Why does God allow suffering? — Newbury Christadelphians


God does work in mysterious and incredible ways.

Today has been one of my increased physical pain level days. Only a few hours ago I was unable to walk without being severely bent over, shuffling sideways like a crab with every moment in pain so intense it prohibited me from any and every normal daily task and experience.

I spent the last couple of hours doing what I know how to, what I can to attempt to lessen and push this level of pain back from the area of my body it was in. This is not a little muscle spasm or a little ache from over-exertion or a minor annoyance or thing. This is part of the daily nonstop chronic pain I’ve experienced since 1999.

It was an exceedingly long period of time since I had communicated with a friend of mine, a dear brother in Christ, and once I had lessened the pain level to something manageable to carry on with the day I composed an email to this brother in Christ and friend, and he always wants to know how I’m coping with the physical suffering matters.

I let him know how I have been working on a basement cleanup and reorganization project for months that would have taken me no more than 10 days or so 30 years ago, how I had finally broken my camera out after many months and had taken some snaps of the blooming crocus and snowdrop spring flowers around our property, how I was thinking and praying for him, his wife, his daughter, and his concerns, and letting him know even though the pain was worse this past winter more times than not I keep 2 Corinthians 12:9 very visible on my desk and the paper it’s written on now appears as weary and worn as I do many days. And no matter what may come in the way of pain and suffering it could not compare to what having a new body and a new name and eternal life in heaven will be.

Also, no matter what I may experience so many others are enduring and going through much worse. So much worse. Only yesterday I posted So, you were whining and complaining about your day?

I also mentioned in my email to him I could do a sermon on suffering, especially in light of the fact many of the pastors, preachers, ministers, and speakers on the matter I’ve heard over the years have been very able-bodied men showing little or no infirmity, affliction, or relationship with real physical suffering.

And I ofttimes think of the apostle Paul and his thorn in the flesh, the suffering of all the apostles, prophets, and believers of past times. The persecutions. The daily life they lived was so different than the pampered, soft, cushy, sissified, weak, and whining ways of the 20th and 21st centuries. Where a person can’t get a good signal on their Smartphone, or their Internet goes out, or the person driving slowly in front of them interferes with their frantic, selfish desires they have a meltdown. Their day is awful! Woe are they for all they must suffer and endure!

With most of the “suffering” among many their inward selfish obsession, the impatience and evil within them rather than true suffering. See the above link if confused or coming to their defense.

“Oh my boss did this today and my day is now terrible!”


Move to Sudan. See how your days and nights go then.

“Oh, my car is acting up and I just don’t know what I’ll do!”

Try getting around in the Middle East circa the days of Christ, or circa 60 A.D.

“Oh, I am having an anxiety attack and all my mood-altering psychotropic drugs are gone I don’t know how I’ll get through the day until I can load up on drugs to remove me from reality!”

Try living, in reality, sometimes. Without the excess of booze or drugs. Or every other thing driven and devoted to in order to keep reality and real thinking entering your heart and mind.

Soft. Weak, Self-obsessed. Spoilt beyond comprehension. Whiners. Complainers. Refusing to ever pause for a moment to think how others may be suffering, pause to think what a day in the life 2,000 years ago was really like.

This leads me to what came next in my day today.

I had to leave my office and go do something else for about 15 minutes.

When I came back the article below appeared in one of the boxes on the home page of my computer.

God does work in the details, the small things in individual lives daily. In mysterious ways. If only we would be still, acknowledge and accept, believe, and then respond accordingly.

Read the article.

But I’ll give you not a spoiler alert, but the facts, the pure truth, reality — the study author, Blake Victor Kent, an assistant professor of sociology at Westmont College, says in the final paragraph;

“A lot of my research outside of this study is in attachment to God, which assesses the degree to which people perceive God as available, loving, and worthy of trust. I do wonder whether we’d see a difference if we could compare those who are securely versus insecurely attached to God.”

Here’s the truth. Which many won’t like to hear. Many will refuse to believe.

It doesn’t matter how religious, or highly religious an individual is, or how spiritual or highly spiritual they say or may appear to be. Or how faithful they may claim to be.

The Pharisees were the most religious of people.

Those in various hierarchies in various denominations appear to be among the most highly religious.

Satanists are religious and spiritual.

All pagans are religious and spiritual. Many are highly religious.

All faiths and beliefs outside of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Saviour, the only way to God the Father are religious, faithful, and spiritual.

All mainline Protestants, the Church of Rome, those within Judaism, and a growing number of those professing to be evangelical Christians appear to be very religious and spiritual.

