suffering can be hard

Why Doesn’t God Intervene to End Suffering?

Peter Guirguis Suffering 8 Comments

How come God doesn’t intervene to end suffering?

I’m going to give you 3 reasons that will give you the answer to that critical question in this video.

If you’d rather read the blog post version instead, then you can skip the video and read on below.

Hi friend, and welcome to this blog post.

My name is Peter, and I’m the founder of the Not Ashamed of the Gospel blog where I help searchers find God.

If this is your first time here, then consider subscribing to one of my free downloads so you can read more blog posts like this one.

So let’s not waste any time and get right into it.

Why doesn’t God intervene to end suffering?

That’s a great question because if you assume that God is all-powerful and that He can do anything, then you would think that He would want to end suffering.

Plus, if you’ve been told that God is love, then you would also think that the most loving thing to do is to help somebody when they are suffering.

So when God doesn’t intervene when you’re suffering or when a loved one is suffering, then you may get angry, upset, or confused.

Reason #1 – The Crystal Ball Effect

So the first reason why God does not intervene to end suffering is because of what I call the crystal ball effect.

The crystal ball effect is a term that I coined that will help you understand this compelling reason about why God does not intervene to end suffering.

Have you ever wished that you had a crystal ball that can tell the future?

Maybe you’ve seen characters in a movie who had a crystal ball.

Or maybe when you were a kid, during your playtime, you joked around that you had a crystal ball that can tell the future.

Well, the question is, ”Does God have a crystal ball?”

The answer is yes and no.

Does God physically have a crystal ball?

The answer is no.

But does God know the future?

The answer is yes.

And because God knows the future, then sometimes God doesn’t intervene when someone is suffering.

Why?

Because God knows that there is going to be something good that is going to come out of this bad situation down the road.

A Very Personal Story

For example, when I was a kid, I used to live in an apartment with my parents and my sister.

There used to be a grocery store right underneath our apartment that my mom used to send me to pick up some grocery items when she was cooking.

One time, she sent me to the grocery store to pick her up some ingredients for a recipe that she was making for dinner.

Well, on the way back home from the grocery store, I got molested by a complete stranger.

I was just a little boy, and that incident was so traumatic for me, that I repressed it in my memory.

I remember growing up after that incident and as a teenager, feeling immense amounts of guilt and worthlessness.

And I had no idea why.

It turns out that these kinds of feelings are common among victims of molestation.

They often feel guilt and feel like they are undeserving of love.

But it wasn’t until I was around 21 years old when a friend of mine was confiding in me that he was molested when he was a kid.

All of a sudden, my suppressed memories of my molestation came back to my mind.

All of these feelings and memories came back to life, and I remembered what happened to me when I was a kid.

Now let me ask you this…

Why didn’t God intervene and prevent me from getting molested by that complete stranger?

After all…

  • I was a child of God
  • My family and I are Christians
  • And God surely could have intervened and prevented that from happening to me in the first place

But God didn’t do any of that.

Why?

Because of the crystal ball effect.

God was going to use this incident in my life for something good.

That’s right.

Something good has come out of me being molested by a complete stranger when I was a child.

The 1st good thing that came out of my suffering

Rather, multiple good things have come out of my molestation.

One of them is that I’m immune to compliments.

Whenever somebody pays me a compliment, it goes right through me.

One of the effects of my molestation is that I still sometimes struggle with low self-esteem and low self-worth.

While that may sound bad, but in actuality, it’s helped me to stay humble.

I value humility.

And the more that I can be humble, the more that God can use me.

So one good thing that has come out of this situation is that it has helped me to stay humble.

The 2nd good thing that came out of my suffering

Another good thing is that God is bringing His healing power in my life and through my life to heal the scars that are a result of this situation.

Now, I’m able to speak about it publicly even though there is so much shame and hurt because of that molestation incident.

But as a result of me coming out publicly and sharing this with others, so many other people who have had a similar experience have also been able to build up the courage to speak up about it.

They’ve also been able to receive healing from God.

I can’t tell you enough how many times I have shared my story with somebody only for them to tell me their own molestation story about what happened to them when they were a kid.

I’ve seen many people get healed, many people have their lives changed, and good things come out of people’s horrific experience with molestation.

So the crystal ball effect says that because God knows the future, sometimes He may not intervene in a situation because He’s going to cause something good to come out of it and it will be worthwhile.

While we are on the subject, let me tell you this.

I wouldn’t wish what happened to me to happen to anybody in the world.

But I’ll also tell you this…

I’m glad that I know God, and that He is my heavenly Father, and that He is causing all things to work together for my good, including this painful experience that I had when I was a child.

Does that make sense to you?

If it doesn’t, then it’s okay.

Feel free to reach out to me in the comments or using the contact form on my blog if you’d like to discuss any painful experiences that you’ve had.

I promise to keep it confidential and that I will never judge you.

Now, onto reason number two.

Reason #2 – The Future Suture

Reason number two why sometimes God does not intervene to end suffering is because of what I call the future suture.

So what is the future suture?

Well, if you are familiar with doctors, sometimes doctors have to give patients a suture.

A suture is a stitch or row of stitches holding together a wound or surgical incision.

When I was a kid, I broke my elbow.

As a result, I had to have surgery on my elbow.

The doctor had to open up my arm and fuse the two bones together.

When I woke up from the surgery, I had a cast on my arm.

