If God is Loving, Why is There So Much Pain in This Life?
By Connie Strasheim
No answer seems to completely satisfy when it comes to why God allows pain. Since the dawn of history, mankind has wrestled with this question, only to come up with answers that scarcely fill the soul’s void.
While God grows our faith through pain, it is not His foremost reason for allowing us to hurt.
Paradoxically, love is the greater reason, and God will allow His creation to go through anything in the name of love. Anything at all. For God, love is a higher priority than comfort, enjoyment, and even happiness.
Pain was not part of God’s original design. Love, on the other hand, was. God knew that in order for love to exist, free will would also have to exist. In a world where He gave humans the choice to love or hate, He knew some would choose the latter and pain would inevitably be the price. But God chose to not take away His creation’s humanity, even though He knew rape, murder, disease, and tragedy would plague our world.
Yet pain breaks God’s heart, and so God has taken man’s misuse and abuse of free will and redeemed it. God isn’t about righting all the wrongs on earth. But, He is about taking the wrongs and making something beautiful of them. And so He constantly offers opportunities for His children to exercise that free will in love towards one another so that some of what has been broken can be remade. Pain offers opportunity for growth in love.
Pain is a unique opportunity for humanity to choose whether it will love God for who He is, rather than for the gifts that He bestows upon His creation. Granted, God loves to give to His children. God wants to be loved for who He is -- for His mercy, grace, kindness, compassion, and other attributes -- and not because He makes life easy for us.
God allows pain to remind us that our home is not in this world, that our real life begins in the afterlife, in heaven. He wishes for us to long for that place. And pain has a way of keeping our hope there, rather than on earth. This is a good thing, for heaven promises more wonderful, beautiful things than those which are found here. Earth is for deciding whether we will love one another as well as our Creator; Heaven is where our experience of life will find its fruition.
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