This is part two of our series answering the question, “Who is the God who allows Suffering?’ it is part of a larger project seeking to answer the question “Why does a loving God allow Suffering?”
God is Eternal Life
There is no beginning or end to God; He is eternal life. God is transcendent beyond time, for He exists outside of time. Time began when God created the universe and He will continue beyond the moment when He destroys the universe as we know it, when time ends. Jesus said, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.” (John 5:26 NKJ) The Father has eternal life that is not measured in the same way we measure time. He created time for us finite creatures! Moses wrote, “Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Ps. 90:2 NKJ) God knows every moment of time perfectly well. He knows when people suffer, when their suffering will be over and how they will respond to it. If God is eternal life, then He is not limited by the length of time a person will suffer. He could prevent its duration if He were to choose, IF He is eternal life.
God is All Powerful
God has complete ability to do as He wishes, because He is all powerful. There is nothing God cannot do according to His will. Anything that He wills to do, He is able to do in keeping with his righteousness and holiness. As Jesus hung on the cross and could have requested removal (or removed Himself!), He entrusted Himself to the all powerful nature of God, “And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36 NKJ) The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37 NKJ) If God is all powerful, then He is able to remove suffering from your life, but He does not. Therefore there must be a reason why God allows suffering, IF He is all powerful.
God is All Knowing
God knows all things, including the actual and the possible. There is nothing that escapes His attention, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Heb. 4:13 NKJ) He sets eternity in our hearts, but we can never know His beginning or end, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” (Ecc. 3:11 NKJ) When Jesus exhorted Peter to feed His sheep and asked Peter if He loved him, Peter responded, “Lord, You know all things; (John 21:17 NKJ) If God knows everything, then He knows the suffering that you or anyone else is going through, so why, if He is all powerful, does He not stop it? There must be a reason why God allows suffering, IF He is all-knowing.
God is Unchanging
God is unchanging or what is called immutable. The writer of Hebrews wrote regarding Jesus, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8 NKJ) While Jesus added on the characteristics of humanity at His birth, He did not change in His deity, purpose or will. In fact, God does not change in any shadow of turning,” Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (Jam. 1:17 NKJ) In fact God loudly declared, “For I am the LORD, I do not change.” (Mal 3:6 NKJ) God’s intentions do not change. In fact, God does not change in His counsel or Word as the writer to Hebrews wrote,
17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. (Heb. 6:17-18 NKJ)
If God is unchanging and He is described as all knowing and all powerful, then why would He let suffering begin to occur? There must be a reason why God allows suffering, IF God is unchanging.
Check back tomorrow for part three.