against Israel, which resulted in Him allowing Satan to tempt David to sin (2 Samuel 24:1). Thus, the results of David’s sin were felt throughout the whole nation.

What were the results of that sin of pride? God gave David three choices–three options for discipline. David responded, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” Thus, the destroying angel of God was sent to bring a plague upon Israel in response to their sin.

How was the plague stopped? God commanded David to offer a sacrifice, and when David offered the sacrifice, the LORD commanded the destroying angel to sheath his sword (verse 26-27). The Scriptures make a point of saying that this sacrifice was costly to David. He would not offer to God a “sacrifice” that cost him nothing.

Lessons to Ponder

God has given us Old Testament examples so that we can learn from them (Romans 15:4). What can we learn from this event in David’s life?

  1. God is working behind the scenes, and He is in control. Though we do not always understand the reason behind current circumstances, we can be assured that God has allowed it for a reason, and that He is in control.
  2. We are dependent upon God. Pride says I can do it myself. It displaces God. Humility and faith recognize that every living thing is created and sustained by our Almighty God. The glory belongs to Him. Without God and Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5).
  3. God is not the author of evil. Satan was the one who provoked David to sin, not God. James 1:13-14 (NASB) tells us, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”
  4. God is merciful. God administered the discipline, and though severe, it was administered with mercy and compassion (1 Chron. 21:15). The severity of the discipline was meant to teach us how very awful our sin and pride appears before a holy God. While God’s discipline seems sometimes to be harsh, He always disciplines in love, with a purpose for our good and to teach us something we need to know. Hebrews 12:5-6 (ESV) says, “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.” It is sometimes necessary for God to go to extreme measures in order to get our attention. In His mercy He speaks to us and is interested in us.
  5. The way in which we respond to God’s discipline is important. David responded with repentance, acknowledging the seriousness of his sin, willingly accepting its consequences even if it meant his own death, praying for those under his care and leadership, and obeying God’s command to offer a sacrifice.
  6. Sin has consequences. God cannot overlook our sin. Sin breaks our fellowship with God and goes against His holy character.
  7. God’s answer for sin and its consequence is a sacrifice. David offered an animal sacrifice, because Christ had not yet come to be our final and sufficient once-for-all sacrifice. But God’s remedy for the consequences of sin has always been through sacrifice, made effectual to us through repentance and faith. Hebrews 9:27-28 (NKJV) says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Christ, at tremendous cost, “by Himself” has already made purification for our sins, fully satisfying God’s requirements for their removal, without any input from mankind (Hebrews 1:3). What God requires of us is our acknowledgement that we are wrong and then the placing of our faith in what the Lord Jesus, His divine Son, has done for us. How wonderful it is that we have a righteous God who is also a merciful and loving God, who desires fellowship with us and also makes that fellowship possible through personal sacrifice!

One word of clarification

While we are told that God was angry with Israel, we are not told that all of those affected were affected as a direct result of their own sin. While we do know that sickness and sorrow in life are a result of the curse that came through Adam’s sin, just because I become sick or something “bad” happens to me does not necessarily mean that it is directly due to my personal sin. Nor can I point to an event in the life of someone else and say it is because of something they have done wrong. Sometimes we are called upon to suffer for the cause of Christ. Sometimes the way we respond to trials can be God’s way of sending a message of hope and assurance to others. God’s ways are “past finding out” and we must trust His character of love and grace, regardless of the circumstance or trial.

Scriptures of Promise and Hope

  • Nahum 1:7 (NKJV) “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”
  • Isaiah 55:6-7 (NLT) “Seek the LORD while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for He will forgive generously.”
  • Psalm 9:7-12, 17, 20 (NKJV) “But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness. The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people. When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble…. The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God…. Put them in fear, O LORD, That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah”
  • Psalm 118:8 (NKJV) “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.”
  • John 11:25-26 (NKJV) “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.'”
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV) “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
  • Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  • 1 John 4:7-10 (NKJV) “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves [e.g. persistently loves, with a love like God’s for God and His people, v20-21] is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested [demonstrated] toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Closing Thoughts

Consider my life

  • Is there anything in my life that needs to be confessed as sin and forsaken?
  • Am I living my life wastefully for this moment, or prayerfully for the life hereafter?
  • Am I depending on God, or myself? Is Jesus my Lord and is God my Trust every day, or just in “emergencies”?
  • The Lord Jesus told us that we can (and should) go directly to God the Father, in His name, with our needs (John 16:23-24). The Father loves to bless those who trust in His Son. (See also Hebrews 10:19-22.)

Consider my neighbor

  • Do I care more about others than myself?
  • Am I willing to sacrifice for the good of others, as Jesus did?