When I had my cast taken off, I saw that there were sutures where the doctor had stitched my elbow to close off the surgical incision that he had made in my elbow during surgery.

If it weren’t for those sutures, then I wouldn’t have received healing for my broken elbow.

Sometimes God has a plan to bring a future suture in someone’s life because of their suffering.

This is when God plans on taking somebody home to heaven instead of leaving them here on earth to continue suffering.

Going home to heaven is a million times better than staying here on earth, and it is the ultimate healing to end that person’s suffering.

You are safer with God in the middle of the storm than you are anywhere else without HimClick To Tweet

My grandma was suffering

For example, my grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease.

I don’t know if you have anybody in your family that has Alzheimer’s disease or know someone who has dementia.

But it’s a terrible disease, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s and a person’s memory just keeps on getting worse and worse over time.

Things can get so bad for an Alzheimer’s patient, that they forget how to eat and chew their food.

It brings down a person’s quality-of-life to be very low.

That’s exactly what happened to my grandma.

She had Alzheimer’s disease, and her memory just kept on deteriorating.

Finally, she could no longer remember how to eat, and she had to go on life support.

My grandma was being fed intravenously.

My mom, my uncle, my aunt, and my grandpa had to decide whether to keep her on life support or whether to take her off.

They ended up deciding to take her off of life support because her quality of life was just so low.

And she ended up departing and going to heaven.

God planned to give my grandmother a future suture which is to give her the ultimate healing by ending her life on earth and taking her home to heaven.

How about starving kids who are suffering?

Sometimes you can see the same thing happening through starving kids around the world who are eating out of trash cans and garbage bags.

It’s a tough thing to see.

But sometimes God’s plan is to give those kids a future suture by having them go home to be in heaven instead of them barely surviving here on earth and being in such a miserable state.

So then this begs the question, but why doesn’t God give those starving kids food?

Or why doesn’t He give those starving kids a good life here on earth?

Well, the answer is that no matter how good of a life those kids end up having, it will never be as good as heaven.

So really, taking a starving child home to go to heaven is something that’s more desirable and better than staying here on earth where there is sin, disease, and all sorts of problems.

No matter how you slice it, God’s ways are not our ways, and there’ll always be some things that we don’t understand one hundred percent.

Now onto the third reason for why God doesn’t intervene to end suffering.

Reason #3 – The Barrier Problem

Reason number three why God does not intervene to end suffering is because of the barrier problem. The barrier problem can be seen in a passage of Scripture in Isaiah 59:1-2.

The back story here is that the Israelites were under tremendous oppression as they were held captive by the Babylonians.

They kept on crying out to God for God to save them but God did not intervene.

He allowed His judgment to come and this is where I’ll introduce you to the barrier problem.

Verses one and two of Isaiah 59 says,

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or His ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”

So this passage of Scripture shows that it is possible for someone to have committed so much sin that they call on God for help, and God is unresponsive.

But if that person was to humble themselves, confess their sins and repent and then call for help, then we know that God would answer.

That’s because God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14,

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

So the barrier problem is that sometimes a person’s sins create a barrier between the person and God hearing their cry for help.

But if that person confesses that they are wrong, and they humble themselves before God, then God promises to listen to their plea for help.

Does that make sense?

were all human, we are all broken, we all need Jesus

Over to you

So what did you think of these three reasons?

Let me know your thoughts by writing a comment below.

Comments 8

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      Author
  1. Eternity in heaven is better than healing here on earth. I’m not even sure I’ve ever thought of it in exactly those terms but it’s a great insight and a great reminder. Thanks for sharing this Peter.

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      Author

      You are most welcome, Kurt. Thank you for your encouraging feedback.

      By the way, you have to plan a trip to come out here to California in 2019. It’s been too long and we have to make this happen finally 😊.

  2. In 2015, my 25 year old son was killed in an auto accident. He left behind a wife, an 18 month old son and a 5 month old son. My husband and I were devastated as were his brothers and sister, grandparents and numerous friends and cousins. To lose a child was my worst fear realized. Not only was I dealing with the greatest pain of my life, I had to worry over the deep grief that the rest of my family was feeling. It was, and still is today, a deep wound that will not be healed until I see Adam again. I did question why this had to happen to us, but I also knew that I had no choice but to trust God. Like you, we also found that God gives you beauty with the ashes. We experienced that “peace that passes all understanding” for the very first time. The presence of the Lord was so strong that there was no denying that he had us wrapped in his love as we endured the unthinkable act of saying goodbye to our beloved Adam.. We also immediately began to see good things happen that were a direct result of losing him. His sister, first cousin, several friends and even friends of our older sons dedicated their life to the Lord after the funeral. God had orchestrated seemingly insignificant coversations with Adam shortly before his death, that became POWERFUL testimonies for us to share with others. Would I undo my daughter’s salvation to have him back? Perhaps in a weak moment when I miss him so badly that I can barely breathe, BUT NEVER when viewing eternity. The journey has been painful, but our prayer has been that God would not allow us to miss a single opportunity to use our story to reach others for Christ. Focusing on the eternal joys that await us gives us comfort and hope.

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      Author

      Wow Salita I can’t even begin to tell you how your story has deeply moved me. I actually had to clear my throat because I was getting all choked up. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your precious son, Adam. I know what it’s like to lose a loved one although not a son like in your situation. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. It has impacted me and many more people more than you can ever know. God bless you always, Salita.

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