Why Does God Allow Trials & Suffering?

The Apostle Paul – 2 Corinthians 11:24-27
“Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food;
I have been cold and naked.”

Why Does God Allow Trials?

When we were still children in school, most of us preferred field trips to sitting still and listening to classroom lectures. However, believers would probably all prefer to learn our lessons from the textbook of God’s Word rather than on a field trip of trials. But the truth is that there are some things we learn best through experience.

Although trials are not always the result of sin, they do play a big corrective role in our lives. The heavenly Father may use them to draw our attention to sins we have tolerated, overlooked, or accepted as normal. These could be habits, attitudes, activities, or anything else that is not God’s absolute best for His child. No matter how trivial we may think it is, no sin should have a place in a believer’s life.

At other times, the Lord may be showing us we need to release something that’s not necessarily sinful but nevertheless is preventing us from reaching our God-given potential—perhaps a relationship, our goals and ambitions, a job, or a home. It could be a reminder to prioritize Him over our desires so that we might know and love Him more.

If we never had any troubles, we’d continue in what’s comfortable, easy, and enjoyable but would end up missing God’s best for our life. That’s why the psalmist said, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (Psalm 119:71). Any hardship that drives us to God and His Word is good for us. That’s because what we gain in knowing the Lord is worth so much more than all the wealth, power, and fame the world could offer us.

Psalm 119
65 You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word.
66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.
68 You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes.
69 The arrogant have forged a lie against me; With all my heart I will observe Your precepts.
70 Their heart is covered with fat, But I delight in Your law.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
72 The law of Your mouth is better to me Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Of all the letters Paul wrote, Second Corinthians is the most autobiographical. In this letter Paul records the specifics of his anguish, tears, affliction, and satanic opposition. He spells out the details of his persecution, loneliness, imprisonments, beatings, feelings of despair, hunger, shipwrecks, sleepless nights, and that “thorn in the flesh”—his companion of pain. How close it makes us feel to him when we see him as a man with real, honest-to-goodness problems, just like ours!

It is not surprising, then, that he begins the letter with words of comfort, especially verses 3 through 11. Ten times in five verses (vv. 3–7) Paul uses the same root word, Parakaleo, meaning literally, “to call alongside.”

This word involves more than a shallow pat on the back. This word involves genuine, in-depth understanding . . . deep-down compassion and sympathy. This seems especially appropriate since it says that God, our Father, is the “God of all comfort” who “comforts us in all our affliction.” Our loving Father is never preoccupied or removed when we are enduring sadness and affliction!

There is another observation worth noting in 2 Corinthians 1. No less than three reasons are given for suffering, each one introduced with the term that: “that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction”; “that we would not trust in ourselves”; “that thanks may be given” (vv. 4, 9, 11). Admittedly, there may be dozens of other reasons, but here are three specific reasons we suffer.

Reason #1: God allows suffering so that we might have the capacity to enter into others’ sorrow and affliction.

Reason #2: God allows suffering so that we might learn what it means to depend on Him. Over and over He reminds us of the danger of pride, but it frequently takes suffering to make the lesson stick.

Reason #3: God allows suffering so that we might learn to give thanks in everything. Now, honestly, have you said, “Thanks, Lord, for this test”? Have you finally stopped struggling and expressed to Him how much you appreciate His loving sovereignty over your life?

How unfinished and rebellious and proud and unconcerned we would be without suffering!

May these things encourage you the next time God heats up the furnace!

Years ago I heard a statements about suffering that I have never forgotten: “When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible individual—and crushes him.”

This song by The Perrys says it perfectly!!! (Click here to hear the music)

The Potter Knows The Clay

I know you are going through the fire
Its getting hard to stand the heat
But even harder is the wondering
Is God’s hand still on me

Its lonely in the flames
When you’re counting days of pain

But the Potter knows the clay
How much pressure it can take
How many times around the wheel
‘Til there’s submission to His will
He’s planned a beautiful design
But it’ll take some fire and time
Its gonna be okay
‘Cause the Potter knows the clay

Friend I just came through that fire
Not too very long ago
And looking back I can see why
And that my God was in control

But on the hottest days I’d cry
Oh Lord, isn’t it about time

But the Potter knows the clay
How much pressure it can take
How many times around the wheel
‘Til there’s submission to His will
He’s planned a beautiful design
But it’ll take some fire and time
Its gonna be okay
‘Cause the Potter knows the clay

He’s planned a beautiful design
But it’ll take some fire and time
Its gonna be okay
‘Cause the Potter knows the clay

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