Why does God let us suffer?
Updated: Oct 23, 2019
How should Christians understand suffering from a spiritual development perspective? What are some potential advantages of experiencing some suffering in life? In thinking about suffering as Christians, we should look at this as an opportunity for growth. One of my family’s favorite verses is Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This is a very strong message as Christ Follower, that all things including suffering is opportunity to be used for God’s purpose. In thinking in worldly terms, it is the goal to avoid or comfort our problems away with screens, shopping, food, drugs or handful of other things. If we choose to walk with God, we have an opportunity to grow more like Christ and to be closer to God. Suffering allows our spiritual formation to deepen. It is like roots on a tree, the deeper our roots go the stronger our tree grows. Roots on a tree get strong when they are searching for something and when they don't have what they need so they grow deep and wide. This is also how God can strengthen us. He doesn't cause the problem or allow it to happen, instead he uses our choices and the brokenness of this world to push us to have deeper roots.
In looking to Christ as the example, His suffering was for the purpose to unify all men that believe in Him to have freedom and forgiveness being united again with God. This is the ultimate example of spiritual gain from suffering. As we walk on this journey to look more like Christ, whether circumstantial suffering or chosen suffering, these are opportunities for growth and movement to a deeper more fulfilling relationship with God