Consider my future

  • Am I right with God? Do I have a loving relationship with God as my heavenly Father? Are my sins forgiven? If they are, Jesus says, “Do not let your heart be troubled” (John 14:1).


God has not forgotten us. He knows, and He cares. May we not forget Him.

Scattered thoughts

Scattered musings of the morning…

God reveals Himself to those who need Him. If we don’t see God working in our lives and revealing Himself to us, perhaps it is because we do not need Him…

“Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20). Often times assemblies with which we are associated are small in number. But God is great in using small things to accomplish great results, to His glory.

The way in which we conduct our meetings does not appeal to the natural mind, but it should appeal to the spiritual, biblical mind. Do I have a spiritual or self-centered mind? Do I seek heavenly things over earthly (Col 3:1-2)? Am I dead to this world (Col 3:3)? Is Christ my life (Col 3:4)? Does the Word of Christ dwell in me richly (Col 3:16)? Am I marked by thanksgiving (Col 3:17)? Do I live for the commendation of the Lord over the praise of men (Col 3:23)?

Quote from Voice of the Martyrs magazine (Dec 2016): “When people persecute me or talk about me badly, I don’t feel sorry for myself. I always feel sorry for them.”

106. “Bring them here to Me”

Matthew 14:18

5 loaves.

5,000 men.

5 words*.

“Bring them here to Me.”

“Lord, what are five loaves and two small fish among so many? Feed everyone? Impossible!”

“Bring them here to Me.”

“Lord, You might as well say we don’t have anything at all in comparison to this great task.”

“Bring them here to Me.”

“Lord, I can’t do this.”

“Bring them here to Me.”


I wonder how many times I have sighed beneath the load, trying to do something for the Lord, feeling helpless, fruitless, failure. Am I trying to feed over 5,000 with 5 loaves?

Are we trying to do the growing for that little seed we sowed, or are we giving that seed to God and watering it with prayer?

Yes, we need to supply those few loaves and fish. God notices the “insignificant.” But how many more would be blessed, and how much more glory would we bring to God, if we truly realized it was His work, His miracle, not ours?

“Bring them here to Me.”


*4 in Greek

97. Able…according to

Eph 3:20 says, “…Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” (NKJV)

Wow, what power! what blessing is available for us! But tonight I have been impressed in a new way with the end of that statement–“according to the power that works in us.”

What if I don’t allow Him to work in me?

“…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” Eph. 3:16-17 NKJV

93. Why? (Part 2: The murder of the innocent)

The murder of the innocent

As countless mourn the death of twenty-six victims in one of the worst mass-shootings in United States history (Wall Street Journal)  at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the constant question is… why? This question goes beyond the reasons for why the gunman did the horrific deed… Why do things like this happen? What makes someone act like this? Where is God in all of this?

We don’t know for sure why the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary took place, and we can’t read the mind of the gunman to know if he was mentally mad or emotionally outrageously angry. We don’t know if the violence on television and video games played a part, though they certainly could have. But let’s look at the first murder recorded in the Bible for some general answers to some of these questions.

The first murder happened in the first family

Genesis 4:1-14 gives the account of the first murder. In this account, Cain brings an offering to the LORD from the best of his farm’s produce. Abel brings a lamb to sacrifice to God. Abel’s offering is accepted, and Cain’s is rejected. They were both told what God would accept, but Cain chooses his own way, not God’s. God tries to reason with Cain, reminding him that if he would only bring what God required, he would be accepted too. But instead, in anger, Cain kills his own brother.

What was Cain’s motive? Why did he do what he did?

First of all, we should make it clear that the origin of evil is not God, but Adam’s sin (disobedience and wrong-doing) in the Garden of Eden. Because like produces like, Adam’s descendants can only be sinners too. Both Cain and Abel were born sinners, but Abel chose to believe God and Cain chose to reject God. When Cain rejected God and God’s way, God rejected Cain. When Cain couldn’t have his way, he became angry, and that anger was unleashed on his innocent brother, Abel, and Abel died as a result. The very first man born into this world was a murderer.

Why did Cain murder Abel? 1John 3:12 gives us the answer:

“…not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.” (NASB)

We are told Cain was of the devil. He hated righteous Abel, because he had chosen evil and was inspired by Satan to do evil deeds. God uses this incident as a lesson to each of us to love one another (1 John 3:11) and to not be surprised when the world hates those who are righteous (1 John 3:13).

Genesis 4:5-8 tell us that Cain killed Abel out of anger.  Cain’s anger may have been fueled by his hurt pride, his self-pity, feelings of failure, jealousy, resentment, rejection, bitterness, and desire for revenge, among other things. Anger is blinding. It turns one’s thoughts and focus inward on self alone, and results in irrational behavior. Jude compares Cain’s ways to that of an unreasoning animal (Jude 10). Romans 1 teaches us that those who willfully reject God become like depraved animals.

