Why Does God Allow Suffering? Understanding the Divine Perspective
Rebekka McLawhorn·August 24, 2023
For many, the age-old question of "Why does God allow suffering?" is a persistent, haunting mystery. Every person, regardless of their faith, background, or walk of life, has experienced pain, loss, or hardship. At such times, it's not uncommon for individuals to seek answers, yearning to understand the greater purpose behind their suffering.
Drawing from the insights of Chakell Wardleigh's article, we explore this profound topic, offering solace and perspective to all those who wrestle with the "why" behind life's challenges.
1. Understanding Our Gift of Agency
God's grand plan encompasses giving each of us the gift of agency, or the power to choose. This freedom to make decisions is integral to our spiritual development. But with the freedom of choice comes consequences, both positive and negative. Unfortunately, some of the adverse outcomes are a direct result of one's choices, affecting not just the individual but others around them. This concept is crucial in understanding that while God has the power to intervene, He often allows the natural consequences of actions to take place, ensuring our freedom to choose remains intact.
2. The Empowering Nature of Trials
Trials and adversities, as overwhelming as they may feel, can also be sources of empowerment. They mold us, allowing us to grow, understand, and develop attributes like compassion, patience, and resilience. Such experiences provide us with the unique ability to empathize and support others going through similar challenges. As Wardleigh poignantly points out, hardships enable us to "bear one another's burdens" and evolve into more compassionate, understanding beings.
3. The Open Arms of the Savior
Even in our most desperate moments, when pain feels unbearable and the world seems bleak, we are never truly alone. Jesus Christ, through His divine Atonement, understands every nuance of human suffering. He extends an invitation to each of us, beckoning us to lean on Him, draw strength from Him, and find solace in His endless love. By turning to Him, we can find peace amidst turmoil and hope amidst despair.
4. Seeking Answers Through Prayer
While we may not always receive immediate or direct answers to our "whys," communicating with our Heavenly Father through sincere prayer can bring comfort, understanding, and guidance. It's essential to recognize that God's perspective is eternal, and His ways might not always align with our temporal understanding. Yet, He is always there, listening, guiding, and providing comfort.
5. Embracing the Bigger Picture
Our mortal experience, with its myriad of challenges, is but a blink in the vast expanse of eternity. Our Heavenly Father, with His infinite wisdom and boundless love, is acutely aware of our struggles and pain. While we might not comprehend all the reasons behind our sufferings now, a time will come when the fog will lift, and everything will become clear.
While the question of why God allows suffering might never receive a definitive answer in this life, by understanding our divine agency, seeking solace in the Savior, and trusting in God's eternal plan, we can navigate our trials with faith, hope, and courage. The journey might be fraught with challenges, but it is also rich in growth, understanding, and divine love.