This is Part 1 of 6 parts answering the question, “Will God remove the suffering He allows?” in the larger question “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 2-6 will begin to be posted tomorrow.
At some point, God will remove suffering from those who have called upon the Lord for salvation. The question many ask is, “Why doesn’t God just end the pain now?” Well, we saw in Part Three that suffering began in the universe when the deceiver, Satan, rebelled against God. And, those who reject God’s plan of salvation will never escape it. Jesus said, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41 NKJ) The Lord Jesus declared at least two things in his passage. First, those who reject Him as their Savior will be sent to everlasting fire – what a horrible indictment and judgment! Secondly, He declared that they will be with the devil and his angels in a fire that has been prepared and is burning right now, but we know from Revelation 20:1-10 that this even will not come to pass for at least another 1000 years. Why is God waiting at least 3000 years from the time Jesus made this pronouncement until the original criminal (and much of the trouble) is removed?
Please ponder that question for a moment. Does it make sense that God would make a pronouncement of judgment, but delay the execution of the sentence for over 3000 years? It does not from the human perspective, but that is why God is infinite and He is God.
Maybe God is waiting on one more soul to put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter wrote about how patient God is, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9 NKJ) Although, the person, who has not believed, will transition into the Tribulational times and then repent, so there may be other reasons.
Or perhaps God is giving us opportunities to experience sufferings so that the glory to come will make the present sufferings seem mild, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17 NKJ) In this same letter written to the Corinthians, Paul described some of his suffering. It is far more than most Christians will endure in a lifetime,
23 Are they ministers of Christ?– I speak as a fool– I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness– 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. (2 Cor. 11:23-28 NKJ)
No one would call what Paul endured “light affliction!” And yet he is directing our attention to the glory to come as far surpassing any trials endured here on earth. But in the midst of the agony, the question still may arise, “Will God remove the suffering He allows?”
Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.