Bible Question:

My family is suffering from an inherited genetic disorder. Many times, I think this is a curse on the family! Why has the Lord forsaken our family? Please help me! This problem is too great for me.

Bible Answer:

Because a family carries an inherited disease of any kind, should they ask why has the Lord forsaken them? Should they just assume that is true?  My father had ALS, or Lou Gehring’s disease, and died because of it. The cause of ALS is unknown, but about ten percent of cases are believed to be inherited from their parents. Each one of us inherited our physical appearance from our parents, who inherited their appearances from their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. God has designed our reproductive systems to work that way. Some of us have inherited great physical strength but others have inherited poor health from our parents. Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Fuchs Dystrophy, and allergies, to name a only a few, run in families. This is the result of Adam’s sin. Sin entered the human race and disease has been only one of the results.

A very meaningful passage of scripture for me is Exodus 4:11. The verse records a statement that God made to Moses. In the verse God tells Moses that He (GOD) can help Moses speak. God gives His credentials for helping Moses.

The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (NASB) Exodus 4:11

God declares that He is the One who makes us deaf and unable to speak. He is also the One who allows a lot of other things to happen to us too! Sometimes God intervenes and heals us for His glory (John 11:4). On other occasions He allows us to suffer so that we might come to Him and discover that Jesus is God. Or, He might allow us to suffer so that we would remember not to sin (2 Cor. 12:7-10). For many of us, our diseases are due to sin in the human race. As we suffer through them, we will grow in grace and lean upon God for strength, help, and mercy. Apparently, God allowed the Apostle Paul to be ill so that he might preach to the Galatians. While we do not know the circumstances or why he had to be ill in order for this to occur, the following verse reveals that this is true.

. . . but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. (NASB) Galatians 4:13-14

Whatever God’s purpose might be, we need to submit. He is at work in our life. James 1:2-5 tells us that God allows trials into our lives to cause us to grow spiritually. In verse 5, He says that we can ask for wisdom so that we can understand the purpose of the trial. So, I would encourage you to ask God for wisdom that reveals the purpose.

Conclusion:

Suffering in this life is designed to increase our faith in God, if we are truly followers of Jesus Christ. That is the message of Romans 8:28. God does not promise that Christians will be free from suffering or illness because we are Christians. Disease has many purposes. God has allowed disease or illness for our spiritual good. God is more interested in your spiritual life, your spiritual eternity, than your immediate physical health. Let me encourage you to read a study called, “Mercy and Grace In Time of Need.” We trust that it will be a blessing.

Reference Links:

Surely God does not willfully cause suffering, does He?
Seeking God's Will
Why do bad things happen to God's people?
Choose To Be Blessed In Trials, part 1 - MP3
Choose To Be Blessed In Trials, part 2 - MP3
Choose To Be Blessed In Trials, part 3 - MP3