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

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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 Zechariah 13:9And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
American King James Version×

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 Romans 8:35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
American King James Version×
, 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 .

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  • Cathy M.

    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.

  • mimireco
    Well mine has lasted 69 years and still praying. I am very angry with God! My entire life gone down the drain and I am the only one in the family that had faith and believed in the Lord. Other family members dis-inherited me and mock me but they live very well.
  • rwp_47
    That’s the same question Jesus asked (in principle). Only he asked it this way … My God! My God! … why have you forsaken me? And then he died. To say he was hurting would be a colossal understatement. So why wasn’t he helped? Because it was for that very cause that he came into the world … its the reason he was born. To suffer and die. How can that be? Rev4:2 “…, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” This is the Father. Rev5:1 “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” What is this book? Its the future … the future that returns God’s kingdom to the earth and replaces Satan’s and creates the God Family … of which you may be a part. But there was a problem. A question is asked: Rev5:2 “… Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” Who is worthy to Captain this future? And the answer was … no one. That being the case you can kiss your life and your salvation goodbye. John wept over this. But - “… one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne … stood a Lamb as it had been slain. It was this same Jesus. He had to suffer and die to become worthy to open the book. He had to become the perfect captain. And before the suffering he experienced he wasn’t the perfect captain. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For - Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; You are one of those sons. And like him … you too have to be made perfect through sufferings. So when the correct answer for your best interests is to provide no help … then that’s the answer you get. And the result of you enduring those trials is sterling character and eternal life … as a very son of God … in the Kingdom of God that Jesus made possible … because he was willing to endure his trials. So embrace your pain in your trials … because it leads to eternal life.

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