Why Does God Allow Suffering?


The Bible is full of God’s promises to give us a beautiful life full of joy, peace, and happiness. However, many believers realize they are not immune to suffering like everyone else.

From daily trials and challenges to life-threatening sicknesses and situations, we all have our fair share of sufferings despite genuinely believing in God and living righteously as much as is humanly possible.

This reality leaves many believers wondering and asking, “why does God allow suffering”? or to put it in another way, “does God allow suffering”?

The Bible is full of truths about every area of life, including the concept of suffering. In this article, we will demystify suffering by answering the following questions and more using the Bible as the foundation: what does the Bible say about suffering, why God allows suffering, why do we suffer.

Does God Cause Suffering?

One question that has generated lots of controversy and debate, especially in the Christian community, is, does God cause suffering? The answer is no!

God is kind and loving. He is love personified (1 John 4:8). That is why He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for the sin and sufferings of sinners (John 3:16). Jesus also demonstrated His love for humanity by sacrificing His life on the cross of Calvary, so we do not perish but have everlasting life (John 15:13)

God’s love shows that He is not the author of suffering. He does not want anyone to suffer here on earth and eternally. Instead, He is only interested in bringing an end to our suffering, lifting our burdens off our shoulders, and giving us rest (Matthew 11:28).

Therefore, God and suffering cannot be put side-by-side because His personality is the direct opposite of pain, hurt, and anguish. He is the Healer, the Prince of Peace, Love, and Goodness.

How Does Sin Cause Suffering?

Sin and suffering are conjoined twins. When God created man, suffering was not in the picture. Adam and Eve lived in pure bliss in the Garden of Eden, living with animals, tendering the garden, and enjoying fellowship with God. God gave man all they needed and access to everything except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He must not eat from the tree else he faces the consequences (Genesis 2:17)

However, the serpent, the devil, deceived Eve. She ate from the tree and gave it to Adam. They broke God’s command, and sin was born. Their act of disobedience birthed sin and sin, suffering and death (Genesis 3:13-19, Romans 5:12). Adam and Eve lost their place in the Garden of Eden. While Adam would toil and sweat to eat and provide for his family, Eve would suffer pain during childbearing. They became susceptible to sickness and pain and all many types of suffering because they no longer had the spirit of God in them.

Since we are all Adam and Eve’s offspring, we inherited the nature of sin and became partakers of the consequences of sin, including suffering and death.

If God Loves Us, Why Do We Suffer?

To answer this question, we must first understand the two types of suffering based on the Bible. The first one is the suffering caused by sin, as discussed above.

The second is suffering that leads to victory. This kind of suffering gives a new perspective on the question, “why does God allow suffering?”

The greatest enemy of progress is comfort. When we are comfortable in our current situation, the zeal and passion for growing are doused. Therefore, we avoid activities that stretch us and make us uncomfortable.

These uncomfortable situations can be termed as suffering. They are like passing through fire’s intense heat.

However, the purpose of fire is not only to burn and destroy. It is meant to refine and purify. That is why gold in its raw state is less valuable. But after passing heat, it becomes more valuable.

That is why God often allows us to pass through certain experiences. Man may tag it as suffering, but God sees it as a process that leads to a beautiful future.

Jesus had His fair share. He passed through torture, humiliation, and horrible death on the cross. But His bitter experience led to His glorious exaltation at the right side of God in heaven and brought redemption to mankind (Philippians 2:8-11)

Examples Of Suffering In The Bible

Aside from suffering as a consequence of sin, the Bible gives examples of people who suffered at certain points in their lives.


Despite being the Son of God, Jesus was not exempted from suffering. In fact, the intensity of the suffering he experienced cannot be compared to anything or anyone. He was stripped naked, flogged, and bruised. He was crowned with thorns and pierced with a spear. He carried a heavy cross with battered flesh, dripping with blood, across the street naked, with people calling Him names and spitting on Him. Then the bones of His hands and legs were broken by the piercing of heavy nails He was used to be pinned to the cross.

However, Jesus endured all these because He was determined to save the world from sin and give it salvation (Isaiah 53:3-12, 1 Peter 2:20-23). He knew of the glory that awaited Him. He died but arose on the third day.


Job is one character in the Bible associated with suffering. His case was peculiar because Satan personally took permission from God to afflict him. As a result, Job lost all he had, including his health, children, wealth and possession, and his wife’s love (Job 1:6-22, Job 2:3-10). His friends, who were supposed to be his comforters, accused him of sinning and attracting God’s wrath.

Satan afflicted Job because he wanted him to go against God. However, Job never turned back. He remained faithful even in pain and hardship, establishing that He genuinely loved God, not because of the blessings he enjoyed.

What Does Suffering Mean For Christians Today?

Suffering for Christians today comes in the form of trials and temptations. We will be tried and tempted as long as we live in this world. That is our reality as believers. The enemy will always throw challenges our way to weaken our faith in God and ultimately lose it. However, we are assured of God’s help and victory. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

God has given us all it takes to overcome our challenges and withstand temptation and the enemy (1 Corinthians 10:13, James 4:7)

Is a World Without Suffering Possible?

The answer is no. We live in an imperfect world. There’s no perfect life, and unfortunately, no government or international organization has the solution to the chaos and sufferings around the world, be it poverty, hunger, terrorism, etc. That is the sad reality.

However, those who submit to God and take refuge will be exempted from these sufferings. And even if they are afflicted, they are assured of God’s healing, hope, and restoration like Job (Psalm 91:1).

Bible Verses About Suffering

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalms 34:19)

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (Isaiah 43:2)

Final Thoughts

Sin leads to suffering spiritually and physically. However, God has the perfect solution to this. He sent His Son, Jesus, to shed His blood for sinners. So, anyone who believes in Him and accepts Him into their heart will experience a spiritual birth. He will become again, and all their sufferings and challenges will become things of the past, as Jesus’ blood will wipe off every trace of sin and its consequences.

Also, learn to change your perspective on suffering as a believer. As a child of God, suffering isn’t punishment but a stepping stone to a greater height in any area of your life.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4)