Suffering: Why Does God Allow It?

By   •   November 30, 2007   •   Topics:

God is still there despite any tragedy you may be experiencing. But why does God allow suffering?

On Nov. 21, 1980, when the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas burned, survivors were brought into the Convention Center, where our Crusade meetings were being held. In an interview, Governor Robert List talked about the good times at the MGM only 24 hours before. “And how quickly,” he said, “the music has stopped.”

Some day, for all of you, if you don’t know God, the music will stop. It will all be over. The Bible says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

The Bible says that Job suddenly lost all of his wealth and his children. The devil said to God, “If You take all those possessions away from him, he’ll curse You and turn from You.” But God replied, “You can do anything to him, except you can’t kill him, and then we’ll see” (Cf. Job 1:11-12).

Job never asked why those things were happening to him. The closest he ever came was when he said, “Show me why You contend with me” (Job 10:2). Job was sharing his agony of spirit with the very God he could not understand.

Suffering carries a message of mystery. The Bible says, “Great is the mystery of godliness” (1 Timothy 3:16). When I was asked to explain the tragedy of the fire at the MGM Grand Hotel, I had to say, “There’s a mystery to tragedies like this. We don’t know the answer.” And we may never know until God explains all things to us.

For humans, there is a mystery as to why God created the earth. There is a mystery as to why He put people on this earth. But God has revealed answers through the Bible and through the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. In the Bible you will find the answers to the questions and the problems of your life.

But man rebelled against God. Man said, “I don’t need You, God. I can build my world without You.” God said, “If you take that position, you will suffer and die.” Man took that position, and he began to suffer, and he has been dying ever since. Physical death is just the death of the body, but the spirit lives on. If your spirit is separated from God for eternity, it will be lost forever.

The Bible teaches that Satan is the author of sin. Sin is the reason that we have afflictions, including death. All of our problems and our suffering, including death itself, are a result of man’s rebellion against God. But God has provided a rescue in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. That’s why Christ died on the cross. That’s why He rose from the dead.


In suffering there is also a message of compassion. Jesus said, “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me” (Matthew 25:35-36).

As fire swept through the MGM Grand Hotel, I saw the emergency crews, the military people, The Salvation Army, the Red Cross, the doctors, the nurses and the people coming to donate clothes and food. I saw compassion in action.

In suffering there is a message of unity. Jesus prayed “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You” (John 17:21). And that’s the way we ought to be as Christians, one in Christ. If you have been born into the family of God, you are a child of God. You are brothers and sisters.

Suffering holds a message of comfort. In Second Corinthians we read:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Because tragedy happened to you, it gives you a greater sense of oneness with others who experience tragedy. You can feel for them in that suffering situation. Because we have been comforted through the Word of God, we in turn may be able to comfort others.

What should be our attitude toward suffering?

First, it should be one of worship. We ought to say, “O God, I believe You are the great and mighty God. I don’t understand all the things that are happening in my life, but, O God, I trust in You.”

Second, we should ask God to teach us all He would have us learn about Him, about ourselves, about others and how we can minister to those who are suffering.

Third, our attitude in suffering should glorify God. People are going to watch us as Christians. They will ask, “How is it that Christ is so in control of his or her life that he or she was able to help others?”

Jesus suffered and died for us on the cross, but God raised Him from the dead. Jesus Christ now sits at the right hand of God the Father, and He sees our suffering. He sees our life every day and knows exactly where we stand.

The Bible teaches that we are to be patient in suffering. That’s the hardest thing of all, to be patient, to have songs in the night. Ask God to help you have a trusting, patient attitude, and flee from bitterness.

In suffering there is also, I believe, a message of warning. Are you prepared to meet God? What do you have to do to be ready? God took the initiative in giving His Son, Jesus Christ. God says, “I love you. I want to forgive you. I want you to go to heaven.” But you must respond to Him. Find hope, peace, and security today.


Do You Need God’s Love in Your Life?

Follow the Steps to Peace online to learn about Jesus or recommit your life to Him.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Terence says:

    I’m here to ask for somebody to pray for me. I’m filled with so much pain. But I have to believe that it’s all for a good reason. I’m not sure what that reason is yet. But I have faith that God will reveal it to me. I need peace! Please pray for me. I’m also praying for you fellow brothers and sisters.

    1. Laurie says:

      Terrence – I will pray for you. I’m sorry you are going through this hard time but remain focused on the word and pray. Stay in prayer morning, noon and night if needed. Don’t let the devil get the best of your emotions and cause you to lose focus on God. Take care.

    2. Thomas says:

      Terence, I pray you have kept your faith and that your pain has eased.

    3. Terence says:

      Thank you! God bless you!

  2. Pooja Ramakrishna says:

    God is great.

  3. Qutasha Burnett says:

    My family and I have been suffering for so long, until I just want to give up. Sometimes I get out of control because I don’t understand. I was not taught how to believe. No person ever took the time to teach me. I’m so confused and ready to give up, because no matter whether I do right or wrong, nothing ever changes for my family and I. I look at my friends or just people around me they do so much wrong, yet they have so much going for them. I just sit and shake my head. Why am I here? Do I mean anybody any good? Just confused.

    1. Jessica Tutt says:

      I am sorry for all that you and your family is going through but I want you to know that He cares for you. He sees and He knows all about your situation. I care for you also and I pray that as you read this you will began to realize the power in the name of Jesus. He will make everything all right. Just be strong and continue to pray. God will make a way for you; He never fails and nothing ever catches Him by surprise. He will win that battle for you. Just believe that.

  4. Shannon Lane says:

    My husband and I regularly have a discussion about my illness. He believes if I had enough faith, I can be healed. He hasn’t backed it up with scripture. I believe I screwed up somewhere along the line, and through sin, allowed the illness to happen. I believe that God will heal me, in HIS time. Until then, I have to remain faithful and believe he is using this to accomplish something. You have reinforced my beliefs. Thank you for that.

  5. Doreen Dhahabu says:

    I read your srepture and i love it so i want to learn more about bible

  6. Elly says:

    In January I lost my only daughter and I just don’t understand why didn’t the Lord heal my daughter from her health when I was praying for healing for her? I’m so confused about this when the bible says the Lord is a healer.

    1. Sashalee says:

      I sympathise with you over the loss of your only daughter as I lost my only teenage son of 17 yrs old to sickness. It’s hard to understand how this can be a good thing, when they were our world. I do believe that God is a good God and that as we go through the process of trusting Him and refusing to listen to what satan is saying, we will one day understand. The part that comforts me is knowing that I will see him again, and what a reunion it will be. May the Holy Spirit comfort you in this time of grief.
      From Sashalee

  7. Ashley Howard says:

    What if you’ve been given suffering you can not recover from? I don’t see the point.

    1. Thomas says:

      Ashley – big problem for me, too. I admit to having had some “stern” discussions with Him regarding the matter… Perhaps our presence on earth is for something far different from what we have thought it would be. I like the idea that it is up to us to adapt and create good and spread love regardless of our plight – certainly no easy task. Perhaps God sees more in you than you do, that you can take more than you think, spread more love than you are doing. I had a friend die at 28; in our last conversation, despite obvious physical duress, he worked to cheer ME up – and his gift at that point was to provide me with an amazing example of “grace under pressure.” Hope this helps. Bless you.

  8. Brittany says:

    I’ve been homeless living in a drug-infested motel for a year now, with 3 dogs and 3 other people. It’s extremely hard to find a home and I’ve prayed to god multiple times. I’m going through the worst depression, stress, and anxiety EVER. I don’t know what to do next, I just need a huge miracle right now.

    1. Kimberly Preiser says:

      Hi Brittany, I saw your comment and I would love to hear more about your life and maybe help you in any way I can.

    2. Sharon Yates says:

      Hi Brittany, I too was homeless, depressed, stressed and anxious. The one thing I did was never give up on God. He loves you more than anyone. Try and feel His presence. Our suffering can be the only way for us to see God’s hand. Is there anything you can think of as to why God is allowing this to happen to you? Take time and be in prayer and ask Him to help you. I know He will. He will show you through His word, prayer and talking to someone you trust. Don’t give up. He will never leave you or forsake you. The miracle will happen, He has plans for you🙏✝️

  9. TONY DUX says:

    I need GOD in my life

    1. Teresa says:

      Tony, I will be praying for you, for someone to come along and explain the way to salvation.

    2. Elba Dwyer says:

      Tony, God is not complicated. Just because you can see him doesn’t mean he’s not there. He is spiritual. all you have to do is say “God I don’t understand you but I want you to come into my heart, I want to live my life for you. I believe you sent Jesus to earth to save me from my sins. Forgive my sins in Jesus’ name.” Read the gospel of John in the Bible. Talk to God every day like you would your friend. He loves you! I’m praying for you!

  10. Gracie says:

    I will love to learn more about God. I enjoy reading your scriptures and God.

    1. JAMES VERNER says:

      Emotional suffering may suggest “I am not sizing up to my peers.” A child with panic attacks, followed in teenage years by pretending all is well, yet copping out at school, needs parental help. Loneliness is an ingredient and misunderstanding a companion of those who “suffer” internally yet cling to Jesus. He has all the answers awaiting his trusting follower, even though that person would never wish to traverse this world a second time! James