But until and unless an individual is truly born anew, born again, renewed of mind and spirit by the Supernatural power of the Spirit of God, truly changed in heart and mind within, a true regeneration, a true transformation indescribable and impossible to be understood by those never experiencing such they can attend a church 27 times a day, read their holy book 22 hours a day, pray 97 hours a day, go through all the motions, practices, antics, sacraments, and so on and when trials, tribulations, sufferings, loss, pain, and the like arrives at their feet and in their lives — until and unless they have a SECURE relationship with God, with the Lord Jesus Christ, indwelt and knowing the Holy Spirit, knowing the Word of God and having it live in their hearts and minds it won’t matter how religious, or highly religious, or spiritual they may think they are, say they are, or appear that they are.

It’s all about only about one’s relationship with God, with Jesus, having Jesus be Lord of their life, knowing, believing, trusting the Holy Spirit, the whole Word of God, thus trusting God as Father, and Jesus as Saviour, Lord of lords, Lord of their life, and the truly born anew, made a new creature by faith and obedience, by submission, by having the Holy Spirit come to reside within them transforming them from the inside out they cannot know, will not know.

And if they are like Luther before it finally dawned on him what really mattered, and they live as a monk and do nothing but attempt to be religious or spiritual without this regeneration? This type of faith and belief? This true renewing of mind and spirit, this true rebirth?

It won’t matter.

COVID-19 will scare the dung outta them.

Almost everything that occurs in modern life scares the dung out of them.

Everything that happens that is fearful to the worldly, the ignorant in darkness, and those professing faith and being religious and spiritual without being truly born anew, truly changed from within, transformed by the Spirit of God — pain, economic hardship, illness, loss, wars and rumors of wars, and you name it that happens in this life — especially freaking out when their beloved and idolized politicians lose an election — they get a headache and they have to run to the medicine cabinet, their purse, the glovebox, and extract and swallow some pills because they can’t endure even a headache, yeah, suffering affects them in ways it will not affect an individual that knows that Jesus is Lord of their life, that has a certain Bible literacy and true deep unwavering faith in God’s Word, in God, an understanding of God not based on worldly manmade definitions of God, or how an individual creates God in their own mind, but how they come to know God FROM ALL OF THE BIBLE — understanding there is no Old Testament God and New Testament God, but One True God through all of eternity before the foundations of the world were establiblished and man thought from the beginning they could be on par with God.

Such foolishness.

And a worldly sociologist can’t study, can’t really know when it comes to faith, spirituality, and God.

Not unless that sociologist also happens to be a born again, truly born anew, renewed of mind and spirit new creature in Christ.

Can they?


Being made weak?

Trials and tribulations?

2 Corinthians 12

To the born anew disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, the truly faithful and obedient child of God all those only make one stronger, closer to God. Increasing one’s faith, understanding, and wisdom of what truly matters.

Stop thinking about being religious or spiritual and focus on being a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, a true child of God rather than a child of darkness and disobedience, a faithful servant of Christ having Him be Lord of your life, submitting, believing, and having the Holy Spirit transform from within, renewing the heart and mind to make a new man, a new woman, born anew as you die with Christ and rise with Him to immerse yourself in His Word asking daily, continually for increased faith, increased spiritual understanding and wisdom found within the Word of God not seeking or needing anything, anyone else.

Christ is sufficient in all things.

Including whatever pain, suffering, fears, trials, or tribulations that may come.

Whatever happens here, whatever happens to our physical bodies, any losses we incur are nothing — they can’t compare if they went on daily for a 1,000 years compared to what my feeble and limited mind knows about living eternally in heaven with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, with the apostles, prophets and all the heavenly hosts!

Take two chapters in the morning and drink in plenty of the life-giving water of God’s Word faithfully. And get plenty of peace and rest in the Lord.

Not fearing. Having hope and joy and eyes fixed on eternity. And turn off the news if it’s that upsetting to you. Anything broadcast on TV, no matter the source is massaged, edited, censored, and controlled rubbish anyway…designed to manipulate, cause fear and inflict doubt.

If your faith isn’t increasing in times of trouble, suffering, trials, and tribulation don’t blame God. Look in the mirror. It isn’t God leaving you. It’s something within you. You left God and do not trust Him because it’s you — not Him. Yes, even if that isn’t what we want to hear in this self-absorbed New Age dominated relativistic philosophy saturating all thought all institutions, all manner of things and people in this last of the last days.

Don’t blame God. For anything. Ever.

Look into your own heart and mind. The choices made. Don’t be like Adam pointing a finger and blaming Eve for his sin and choice made to turn from God to self and to the words of the devil. Look in the mirror and be ruthlessly honest.

Because if faith, spiritual growth, and spiritual maturity aren’t occurring in times of trouble, in pain, in suffering, in trials and tribulation it’s time to realize it’s you and the relationship you with have with God and all that religious activity, all that spirituality you thought you had and what was needed proves to not help…

….when what has been needed, what is needed, all that is needed is a TRULY SECURE relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, with God, with the Holy Spirit, and that only comes from a relationship with God’s Word.

