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Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Acts 14:19

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Why does God allow suffering? Especially to believers. To those who are seeking to follow and obey him. Why are we not instead shielded from suffering in the world? While we might wish that were the case, the reality is often quite different, as the passage below illustrates.

Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.

Acts 14:19 NIV

God had called Paul to go and preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and he was faithfully doing just that. And yet here he found himself stoned and left for dead. And, lest you think this was an isolated incident, take a look at 2 Corinthians 11:21-29 where Paul recounts some of the sufferings he has been through. Why did God not protect him from all this?

That is, at least for me, a hard question to answer. Clearly, God allows bad things to happen to those who are doing good, and to his faithful servants. We are not shielded from all the bad things of this world, as much as we might wish we were. In fact, as Christians, we are told to expect trouble from the world (John 15:18-25; 2 Tim 3:12). What God’s reasons are for allowing us to go through this are not always clear but do include our own personal growth (1 Peter 1:6-7) and witness to the world (1 Peter 2:12). While we may never know why we suffer, we should trust God and continue to faithfully serve him (1 Peter 4:19).

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

3 thoughts on “Why Does God Allow Suffering? – Acts 14:19”

  1. I have questions about the Holocaust and how we Blacks were slaves for over 400 years. I often think did someone do something to bring about this suffering for such long periods of time? Nevertheless I still love the Lord and I do know He makes no mistakes. I just hate reading about it because I guess it’s something I cannot understand especially the children.

    • There are many things that I do not understand. And that includes just why God allows innocent people to sometimes suffer so much. But I do recognize that he has a much greater perspective that I do. So I just trust that he is doing what is best.


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