Why Does God Allow Christians To Suffer?

It was October 1984 and it was a busy time at the store. We were getting ready for Christmas and were in the process of hiring additional employees. For a couple of weeks I had not been feeling well and finally gave in and went to the doctor. I was told that I had had a heart attack and was to go directly to the hospital. A number of tests and I was wheeled into the operating room and had a four-bypass surgery.

It was August 2005 and I had an appointment at the City of Henderson. I was feeling terrible. My attorney suggested I go to the emergency room. I was diagnosed with having had a massive heart attack. They said my heart was too weak for them to operate. My family was told they may not find a surgeon even willing to operate. I spent a week in ICU with IVs so they could administer fluids and medications intravenously. Finally they found a doctor to do a five-bypass on me. They told my family the chances were slim that I would make it.

I believe that God allows Christians to go through pain, suffering or problems to get us to respond. Scripture says that once we accept Christ as our Savior, God will make us more Christ-like. When a Christian goes through problems and suffering, as in my case, you immediately turn to God. Whatever it takes to drive us closer to a personal relationship with God is actually good for us. I wrote in “Miracle on the Hudson” that when a miracle takes place and a person realizes it, it can change the purpose and direction of their entire life. I have read of service men in a life and death situation promise God that if He will save them, they will live for Him the rest of their lives. Go through serious medical problems and see if you do not become more concerned about life after death and eternity.

We will all have needs, whether they are physical, mental, spiritual or financial. God promises to meet those needs. Yet, we worry and wonder why God, at times, is not meeting our needs. I have prayed with a number of people who seemed that all looked hopeless. They had lost faith and were struggling with why God was not answering their prayers. There is a reason for everything. If you ever find yourself in that situation read the following Scripture: Philippians 4:11b – 13 & 19 – “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength… And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

When we really study the Bible and learn what God promises it should change how we look at suffering, whether it is mental or physical. I can testify that when you are wondering if you will continue to live you can be content knowing that death is only the beginning and not the end.

I found myself not only content but trusting that God would do what was best for me and meet my needs. There was not one minute I can remember worrying whether I would continue to live or not. The point I wish to get across is that knowing the Bible teaches that God’s Spirit is with us every second. I trust God completely and know that He loves me and wants what is best for me. Suffering does get our attention and it is great that we know that God is with us to take us through it.

Matthew 6:25 – 27 & 33 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

These past five years I have had excellent health! I lived 20 years after my first bypass with excellent health. Did God get my attention and has life changed since 1984 and the first operation? You bet! I praise Him that I am still able to work each week and glad that the stock market is doing better.

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2 Comments

  1. Craig

     /  March 19, 2010

    He does not merely “allow” – he causes these things. I know it’s not palatable to believe in a God like this, but does the word of God not reveal himself to be thus? I do not think it makes him ugly or horrible that he actively brings pain and horror. I think it makes him glorious. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

    Reply
  2. donaldboyd

     /  March 19, 2010

    You may be right. However, this is what I believe. Under the “law” (O.T.) God had to punish when the law was broken because it required justice. Under “grace” (N.T.) God allows and does not overrule one’s moral right to make choices. Under “grace” punishment is deferred to the Day of Judgment. According to Paul a Christian is no longer under the “law”. Romans 4:15 – “because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.” Romans 6:14 – “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” 1 Corinthians 9:20 – “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.” It appears Paul is telling us that those who are non-Christians will be judged under the law. But doesn’t God’s “grace” apply to everyone under the New Covenant?

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