This is Part 1 of 4 parts answering the question, “Would love itself ever be a reason that God would allow suffering?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 2-4 will be posted on succeeding days.
We just looked at the reality that even “new creations” of God still suffer. Let’s look at the one attribute of God that people question the most regarding God’s permission and even His purpose for trials. This is, in fact, the attribute that began this series of questions, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” If God is truly love, then what does Scripture teach about love as the reason God allows suffering?
God Loves His Children
Scripture is clear regarding God’s love for His own. God spoke through Jeremiah about His chosen people, Israel, “The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jer. 31:3 NKJ) God did not just say He loved us, but He proved it, as Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8 NKJ) We opposed God as sinners, but then He manifested His love toward us! John also emphasized the action of God’s love for His own, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10 NKJ) This love becomes a glorious picture of an enveloping embrace for the believer who obeys as John wrote, “…for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” (John 16:27 NKJ) And finally, that love is stronger than any challenge or problem of life, In fact, Paul affirmed that once we are in the family of God that love will never be removed,
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38-39 NKJ)
Yet, the purpose of God’s love is not just about causing believers to feel nurtured. That love is the motivation to “grow us up” into the image of Jesus Christ. And, it is the reason some people will suffer.
Parts 2-4 will be posted on succeeding days.