If God knows I'm hurting, why doesn't He help me?

Why is it that God allows us to endure extreme suffering, seemingly on our own? Is it possible that He doesn’t care or has given up on us?


In the midst of some of life’s more grievous trials, our mind often finds itself fixated on one seemingly unanswerable question:


When our lives begin to come apart at the seams or we’re faced with a pain that feels unbearable, it’s almost impossible to not ask why. We want to know why God would allow something this terrible to happen to anyone, especially if He is the loving God He claims to be.

It’s at times like these that it becomes more important than ever to understand God’s purpose for suffering. The prophet Zechariah was inspired to write of a time of great trials to come, when the human race will be subjected to suffering it can’t yet begin to comprehend. In that description, we find why God allows us to suffer:

“I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God’” (Zechariah:13:9).

God doesn’t enjoy letting us hurt. He is a loving God who wants the best for each of us. He allows trials and suffering to occur in our lives for one purpose only—because it’s sometimes through the difficulties and the pain that He can take and shape us into the best we can be.

There’s much more to be said on the subject, and you’ll find links to more detailed answers below. But the key is this: If you’re hurting, it’s not because God has given up on you. He loves you. He’s willing to be there every step of the way, if you’ll let Him. The apostle Paul—a man who had been shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, whipped, jailed and subjected to countless other torments—had this to write about the difficulties of this life:

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?… I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans:8:35, 38-39, New Living Translation).

God loves and cares deeply about you. No trial will ever change that.

For more understanding, please read our booklet, Why Does God Allow Suffering .

Cathy M.

Cathy M.'s picture

This subject is very personal to me. I suffer from a series of painful issues, from chronic migraines and fibromyalgia to joint ailments and TMJ, broken bones not set properly, and spinal issues that have degenerated over time. Those, plus injuries suffered in my youth have caused me to become disabled and, most days, leave me homebound.

I try to keep the suffering at a physical level because it can become a greater one if I allow it to affect my mind. This is where God's spirit enters the picture. Christ also suffered for us. He set the example, as did others in scripture. When we suffer, we actually share this experience with Him! Those who suffer patiently due to no fault of our own, we can become acceptable to God, for we grow in character. Our shared experience allows us to communicate with our Father in prayer and meditation on a deeper level, for we can start to relate on a greater level with more understanding. Our pain becomes a shared one. We begin to realize that we really do have an Advocate and a Mediator in Heaven; Christ really does know how we feel. We start our journey together, walking in agreement (Amos 3:3) because we can talk about it and our prayer for others who suffer takes on greater urgency, compassion and empathy for we walk in their shoes as we join their journey. No one walks alone. We can become Family.

Our physical bodies only temporarily house the real us. The purpose of our physical suffering is to reach upward and grasp the spiritual meaning of our existence. Seeing beyond the here and now is what got Christ through His torture and death, and He teaches us to do the same.

I read a wonderful book by ViKtor Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning" which describes his survival of unbearable suffering and loss as a survivor of Auschwitz and Berkenau. He found a deeper purpose, something spiritual and deeper beyond the present--there is always a future to live for. We, by the grace and mercy of God, know what that future is--and we are reminded that this physical suffering is temporary, no matter how it feels. It, too, shall pass. Living this belief is faith in action.

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