Why Does The LORD Permit Suffering?
We do not know our needs as well as our heavenly Father does. We think we need comfort – instead we may receive reproof and rebuke. We may desire an easy and smooth path, but the LORD sees we need a path of trial. And what we need, He will give. Let us ever remember that God is the Father of His people and “He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” (Lamentations 3:33)
Just perhaps to digress for a moment. The world, or the nominal person of religion, will say often to God’s people, “If God is a God of love, why does He permit pain? Why do berevements come? Why do we have this loss and the other trial? Why does pain come?” And so on.
There are a number of reasons.
First of all, of course, sin is the cause of all these things. Adam fell and “the seeds of evil once brought in, increased and filled the world with sin.” So sin is the first and prime cause of all these things. But God permits them to come for a number of reasons.
For the most part our trials come as chastening; that is because we have departed in some way – it may only be in thought – from the path of righteousness. God sends trials upon us. We read in the twelth chapter of Hebrews concerning that: “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.”
When we were children, we did not like to be corrected by our parents, but now we are older we thank God that we were corrected, that what they did perhaps for punishing us, or perhaps preventing us doing something we wanted to do, was done in love for our good.
But also trials come as they did with Job, not because he had sinned some particular sin, but that the work should be deepened in his heart, that he should know more of himself and more of His God.
“Love Not The World”
But fourthly, there is also another reason, especially as we get older. Trials come to loosen our hold upon things below. I am sure there will be no reluctant saints in heaven, but before each of the Lord’s people lose conciousness at death, they will “desire to depart, and be with Christ, which is far better.” (Philippians 1:23)
“Our hearts are bound unto the earth,
By strong and various ties;
But every trial breaks a string,
And urges us to rise.”
During the war there used to be things that were called barrage balloons that were sent up into the sky that the (fabricated) ‘enemy’ aircraft should be trapped by the lines that held them down to the earth and covered with a net with many strings which held them firmly to the earth. Well, that is how our hearts are held to the earth, as it were by many ties. But each trial breaks one more string, and when the last trial comes that is needful to us, the soul will then rise to be with God.
So He only permits things to come that are needful.
R. Warboys – Horsham – 1990