Why Is There Suffering?

SCRIPTURE

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

DEVOTION

Why is there suffering?

Suffering is an unavoidable part of the human condition. No matter who we are or how much we try, we all suffer and we all sense an intrinsic brokenness… something that is not quite right about us or the world around us.

The Christian message helps us make sense of this suffering, and this intrinsic brokenness, and it also helps us get through this suffering.

Firstly, the God of the Bible is a God of love. For love to be possible, relationship and friendship have to be possible, and for relationship and friendship to be authentic, some level of freedom has to be possible. There is a freedom to love, the freedom to enter and exit those relationships and friendships.

It is sadly the misuse of this freedom for things other than love from which so much of the suffering in our world flows.

Because when we can love, we also have the freedom to hate, to discriminate, to ostracise, and to abuse. This is the cause of much of the suffering today.

Secondly, God is a God who knows. There may well still be aspects of human suffering that we simply can’t understand, even in the context of human causation and human freedom.

But God does know.

Just because we don’t know something or understand something, that doesn’t mean that it is not known or understandable.

With that, God asks us to trust Him; on what basis should we trust Him?

Because thirdly, and finally, God is a God who cares.

We know this because He stepped into the world as a person, as Jesus Christ. He came into our suffering and suffered with us. He went to a cross and suffered for us, taking onto Himself all of the suffering and brokenness that humankind struggles with and acquitting us of its impact and its consequences.

He defeated suffering on that cross and now, while we may never fully understand all of the suffering we see and experience, in the midst of it is this God who loves, knows, and cares for us. He offers us the two things we need: comfort and strength within the suffering, and hope beyond the suffering.

Dear friend, if you are experiencing suffering today, may we invite you to request for prayer in the Interseed app. There will be people who will stand with you and pray for you. May the Lord comfort, strengthen and give you hope today.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

What is it about God’s nature that comforts you in the midst of suffering and brokenness?

  1. God loves us and is with us right in the midst of suffering.
  2. Even if we don’t know everything, God does. He invites us to trust Him.
  3. God offers us comfort in suffering and hope beyond the suffering.
  4. OTHER

PRAYER

God, sometimes I feel so confused by what is happening in this world and in my own life. So much of the time, I see such painful and needless suffering and brokenness, and I cannot wrap my head around it. I cannot fathom how or why this world is like this. Something is not right, Lord.

And yet, in the midst of confusion, suffering, pain, and brokenness, You step in. You step into our broken story. You step into the mess and the heartache. You offer us comfort in the midst of suffering, and You offer us hope beyond the suffering.

Today, Lord, I pray for Your comfort and Your hope to be so real to me and to those who are suffering.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

PRAYER POINTERS

Pray for someone you know who is suffering. Pray for God’s comfort and hope.

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