And since few professed Christians actually read, study and meditate upon God’s Word, few really know God’s Word, and few believe what is in the Bible as they add to God’s Word or remove things from God’s Word to suit them, and they do not faithfully pray, and do not have a real relationship with the Lord it stands to reason how they shake, quake, tremble and fall when suffering, times of trials, loss, and tribulation arrive in their lives — no matter how highly religious or highly spiritual they may claim or appear to be!

Hallelujah and AMEN!

Ken Pullen, A CROOKED PATH, Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023


Highly religious people struggle the most with faith when they experience suffering, study finds


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

By PsyPost

Reprinted from PsyPost


Struggles related to spirituality and religion are commonly experienced in the face of suffering, according to new research published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Interestingly, this is particularly true among those with high religious engagement.

Highly religious people struggle the most with faith when they experience suffering, study finds

“I’ve worked in the area of religion and mental health my whole career and have often addressed questions about subjective perceptions of God,” said study author Blake Victor Kent, an assistant professor of sociology at Westmont College.

“I’m interested in the experience of one’s relationship with God, not just doctrines or beliefs about God. This study offered a new angle on that question by using a new measure on suffering to explore feelings of doubt, abandonment, and fear. I’m motivated to understand these kinds of things better so I can shed light on issues that are considered a little ‘out of bounds’ in some religious communities.”

The researchers examined data from a prospective longitudinal study that sought to examined how COVID-19 had impacted psychological and spiritual outcomes among adults with chronic disease. The study aimed to recruit a sample of individuals from the United States who were at least 18 years old, had at least one chronic illness, and matched the general U.S. population’s demographics on factors such as geographic region, gender, racial/ethnic status, and religious affiliation. Participants were recruited through Qualtrics Panels and completed a web-based survey up to five times.

For the current study, only the first three surveys were used, which were collected in September 2019 (T1), December 2019 (T2), and February 2020 (T3). All surveys contained the same set of measures, except that the T1 survey included various sociodemographic items. At T1, there were 1,036 participants in the sample. However, by T3, 734 participants had been lost to follow-up.

After conducting a statistical analysis of the collected data, Kent and his colleagues observed a positive association between suffering and religious/spiritual struggles 3 months later. In other words, those who agreed more strongly with statements such as “The intensity of what I have been experiencing feels intolerable” became more likely to feel like they had been punished by God, questioned God’s love, decided the devil was to blame, and/or questioned the power of God.

In addition, the association between suffering and subsequent religious/spiritual struggles was stronger among those with greater religious commitment and spiritual fortitude.

The results suggest that being more religiously committed (“My religious beliefs lie behind my whole approach to life”) and spiritually strong (“My faith helps push me to overcome difficult tasks in life”) could actually amplify the association between suffering and subsequent religious/spiritual struggles.

The findings came as a surprise, Kent said.

“I thought those who are the most religious would doubt the least when facing struggle because they would have developed a confidence that God will carry them through,” he told PsyPost. “These study participants were older and had a chronic illness, and I imagined they might have had time to forge a kind of confidence or religious grit. But it doesn’t actually look that way.”

However, Kent said the findings suggest that these kinds of struggles are commonplace among the faithful, and can even be a sign of spiritual growth.

“Religious believers sometimes hear messages about doubt and spiritual struggle being signals of weak faith,” Kent told PsyPost. “There’s this notion that people who are really religious and highly involved in faith activities will be able to weather challenging experiences with little to no struggle with doubt. But our study says pretty much the opposite: people who invest the most in God and religious activities struggle the most with faith when they experience suffering.”

“I’d like to see us normalize doubt and uncertainty, recognizing that these struggles are quite common in the face of suffering and hardship. Struggling spiritually is not bad or wrong.”

The researchers controlled for demographic factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious status, marital status, education, household income, geographic region, number of chronic health conditions along with psychological factors such as lifetime trauma exposure and depression. But the study, like all research, includes some caveats.

“The biggest thing for me is that this study isn’t able to assess the quality of respondents’ relationships with God. We analyzed questions about investment in religious activities and self-assessment of ability to grow through trials, but neither of those variables tells us whether or not people think God likes them, or is on their side, or is trustworthy,” Kent said.

“A lot of my research outside of this study is in attachment to God, which assesses the degree to which people perceive God as available, loving, and worthy of trust. I do wonder whether we’d see a difference if we could compare those who are securely versus insecurely attached to God.”

The study, “Do Religious/Spiritual Resources Moderate the Association Between Suffering and Religious/Spiritual Struggles? A Three-Wave Longitudinal Study of US Adults with Chronic Illness“, was authored by Blake Victor Kent, Richard G. Cowden, Victor Counted, Edward B. Davis, Sandra Y. Rueger, and Everett L. Worthington Jr.