It is true that our suffering can at times be the result of our own sin so that the solution to our suffering may indeed be to simply confess our sin, repent of it, and receive God’s gift of forgiveness. However, Allen (1958) offers a word of caution:
“I was in Miami for a series of services. Thousands of people were there on vacation seeking a good time. One night, while walking down one of the brightly lighted streets, I passed a Western Union office. It was deserted except for the clerk and one lady. She had a telegram in her hand and was crying her heart out. In a land of soft moonbeams and sea breezes, hearts can still be broken. Had that lady in Miami spoken to me, I might have said, “Suffering is caused by sin. You have not been living right and now God is punishing you. You should get on your knees and repent.”
I have said that to some and I have seen the forgiveness of God take away the pain and bring back a song into a heart. But many times that is not the answer” (Allen, 1958, p. 97).
Allen, C. L. (1958). All things are possible through prayer. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell