Why Does God Allow Suffering? 5 Reasons To Consider

Published on February 20, 2024

Why does God allow suffering? To definitively answer this question would require a 60 Minutes exposé with God himself. Suffering is difficult to both experience and understand. Yet even with its difficulty, God, through His Word, gives insight into suffering, its purpose, and His plan. Let’s look to the Scriptures to discover God’s purpose for suffering, the reason we experience it, and why He allows it.

Suffering was not God’s intended purpose for His creation. 

In the story of creation, humanity was created in literal paradise with no suffering, an existence of perfect harmony, blessing, peace, and fellowship with God. Suffering doesn’t enter the story until humanity rebels against God, disobeying and breaking fellowship with him. 

Romans 1:18-39 makes it clear that although God’s presence and qualities were fully known to us, we chose rebellion and a life contrary to the one He created us to experience. Thus, suffering is not by design but rather by result, and sadly, because of our rebellion, we experience it in all forms and fashions.


As believers, we experience many kinds of suffering, leaving us wondering “what” and” why.” 

What is the purpose of our suffering? 

And why God doesn’t stop bad things from happening? 

There are many reasons why we experience suffering in this life. Among those reasons, here are five reasons we face suffering as we navigate life and faith as believers.

1. Discipline & Correction

As Christians, we can experience suffering through discipline and correction for personal growth and spiritual development. 

Hebrews 12:5-11 reminds us the Lord disciplines those he loves no different than a father would his children. 

If you believe in Jesus, you are a child of God and subject to the loving discipline of the Father. Although discipline can be painful, it produces results that help shape the lives of the sons and daughters of God.

2. Choices & Actions

As believers, we sometimes experience suffering as a consequence of our choices and actions.

Romans 6:23 states clearly that choosing sin is choosing death. Galatians 6:7-8 teaches we are subject to the consequences of our actions, either good or bad. 

Sometimes, the suffering you experience is a result of decisions you’ve made.

3. Testing & Refining

As disciples of Jesus, we, at times, experience suffering to test and refine our faith. James1:2-4 and Romans 5:3-5 encourage us to keep the right perspective as we face trials because they build our faith. 

As the saying goes, a faith untested is a faith untrusted. Hardship helps refine faith. And the more we overcome, the more our faith becomes refined.  

4. Allegiance to Jesus

As followers of Christ, we will experience suffering for our allegiance to Jesus. 

Consider the opposition faced by Christians living in countries where Christianity is a minority religion.

Take a moment to reflect on the persecution faced in areas where Bibles are illegal and churches gather in hiding. 

Jesus says those who follow Him will be subject to hate, and his disciples will experience troubles because of their allegiance to him. The same is true for us today as Christians living in a world hostile toward our faith.

5. Suffering for Others

As the body of Christ, we also experience suffering as a result of the suffering of others. 

Sometimes, the choices and decisions others make have a direct impact on our experience.

For example, King David’s choice to pursue Bathsheeba resulted in suffering for his immediate family and the Nation of Israel. There are also times when we are called to enter into the suffering of others- an expression of love and unity.

1 Corinthians 12:26 emphasizes the importance of entering into the suffering of others to walk alongside them in support.


No matter who we are, where we go, or what we do, we will experience suffering in this life. 

Although painful and challenging, it is one of the many ways we deepen our faith and fortify our allegiance to Jesus. 

So, as we face hardships and trials of many kinds, we can rest assured knowing three things: 

God allows suffering, but He uses it for our good.

Romans 8:28 says, “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.” 

The suffering we experience in this life doesn’t compare to the glory we will experience in the next!

God allows suffering, but He is with us through it all.

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I

will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” 

1 Peter 5:10 says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 

God is present with us in our suffering and walks through it with us.

God allows suffering, but He will do away with suffering once and for all.

Revelations 21:4 says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death

or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” 

We can rejoice with hope because suffering has an expiration date.

 In the meantime, God will continue to be with us and use suffering for our good until the day suffering will be no more, forever.


Suffering in this life is inevitable.

As you face challenges and hardships, trust God. Why?

Because not only is God present with us in our suffering. 

He knows our suffering first hand. 

Jesus, the suffering servant, endured much pain and many struggles in this life and suffered death on a cross to reconcile us to God. 

His sacrifice put an expiration date on suffering and secured an eternity free of it for all who follow Him. 

So trust God. 

Trust God with your suffering because His plans for you are good. 

Trust God because He will bring an end to your pains and troubles. 

Trust God because your suffering now doesn’t compare to the glory that awaits. 



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