Suffering builds the faith needed to depend on God

Published 9:32 am Tuesday, March 24, 2020

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: It’s difficult to understand why God permits suffering, particularly when good people suffer. Why is this? — S.P.

Dear S.P.: Suffering is a natural part of life. But God can, and does, use it for good. While this is hard to comprehend, suffering can be used to build the faith needed to depend on God.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

We can experience the joy of this truth when we realize that He gives us the power to trust Him. No matter the mess we may make of our lives, Christ’s redemption leaves our transgressions against Him trampled in the dirt, and eternity emerges. Our faces become the faces in which the resurrected Christ shows forth His glory.

The world’s in pain. Without God’s guidance, our response to suffering is a futile attempt to find solutions to conditions that cannot be solved. When suffering comes to us, we must entrust each day to God with praise on our lips. Doing this demonstrates we belong to Him. To tap the power of God in our lives, we must be connected to Him through salvation in His Son Jesus Christ who also suffered greatly in order to redeem us from sin.

The story of Job, however, is often recalled as we think in terms of human suffering. Job certainly suffered more than most humans. There was not one glimmer of hope given to him from those around him. But while he suffered physical and emotional pain, he remembered, “My Redeemer lives!”

God listened to Job’s pleas and answered his questions — and his prayers. Why? Job concentrated his thinking on God and believers should do the same. We must yield our minds to Him in order to do His will. How it pleases God in Heaven when we say, “You have granted me life and favor, and Your care has preserved my spirit” (Job 10:12).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)