A Biblical View of Unjustified Suffering

A common question people ask or imply is that if God is just then how can He allow unjustified suffering to occur. There's unjustified suffering by design, that which is a byproduct of nature whether it be disease, natural disasters, or the like, or whether one be victimized by others intent on doing harm.

Slaver-owners (or employers) abuse of their slaves (or employees) is such an example. Yet the Bible says to the Christian, "Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.  For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God." 1Peter 2:18-20

The text goes on to equate that kind of unjustified suffering with that of Jesus, whose death atoned for sin. "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth;  who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness——by whose stripes you were healed." 1Peter 2:21-24

There are two parts to justice. One arm of justice punishes evil. The other arm demands compensation for victims of unjustified suffering. When a persons suffers unjustly God is OBLIGATED by His judicial nature to compensate that person for having suffered unjustly. Though, realize that He has all eternity to compensate victims. But this was the way that Jesus atoned for sin. By suffering as an innocent victim, Jesus earned compensation. And with that compensation paid for the sins of the world. In this way Christ died for sins.

So "those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." 1Peter 4:19

Those who practice this kind of meekness show that they believe God is just and that they will be compensated for their sufferings.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources