When we do nothing wrong but suffer injustice and unfair treatment from people, we begin to think that God is being harsh on us or has abandoned us. Yes, he works all of our sufferings for his glory and our good. We must embrace both perspectives, not one or the other.Sometimes our faith is increased by seeing the blind healed and dead raised, and sometimes it is sustained through His daily provision in the midst of the desert, death, blindness, floods and famine. For God, it is only about connection. We exercise, eat and discipline our children for the sake of something greater, and in that we take pleasure. All rights reserved. We love creating practical, discipleship resources to help you know and love God more. “Want” is a difficult concept. We think the text should read, “Jesus loved them, so He hurried to them,” but instead of hastening to help, He waited. Share Yes, the innocent suffer (see Job 1–2), but God can redeem that suffering. Jehovah’s purpose was to fill the earth with perfect people, and that was going to happen no matter what the Devil tried to do.​—Genesis 1:28; Isaiah 55:10, 11. 3, 4. A Need for Brokenness. Why So Much Suffering? Absolutely! Well the fact is, God doesn’t make us suffer, he allows it. (Isaiah 55:8, 9) So then, let’s discuss the question, Why is there so much suffering in the world? It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Christ valued glory and thus delayed so that Lazarus would die. “It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”​—Jeremiah 10:23. The same word is being used, but the connotation is radically different. God created man, and his purpose was that man should have power over the fish, birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small. 15 Why has Jehovah allowed suffering to continue for so long? 19. God gave the first two humans a … Then Jehovah made it possible for the children of Adam and Eve to choose whom they wanted as their ruler. “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” ( Isaiah 53:1-7 ). With God, all things are possible. He hates to see them suffer. First we must point out the fact that life is in some cases a test. Swedenborg teaches that God's will is that we all be happy, but not the "Gee, I just won the lottery" kind of happy. Sometimes people suffer because they are at the wrong place at the wrong time. Does He ordain and employ it for the sake of what He does find pleasurable? How will you use your gift of free will? “God is up in heaven where everything is pleasant, while we are down here suffering.” —Mary. Most of all (they say), the answer to our own suffering is found in God’s joining with us in our pain. Simple answers to complex questions are simply unhelpful. I never feel happy. The ruler of the world is Satan the Devil. © 2011 The Village Church. Another way is to say that He delayed for the sake of His own and the Father’s glory. The good news is that God did not leave us here to suffer pointlessly. Tragic earthquakes and natural disasters that snuff out the lives of thousands seem to be commonplace. TERMS OF USE How many of us can say we would be at peace accepting pain, suffering, or even death—all for the glory of God? Even when we suffer, he helps us to endure.​—John 4:23; read 1 Corinthians 10:13. Jesus loved Mary, Martha, His disciples and Lazarus so much that He delayed, allowing Lazarus to die. He loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus and desired their good. For example, the prophet Habakkuk asked Jehovah: “Why do you make me witness wrongdoing? But that isn’t true. Does God Want Us To Suffer. 3 In the Bible, we learn that men who had deep faith in God also asked such questions. Why Does God Let Us Suffer? First, He uses pain and suffering to draw us to Himself so that we will cling to Him. And though suffering is painful and we should do whatever we can to avoid causing it, God can even use suffering to produce good. Publication download options Would you like to read this article in %%? He does not take a perverted pleasure in seeing us brought to nothing. Jehovah has deep love for people. Jehovah wants us to enjoy life. We know that He always delights most deeply in the glory of the triune God. 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. What then did He value? Yes, he uses suffering to make us more like Jesus. Humans do need God’s help. God did not create us to suffer. God’s goodness, sovereignty and love do not prove that His children will not suffer, but that they will overcome, persevere and endure. so that I can make a reply to him who taunts me.”​—Proverbs 27:11. Animals act primarily because of instinct, but Jehovah has given us free will. This is the moving story of Matt's battle with a potentially fatal brain tumor. They say, God must suffer and feel emotion if he is to be truly loving; he must be open to the changes that participation in our lives will throw his way. When we do good to others and they respond by rejecting us or hurting us, we think that it's because they are bad or that maybe it wasn't a good thing to be "good." Do we want to discipline our children? Humans have had many kinds of governments, but they cannot rule the earth successfully without God. God wants His children to suffer, but He does not want His children to suffer. We can decide whether we will serve him or not. Satan wanted humans to believe that they had the right to decide for themselves what was right or wrong. Physical pain can transform or destroy us. The Bible says: “He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) In fact, God hates to see suffering much more than we do. John 11:1-44 is an interesting passage to observe in relation to this truth. This is a question in the mind of many. He wants us to suffer so that we might lean more upon Him and seek Him as our refuge and hope. Jehovah is patient and has allowed time for us to come to know him and to choose him as our Ruler. God wants His children to suffer, but He does not want His children to suffer. He did this because He loved the one who died and those who wept? (Proverbs 27:11) What can you do now so that you will be there in God’s new world when he removes all suffering? Do we want to exercise and eat healthy? I know that Jesus died on the cross for me. Does He ordain and employ it for the sake of what He does find pleasurable? (John 5:28, 29) People will never get sick or die. Each of us knows firsthand what it means to suffer as a result of … 21 Use your free will to serve Jehovah. Lazarus’ death. He valued something more than He valued their not experiencing pain and suffering. He commands that we love each other. He is a loving God who wants the best for each of us. She has seen numerous counselors and has been put on medication. 6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7It is for discipline that you have to endure. 17 Can Jehovah repair all the damage that has been caused by the rebellion of Satan and humans? But as we learned in Chapter 3, the real ruler of the world is Satan the Devil. The Bible promises that all disasters and tragedies will soon be gone forever. Copyright © 2021 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. I also do not believe God desires for us to suffer. This phrase alone should fill us with strength and comfort. We have the freedom to make choices about whom we want to be, whom we want as our friends, and what we want to do with our life. Instead, he allowed them to have children. It Reminds Us of the Reality of Sin. . Suffering is not an end in itself. Did Jesus then want Lazarus to die? Geoff Ashley | Have you ever wondered about that yourself? 15, 16. There are millions of others who have decided to please God and to reject Satan. Jehovah gave us the freedom to choose whether to serve him or not. It embarasses me for others people, this just so easy. . Why can we be sure that Jehovah has a very good reason for allowing suffering to continue? We will it. I want to drive 40, but I don’t want to drive 40. He is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Revelation 12:9) Many people imitate him. I am always struck by the complex beauty of the first word of verse six, “so” or “therefore.”1 As verse five states, Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus and “so/therefore” He delayed. And because of sin, humans cause other humans to suffer. ). A question a lot of Christians ask is, "Does God want us to suffer?" Satan accused God of being a bad ruler. Catholic Living. Do we want to pay taxes, go to work or always do the right thing? Why did Jehovah not ignore Satan’s challenge? (Matthew 22:37, 38) He is like a father who is happy to hear his child say “I love you” when the child says it from his heart and not because he’s forced to. He never lies.​—Hebrews 6:18. He is not murderous or cruel. That sounds unloving on the surface. Many people ask how a loving God could allow so much suffering in the world. I know I should not feel sorry for myself, sulk. 2 When disasters or tragedies like those happen, many people ask, “Why?” Many ask why the world is so full of hatred and suffering. The same word is being used, but the connotation is radically different. (Ecclesiastes 4:1; 8:9) Sometimes people suffer because of “time and unexpected events.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) When they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, accidents and other bad things can happen to them. Share Some may say that everything that happens to a person, including tragedies, has already been decided by God and that we can never understand why. As believers, we take comfort in the hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ. They mainly act because of their instincts, but we can choose how we want to live our lives and decide whether we want to please Jehovah. The prophet Jeremiah was right when he said: “I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. Absolutely! The next chapter will answer that question. It's best not to determine which category another's pain falls into. Why would Jesus want Lazarus to die? The other way is to consider what He always holds as most valuable. If God’s ways are perfect, then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. (Read 2 Peter 3:9, 10.) There are two ways to answer this question,and they are inseparable. What Can the Bible Teach Us? God does not want anybody to suffer, nor does He send suffering on anybody. (a) What questions did Habakkuk ask? 17, 18. The suffering that His children experience in this world is not ultimate. Geoff Ashley, Mar 22, 2011 Simple answers to complex questions are simply unhelpful. Audio download options “God knows that . No one answers the question, “Does God want His children to suffer?” with an unqualified “yes,” but unfortunately many do with a comprehensive “no.” Many state emphatically that God does not want His children to suffer as if that fully answers the question. Ask this question in a crowded room, and I doubt you’ll see many hands go up. A beautiful movie on the life of CS Lewis – Shadowland – is a must to see for us in the Academic world. Let us examine what this precious gift means to us. One way of answering the question, “Why did Christ delay?” is to conclude that He delayed to promote the faith of His beloved. Others may even say that people, including little children, die so that they can be with God in heaven. Jehovah will use Jesus “to break up the works of the Devil.” (1 John 3:8) We are grateful that in the meantime Jehovah has been patient with us so that we can come to know him and can decide that we want him to be our Ruler. But these answers are not distinct. 13 Satan challenged Jehovah in front of millions of angels. Ten years after his cancer diagnosis, Matt Chandler reflects on what the Lord has taught him through his suffering. Of course not! What was the result of this delay? We want it. God wants these things for us and thus wants that which brings them about. “There is nothing better for [people] than to rejoice and to do good during their life, also that everyone should eat and drink and find enjoyment for all his hard work. 11For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. A TSUNAMI destroys a village. I sin almost everyday. It can be easy to trust in the Lord in times of joy and ease, but how do we view Him in the midst of illness and suffering? N'T just believe to prevent it suffer in the world damage that Satan has done hatred. And we respected them or mind ; experience of pain just so easy exhortation that addresses you as sons is! Do we want to drive 40, but the connotation is radically different want what is produced by them so. The innocent suffer ( see Job 1–2 ), but He does find?... 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