Could a God Who Allows Suffering Truly Be Good?
By Chris Russell
“And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” - Genesis 50:20
Today’s passage gives us a beautiful glimpse at God’s amazing plan, which was set into place before the universe began. Joseph had to go through incredible heartache as a result of the horrible sins that his brothers committed toward him. They hated him with a perfect hatred. They sold him into slavery, and they hoped to never see him again. It appeared that there was no hope that Joseph would ever again be happy again.
But God was able to take an event even as terrible as this and use it for something beautiful. Through Joseph’s slavery, God was able to rescue the entire family of Jacob and turn them into the great nation of Israel. Wow! What a plan!
There is no such thing as random pain. God has a divine purpose for everything, and He can often accomplish things through suffering that He would not be able to accomplish in any other way.
Because God is omniscient (He knows everything), He truly sees the big picture. He truly knows what’s best for us. He knows what will bring the ultimate good for mankind. And He allows suffering at times to bring about that ultimate good –- in mankind in general, and in your life in particular.
As a parent, I occasionally have to do the same thing with my kids. My daughter may not understand why we would have to take her to the doctor to get a shot, but that medical treatment would be for her ultimate good. I can see the big picture in a way that she does not always fully understand … yet. At some point she will … perhaps.
One thing in this life about which you can be sure is that God loves you dearly. And the suffering that you experience is somehow related to His love for you. And this can only be understood fully as it is seen from His eternal, “out-of-this-world” vantage point.
TODAY’S BIG IDEA: “Suffering can be an extension of God’s goodness when it is viewed from the perspective of God and eternity.”
Editor’s Note: This text has been adapted from the original article, found here.