Why does God allow pain and disease?
We all experience pain and disease at some time in life. Pain is the response by our nervous system to an abnormal situation; it is like an alarm. If the alarm doesn’t operate, then we can hurt ourselves without knowing it. Disease is a lack of health that is often associated with a depressed immune system. So pain and disease are reactions by our bodies to the circumstances we face.
Pain and disease began when Adam and Eve sinned and they are part of the trouble that is inevitable in the sinful world (Gen. 3:16-19; Jn. 16:33). In fact, “the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Rom. 8:22 NIV).
Job, the most righteous man on earth in his time, was a good example to his wife and to Satan when God allowed him to endure pain and disease (Job 2:6-10). Jesus is the only one with a record of power over pain and disease. He healed people who “were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed” (Mt. 4:24).
God permits pain and disease to shape believers so they become more like Him (Heb. 12:5-11). They should not grumble or be discouraged during these times (1 Cor. 10:10), but rejoice because it develops Christian character (Jas. 1:2-4,12). God is training them through the pain and disease so they might rely on Him and be able to comfort those who are suffering (2 Cor. 1:3-9).
The ultimate solution to pain and disease depends on our relationship with God, because those who trust Him go to heaven where there is no pain or disease (Lk. 16:19-31; Rev. 21:4). The eternal glory of heaven far outweighs the believer’s temporary pain and disease here on earth (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17). However, those who do not accept God’s offer of salvation will suffer for eternity.
Published, July 2006