Can a Good God Bring Pain?

Do you believe that God can author pain or suffering in your life for your good? Could affliction, from a larger, longer perspective, be a carefully, lovingly chosen method for blessing? Some say absolutely not. If our heavenly Father brings pain, he would be an abusive parent. And so they are offended by statements like this:

Suffering is one of the great instruments in God’s hands to continue to reveal to us our dependence on him and our hope in him. God is good to give us the greatest gift he can give us, which is more of himself, and he’s good however he chooses to deliver that gift.

For some facing excruciating pain or loss, they're some of the sweetest words they've ever heard. For others, the same vision of God makes them sick to their stomach.

At least part of the problem is how this vision of God's goodness in bringing suffering is often presented. Sadly, some of us have been guilty of entering a painful situation, rattling off Romans 8:28, and expecting everyone to feel better. Romans 8:28 is a beautiful promise, but it can also feel like a blunt sledgehammer to people who are hurting and don’t yet understand quite what God is doing in their pain, even if they believe Romans 8:28 with all their hearts.

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