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1) He allows sinful things to happen in a broad sense, giving us the liberty to express our sins, in which we would be judged accordingly, e.g., God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve, He allowed Satan to tempt David into taking a census of his army, He allows those who harden their hearts to do what they want (including divorce).
2) He allows things that are not righteous in nature, but they ultimately achieve His righteous purpose, because they perfect our faith or strengthen the church, e.g., God allows persecutions of Apostles and Christians, God handed Peter over to Satan (Luke 22), God refused to take away the thorns in Paul's flesh (2 Cor 12).
3) Last but not least, He allows things that is according to his will, reflecting his Holy nature.
Sufferings can be a direct result of sins committed by us in 1) or allowed by God in 2) to perfect our faith or of those people around us.
Reference: John McCarthur's lecture, Grace Community Church.About the author.
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