Why does God allow His people to suffer?

This is a question which people often ask, especially Christians. They argue that God is a God of love and cannot allow suffering.

 The Bible teaches quite clearly that all pain, suffering, disappointment, sickness, death, etc., are the results of sin which came into the world. The world in which Adam and Eve lived before they fell into sin, was a world full of joy and happiness. There was no suffering and pain and sorrow. At the end of time when God shall renew the whole world and heaven (which is prophesied in Revelation 21:4-5): "There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared. Then the one who sits on the throne (will say), `And now I make all things new.'"

 But in the present dispensation as descendants of Adam (Acts 17:26) we will experience suffering as a result of the fall of man. God said to Eve: "I will increase your trouble in pregnancy and your pain in giving birth" (Genesis 3:16). And to Adam: "Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse" (Genesis 3:17).

 We find the same connection between the curse upon sin and human suffering in Romans 8:16-22 (Please read it in you Bible). But note the wonderful promise to believers in verse 18. "I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory which is going to be revealed to us". Until then suffering will be prevalent - because we live in a world which is under the curse of sin.

 The whole Bible emphasises the fact that God is love (1 John 4:8-10); that He loves us with a wonderful love. The children of God are in the world. They are not in heaven yet. We are travellers, pilgrims to a better abode. We won't experience heaven on earth, because of the fact that we are Christians. Yes! true Christians have a joy in their hearts which enable them to sing, even in times of suffering (read Acts 16:22-28). But one day everything will change and God's children, the true Christians, will suffer no more, because God will wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 21:4).

 For the Christians there is everlasting joy awaiting them in heaven, but on earth there is grace to suffer also to His glory. I have a little card on which is written:

 "God has not promised
sun without rain,
joy without sorrow,
peace without pain.
But God has promised
strength for the day;
rest for the labourer;
light on the way;
grace for the trials;
help from above;
unfailing symphathy, undying love."

 Remember this always.