“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17
Seventeen years ago my wife Christine and I went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. Our daughter Kayla had just turned a year old, and we had just found out that Baby #2 was on the way. We were so excited. Our little family of three was going to expand to four! About five weeks into the pregnancy, Christine and I saw the baby’s first ultrasound. The baby was tiny but looked like it was doing great. But when we went back a month later for the second ultrasound, we noticed something odd. The baby didn’t look like he had grown, and he didn’t have a heartbeat. A few minutes later the doctor sat us both down and told us that our little baby hadn’t survived.
Christine and I were devastated. Over the next week we prayed and prayed, but nothing changed. A follow-up ultrasound revealed that the baby had, in fact, died in Christine’s womb. Christine and I wanted to know: How could a loving, all-powerful God allow our precious baby to die? We had followed and served God faithfully for years. We knew that He could have saved our baby if He wanted to. So, why didn’t He?
The question of why God would allow our miscarriage is part of the same broader question as “Why does God allow COVID-19?” That broader question is: “How could a loving God allow pain and suffering?”
First, it’s important to understand that God doesn’t CAUSE all of our pain and suffering. Let’s be honest with each other: Much of our pain and suffering is our own darn fault—caused by our own poor choices and sin. At other times it’s the result of other people’s poor choices and sin. Some pain and suffering is the result of Satan’s attacks. Still other pain and suffering results from natural disasters that are part of the fallout of living in a sin-cursed world.
Well, that’s all well and good, but it still begs the question: If God is both loving and all-powerful, why doesn’t He snap His fingers and stop all the agony?
I’ll give you the honest answer, but I must warn you—you probably won’t like it. In fact, more than a few Christians have walked away from the faith because they felt let down by the answer. You see, the answer is … we don’t know. Why did God allow my wife to have a miscarriage? We don’t know. Why did God allow that horrible tornado to sweep through
on Easter Sunday? We don’t know. And why does God allow COVID-19 to linger? We
don’t know. When it comes to pain and suffering, there are so many things that
we just don’t know. But allow me to share with you four things that we DO know. Mississippi
#1: You are not alone. Of all the promises that God makes in the Bible, guess which one is repeated the most? “I will be with you.” If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, God doesn’t promise that your life will be free of pain and suffering. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Jesus promised us that in this life, we will have trouble and experience suffering. But in the midst of our pain and suffering, we are not alone. He is with us. God tells us in Isaiah 43:2-3,“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of
your Savior.” Israel
#2: Jesus knows how you feel. In Hebrews 4:15, we read these words about Jesus: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Not only was Jesus tempted in every way that we are, he has also suffered in every way that we have suffered. So, you can be certain that when you hurt, he hurts. He knows how you feel.
#3: Your pain has a purpose. I cannot tell you why God allows every bit of pain and suffering in your life. But I can tell you this with certainty: If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, your pain always has a purpose. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Personally, I think God gets a bad rap for not stopping all of our pain and suffering. We look at COVID-19 and assume that God is letting all the viruses run rampant. We don’t stop to consider the possibility that this pandemic is a walk in the park compared to the more wretched pandemics that God has kept at bay. Friends, our pain always has a purpose.
#4: Your pain will be over soon. Would you jog 5 miles for $20? Probably not. But my guess is, most of us would do it for a million dollars. Why? The pain and suffering is worth it if the reward is big enough. Well, we’re told in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Did you catch those words, “light and momentary”? I guarantee you: Everything in this life is light and momentary. When you’re a billion years into eternity and you look back at your life here on earth, it’s going to seem like a quick blip on a radar screen. Compared to the length of eternity, your life here on earth is so short. And compared to the absolute joy and thrill of heaven, this life’s trials are tiny.
So, press on, Christian. Persevere! God is good! God is in control, and He knows what He’s doing. Trust Him! You may not understand today, but one day you will.
Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our online worship service tomorrow at
10 a.m. at Live.GreaterImpact.cc or on our YouTube channel (Impact Christian Church) or on Facebook.