If there is a God, why does He allow suffering?

At work this discussion has been had on more than one occasion and on social media with friends who question the validity of God. One question that often comes up is “If there is a loving God, why does He stand back and do nothing while the world is full of suffering?” 

We live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people. This is the root cause of all suffering. The Bible tells us why there is this imperfection and what has been done to remove it in the future.  Suffering can be a reminder that we should think about why our world is not perfect. Don’t get us wrong we have sympathy for those who suffer greatly and want to do what we can to help. Suffering in our own lives can be a big problem. 

We cause suffering and pain to ourselves in many ways. We may burn ourselves on a hot object, bruise our hand by hitting it with something or strain a muscle by lifting a heavy object. This suffering is helpful, it tells us not to do it again! Next time we are in a similar situation, we remember the pain and act appropriately. Pain is a warning that things are not right. We must stop and think about the problem. 

Many of us are willing to do things which we know could involve suffering if things go wrong. Do we consider the risks before we do them?   Many of us travel in cars, knowing of the suffering that could occur. Like suffering caused by minor injuries, the risk of suffering from accidents sometimes makes us stop and think about what we are going to do.Many of us suffer as a direct result of the sort of life we choose to lead. In some countries, cigarettes carry a health warning, yet how many people ignore the warning and suffer the consequences later! 

Some of us choose to eat too much of the wrong kinds of food and become overweight, with the increasing risk of heart disease and diabetes. Because of immorality, AIDS is another problem that humanity has inflicted on itself. All of these problems are warnings that we are abusing our bodies. 

If we trust what the Bible tells us, we can be assured that one day suffering will end. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ will come back to the earth to eventually remove all of our world’s imperfections, including pain and death. Some examples of comforting messages that the Bible can give us are as follows: 

Isaiah chapter 25 verse 8:  “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 

Revelation chapter 21 verses 3 & 4:  “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’”   

Romans chapter 8 verse 18:  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” 

God reveals to us through His Word, the Bible, that we can be of good “cheer,” that we can rejoice in our problems because God will use them to our benefit. In the book of Romans chapter 5 and verses 3 & 4 we read: “Knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope”. 

We can see our “worries” as an opportunity to practice. Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 & 6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” 

So, each day, taking one step at a time, we should pray for God’s Word to guide us, read or listen to God’s Word, and meditate on God’s Word when the problems, worries, and anxieties of life come along. The secret to giving things over to Christ is really no secret at all—it’s simply asking Jesus to take our burdens and he will be our Saviour, as well as submitting to Jesus as our Lord in day-to-day living.

God is bigger than any of our problems. As we commit our lives to God and seek to live a life of responsive, humble obedience despite the suffering and sorrow this life can bring, we can look forward to eternal life in a world without it. You too can be part of this plan. 

Reach out to us we are here to listen. You don’t have to study alone either – we have bible study groups that you can join, or one to one support is available. We can provide you with a Bible if you do not have one, there are plenty of blogs on this website to encourage you and we have literature available. We have online learning too.  

We would love to hear from you; reach out to any of us. Ask us how you too can be part of the kingdom on earth by God’s grace. 

Article by Sair. Photo by Lisa Summers (pexels.com).

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