Why do people get cancer? Why do the innocent suffer? Why do hard things come into the lives of those who are doing so much good?

It’s true that good things often happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. These are difficult realities that cannot be easily understood.

But God understands, and He’s promised that there will come a time when all human pain will be ended (Revelation 21:4). As His children, all believers in Jesus are destined to receive new, glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-43).

So what about today? God has answered the problem of human suffering by coming as Immanuel—God with us.

He came. He stepped into our world and into our suffering. And He did so in a real, tangible manner through Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, and resurrection on earth. Jesus’ hands touched the leper (Mark 1:41). His eyes rested on the bereaved widow at Nain (Luke 7:11-17). These examples reveal that God hurts when His people hurt.

He wept (John 11:35). Jesus delayed coming to His friends’ house even though He knew Lazarus was very sick. But then He raised Lazarus back to life. God can intervene and heal immediately, but He chooses to do His work at a time when it will do us the most good and bring Him the most glory. But all the while, He cares and is sympathetic to our pain.

He died and rose again. Dying, Jesus paid the price for sin and opened heaven to us; rising, He transformed death from a hole into a door, from an end into a beginning.

In our darkest hours, instead of speculating on the “why,” may we fix our eyes on Jesus. He knows our pain. He hurts with us. He has provided the hope we need. We have a living hope in Christ Jesus our Savior!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Daniel 2:25-49