How Could God Allow All of This Suffering? (Part 2)
April 1, 2020
(2nd of a 5-part Series)
God is All-knowing
The Bible tells us that God knows all things (Isaiah 49:28; Psalm 147:4-5; 139:1-4; 1 John: 3:20; Matthew 10:30, among many other passages). If so, then this also means that God knows what’s going on in the world. He knows about each case of COVID-19 infection, those who have died, and those who will still die. He knows when the pandemic started and when it will end. He knows the sufferings of the families who have been and are still being affected by this entire situation.
But beyond this, He also knows how all of this will impact the future and how it all relates to His plan of salvation for mankind. This “future” may be one year or one thousand years from now, but He knows, and He has pre-planned and pre-ordained how each detail of this pandemic will send ripple effects up through time and form a perfect destiny that He has intended not just for the people a thousand years from now but also for us who have passed on or will be passing on ahead of them.
What does this mean? It means that even if we may be suffering now, we are headed towards a future that has been perfectly designed by God when there will no longer be any pain or suffering, particularly for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The problem is that we as finite human beings can only see what is in front of us. We have exceedingly limited knowledge of the future. More often than not, it is impossible for us to see any good in the evil and suffering that is going on in our world today. We cannot see or know the perfectly good reasons God has, with His infinite knowledge, in allowing things to happen the way He does. Even if He tries to somehow telepathically explain it to us, the complexity of it all could be just too much for us to absorb.
But if we know God and put our trust in Him that He knows what He is doing and that he has a perfect plan, our questions can turn into faith and our anxieties can transform into joy and peace.
Another problem is that many of us think and act as though this temporal life on earth is all that there is or that will ever be. But in contrast, the Bible tells us that the “real” life that we will have is still ahead of us, and that it will be for eternity. This life of pain and suffering on earth is but an infinitesimal dot at the beginning of a long, long endless line of glorious living that God has prepared for those who love Him. That is why the Apostle Paul said to the Christians in Corinth,
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
Now, someone might say, “Light and momentary? How can the loss of thousands or even millions of lives be considered as ‘light and momentary?'” Well, first of all, these words came from a man who certainly knew what suffering meant. From beatings to imprisonment to stoning to being shipwrecked to eventual execution. But his point wasn’t how easy or how hard these sufferings could be to us, but he was referring to the resplendent future that we have that is unknown, unseen, and immeasurable. It will outweigh the suffering we go through now in our very brief stay on this earth and it will certainly pale in comparison to the glory and beauty of the life that we will live in eternity, if we have put our faith in Jesus Christ while on this earth (John 3:16). We may not see it now. We may not fathom the extent of the magnificence of this future life. But God knows. He knows all things. He is all-knowing.
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