Someone that I know recently experienced a death in the family. After reflecting on the tragic nature of the incident, they said, “God has His reasons.” This is a common but misleading belief about God’s control over His universe.
In short, God did not kill this person’s family member. Suffering exists because of the influence of Satan. All the way back in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve sinned and brought upon themselves curses from God. They furthermore ushered in all the consequences of sin, including suffering and death.
In order to understand suffering, we must understand God’s nature, and how He has created man. God’s creation of man was an expression of His love (1 John 4:8). His love was further demonstrated when He endowed man with freewill (Genesis 2:16-17; Joshua 24:15; Isaiah 7:15; John 5:39-40; 7:17; Revelation 22:17). Could God be a loving God if He created intelligent beings, then programmed them to slavishly serve Him without choice? No! We would cease to be human. We would cease to be in the image of God.
We sometimes assume that no good purpose can be served by the existence of evil and suffering. No one can be so presumptuous as to assert that man can completely understand the problem of suffering. Other than what He has revealed to us in the Bible, the mind of God is unknown to man (Romans 11:33). However, instead of blaming God for everything bad in the world, we need to realize who suffering comes from and truly trust in the loving God who always does what is right (Genesis 18:25).