“Suffering Strengthens Our Faith”: God Wills Suffering for His Children


Here is a comment I saw on Pinterest this morning:

“Suffering Strengthens Our Faith. One of the reasons that we may go through emotional suffering is that God wills it. But how could a loving God possibly want his creatures to endure suffering? The Biblical character, Job, is a perfect example of how God can get glory out of our suffering. Job 1, verse 1, says that Job was perfect and upright, one that feared God and avoided evil. How many of us can boast that we are as worthy of Gods blessing as this perfect and upright man? Job was.”

She and many other Christians believe that God gets glory by tormenting his children. There are so many problems that I have with that- but here are a few.

1. God compares himself to our father. So let me ask you this: What sort of loving father would purposefully hurt his children to make himself look good? This is the definition of child abuse; any man who did that here would be thrown in jail amid cries of outrage by the same people who believe that this same behavior is acceptable coming from their God. Ironic, isn’t it?

2. God (through Jesus) also calls himself the husband and the church is the bride. Picture this: a man beats his wife, tells her it’s for her own good, that it makes him look stronger and more manly, and threatens her with torture if she ever leaves him. The man tells her that he is good, and he can do nothing wrong; that she is broken and worthless on her own and he is the only one who could possibly love her. How long would you stay with this man? Wouldn’t you encourage your friend or your sister to leave such an abusive husband? Of course you would. So why is this behavior ok when it comes from God?

3. The assumption among believers is that God is not held to the same standards as humans. Why not? Why is it ok for him to say “Do as I say, not as I do?” At the very least, he is a hypocritical liar who expects his people to follow rules that he himself will not follow. At the worst, he is a manipulative deity who has managed to convince millions of people that his atrocities are acceptable.

4. Basically, the pinner was saying that God’s pride is the most important thing there is: it’s ok for him to hurt people as long as he looks good. Isn’t pride supposed to be a sin? Shouldn’t God be more humble than all of us? Why then is his image so important that it’s ok to hurt others to maintain it?

What do you think? Comment below!


3 thoughts on ““Suffering Strengthens Our Faith”: God Wills Suffering for His Children

  1. I have read several solutions to the problem of evil and suffering but I don’t think I ever heard anyone claim we suffer for Gods pride.

    Personally I think overcoming adversity is something good. I don’t think that would be possible if there were no adversity.

    • Overcoming adversity that naturally occurs in life and growing from it is one thing- there’s plenty of that without making it happen on purpose. Purposefully inflicting harm on someone to “teach them a lesson” is another matter. Many Christians do believe that God causes suffering… I heard it taught growing up and I still hear it today. Whether or not that’s correct Biblical interpretation, it’s a doctrine believed by many Christians.

No trolling, please! Genuine dialogue for the purpose of mutual understanding is appreciated; debates are not. General comments are welcome.

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