“Why does God allow suffering?
– What’s the use of living?
– Why isn’t God helping me?
– Why am I here?“
A short answer to why God allows suffering, is to draw us to Him, to show us how helpless we are without Him, and teach us many lessons.
But this short answer doesn’t provide a complete answer. So I want to lay down a background of understanding first, and then expand on it.
First, you need to know who God is, according to the Bible. (This is not according to what people or churches think God is. It’s what the Bible, God’s word, actually says.)
Understanding WHO God is, and why he created people, will give us deeper answers to the questions above.
Have you been told that God is a Trinity?
The Bible does not say that.
If you take a look at my photo above, you can see there are mainly three wheels. But the reality is, it’s actually a photo of two wheels with shadows. Furthermore, there is just one main pattern that predominates – the wheel!
Although inadequate, this provides me with a working illustration to explain God and the Holy Spirit.
If you object to me saying God casts shadows, consider Luke 1:35 ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you,’ Psalms also refers several times to ‘The shadow of thy wings‘.
In the Bible Jesus calls God the father.
Jesus is a father too, as he is the express image of God (Hebrews 1:3). Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 31:9 and other places also talk about about the God of Israel being a father.
Jesus said he came to reveal the father (John 17:25-26) who is greater than he (John 14:28).
The Holy Spirit is somewhat like the shadow of God’s personality falling on the stony ground that is this world.
God is so all-encompassing that in a few places Scripture speaks about his spirit as if the spirit is an individual. But it’s not saying that!
God is not limited to a three person trinity.
Let’s look into the Bible to prove all this.
Let’s ask the following questions:
Why doesn’t the apostle Paul acknowledge the Holy Spirit in any of his greetings to the churches? It would be an insult not to do so if the spirit were a person.
A typical greeting from Paul went like this: 1Tim 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
That’s it. No mention of the Holy Spirit!
The meaning of 2 Cor 13:14. The last verse of 2 Corinthians reads: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. The meaning of this is explained by the last verse of Philemon, which says 'The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with YOUR spirit' - This ending gives you a big clue about what Paul actually means at the end of 2 Corinthians. We all have a spirit, or atmosphere, or charisma, or energy we project, either good or bad; but that spirit is an attribute of ourselves, not a separate person! Paul is not saying the Holy Ghost is a third person, but he IS saying God's spirit of love helps true Christians to bond with each other, and with God! The word 'spirit' or 'ghost' in both of the last verses is Strong's Greek word number G4151. It's the same word, but is your G4151 spirit a separate person? No. And neither is God's spirit.
Why are we never told that the Holy Spirit directly loves us, but it says Jesus loves us (John 13:34 & John 15:13), and the Father loves us (1 John 3:1) . Why is the Holy Spirit left out of John 14:21? “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” In this verse we are loved by the father – number 1, and Jesus – number 2. Where is number 3? Number 3, the Holy Ghost, is missing.
Also, why are we NOT told to pray to the Holy Spirit?
The answer is, although the Holy Spirit is a part of God’s nature, the holy spirit is not an actual ‘ghost person,’ or individual.
Hebrews 1:3 tells us Jesus sits on the right hand side of the Majesty on high, but no mention is made of where the Holy Spirit resides in God’s throne room.
Why is this understanding important?
It’s because limiting God to three individuals, limits God!
God is not limited.
More to the point, the concept of the Trinity obscures and limits God’s purpose for creating you and me.
That’s because the purpose for our life – why we were created – is to know God and become members of the family of God, as the following verse explains:
Ephesians 3:14-15 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and EARTH is named,
It seems to me that angels are also part of God’s family, according to Job 38:7. According to Psalm 82:6, Gal 4:6, and other places, humans are sons of God too.
GOD IS AN EXPANDING FAMILY.
“And God (Elohim) said, Let US make man in OUR image” , Gen 1:26
“I have said, YE are GODS (elohim); and all of you are children of the most High.” Psalms 82:6
Psalms 82:1 cannot be explained in terms of the Trinity… It reads, using more accurate terminology: “Elohim standeth in the congregation of El; he judgeth among the elohim.”
There is only one God (YHVH), but God (ELohim) is like one nation, or one family.
That DOESN’T conflict with Deut 6:4 or Mark 12:29 where it says there is one Lord (one YHVH). (If it did, so would the Trinity doctrine.)
This isn’t my idea, it’s what the Bible says, putting all Scripture together.
Instead of being a third member of the God family, the Holy Spirit is the gift that enables US to participate in the expansion of the God family! Rom 8:9, Gal 4:6.
The Bible clearly says our purpose is to know and imitate God, so that we may grow up into the fulness of Christ. This is the meaning of Eph 4:13, which reads
“until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.“
Some Questions Answered
Could this help explain the reason for suffering?
Hebrews 5:8,9 Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
The purpose for suffering is to teach lessons and perfect us.
In future, everyone in the entire universe will see the results of choices that are now being made, that go against God’s ways.
Choices always produce consequences.
Suffering is the end result of breaking ’cause and effect’ laws.
Suffering is the result of breaking laws that God made to protect people from harm. The appalling results of mankind’s choices will become lessons and examples forever.
For the rest of eternity nobody will make such wrong choices ever again!
And why isn’t God helping you? Well, he is, because you’re reading this!
Many Scriptures confirm God’s willingness to help us when we come to Him.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 66:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 54:4 Behold, God (Elohim) is my helper; the Lord (YHVH) is the upholder of my life.
Hebrews 13:6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
… and there are many more.
However, patience may be needed.
Finding Your True Life Purpose
When you conform to the will of God, and ask God to bring YOUR purpose into line with GOD’S purpose for you, then God will help you even more. In fact, eventually, almost nothing will be withheld from you…
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom (i.e. royal family reign & realm) of God (YHVH) and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Plus the promise in 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
There are more promises, and it’s up to you to find them and claim them.
When you submit your life to God, he becomes your father in a very literal sense.
Your purpose in life will be redirected to draw nearer to God. You will pursue God’s will rather than your own.
As you grow in maturity, your mind will open towards doing the things that God in human form would do! …That Jesus did do: heal the sick, raise the dead, etc. (I am falling short in this at the moment!) (Read John 14:12 and the interesting account in Acts 5:15,16, plus Ephesians 3:20-21 to verify that doing miracles as Jesus did, both then and now, IS actually Biblical.)
I get it when people have questions about why doesn’t God do whatever.
Finding some answers is a lifetime study.
It helps to realise God mainly works through people.
WE are supposed to be His arms, His legs, His compassion, and His very life, as an extension of God’s Kingdom on earth. (See Eph 2:10 and cross references.)
That is God’s intended purpose for your life.
That is the reason you were born!
. . . . .