God attempted to turn Cain away from his anger. He showed His concern in the situation, and demonstrated love toward Cain even in his anger and sinful ways. But Cain chose to let sin and Satan rule over him, and killed his brother Abel anyway.

Understanding God’s response

So why didn’t God stop Cain from killing Abel?

Though God is not required to answer all our “whys,” I think we can understand some of the reasons by looking more into the Word of truth.

We know God didn’t allow the murder of Abel because He didn’t love Abel. Abel is the first to be commended in the great chapter of faith, Hebrews 11.  There we see that Abel is still speaking to us today through his death, telling us of a sacrifice that was made for righteousness’ sake, condemning the hatred, anger and evil of this world. So God uses bad things that happen to speak to others.  Through Abel’s death, we are given a lesson about love in 1 John 3: 11-13.  God did not do Abel an injustice by allowing him to die– in fact, Abel is honored far more as a result.

But there is more. Let’s say God prevented all murders. Then what about thefts? But if God prevented all thefts, what about fights? And if fights, what about lies? So is God responsible to prevent all sin before it happens? The answer is no. God has created mankind as a responsible race. He set mankind over the rest of creation (Heb. 2:5-8). God has made us each accountable to Him, our Creator, and each of us will have to give an account to God for our own sin. The courtroom scene is not in this life. We don’t see the Judge setting everything right yet, but He certainly will in a coming day (Rev. 20:12).  “Behold, the Judge is standing right at the door” (James 5:9 NASB).

Cain’s punishment was greater than he could bear. Abel’s honor is greater than he could have imagined. God’s ways are best, even when we cannot understand them.

The wages of sin is death. When man chooses his own evil way, there are consequences. And sin affects even those who are not at fault. It brings suffering, sorrow and shame, even upon those who never committed the crime. Sickness, a result of sin, touches every one of us. The curse is upon all of creation, and it groans (Rom. 8:22). If the effects of sin were seen in the first family that ever lived, then it is not surprising if we see its effects in our world today as well, on a larger scale.

So why did God allow it? In summary, the murder of Abel happened because of sin’s affect on Cain and Cain’s choice to rebel against God. It was allowed by God because God has given responsibility to mankind for their own actions, and has given them the freedom of choice. Our choices affect others, and the final result of sin is death and sorrow. God teaches us about the evil of sin through the tragedies of life, and demonstrates His love through tragedy. God brings good out of evil, and as a result of Abel’s death, Abel is highly honored in the pages of Scripture beyond what he could have had otherwise, and he demonstrated to us the value and virtue of righteousness.

God’s remedy

Does not all of this touch the heart of God? Cannot he stop the hurting? Is there no end to suffering? There is!

God’s heart was grieved over sin in Noah’s day, and He is just as grieved over sin today. He could destroy the world with a word, and stop it all once and for all. But God is also a long-suffering, patient God (2Pet. 3:9). He longs that those who practice evil would turn to Him from their evil ways, and live. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33:11). But a day is coming when the patience of God will run out, and His righteous wrath and judgment will fall upon this ungodly world (read Revelation). Christ will return and set up a righteous rule, and all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD. Peace will finally reign from sea to sea, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. For the saved, there will be no more crying, no more pain, no more death. They will appreciate heaven so many times more after the sorrows of earth, and they will appreciate the Savior so much more for all that He suffered for them, having suffered themselves. To the grieving and heartbroken, there is a loving God and Savior in heaven who long to bring comfort and strength to all who will turn to Him in their distress (Matt. 11:28, 2Cor. 1:3-5). When the tragedies of this life cause us to turn to God, blessing and healing will result.

So we must close our meditation with the Savior, because He is God’s remedy for mankind’s problem of sin. He knew what it was to suffer, not because of His own sin, but because of the sin of others. He knew what it was to feel the spikes and to know the thirst of Calvary. He knew what it was to die upon a cross, forsaken by man and forsaken by God. He knew what it was to endure the hatred of men and the wrath (righteous anger) of Almighty God. Why? Why should the innocent have to die for the guilty? Why should the Son of God die for a wicked race who had failed in their responsibility toward their Maker? Why didn’t God just send us all to a sinner’s hell?

We will never know the full answer to that why.

Oh love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure, the saints’ and angels’ song. (Frederick Martin Lehman)


Related links

Why? Part 1: When loved ones die

CBS news, after the Virginia Tech shooting, spoke of those who believe one act of violence fuels another.

It’s not fair

Anger, a ruthless killer