How Can God Really Be Good and Sovereign if He Lets Us Suffer?
"Is God "Powerful" enough to stop injustices then why HE doesn't do it and if HE is powerful enough but still doesn't do it then is HE kind enough?"
Based on Scripture and my experiences, I will break this question down into 3 parts:
Is God powerful enough to stop injustice?
Is God really good if He allows injustice?
Why does God allow suffering?
Is God powerful enough to stop injustice?
If you believe what is recorded in the Scriptures(Biblical), then you will also believe that there is a lot that God can do.
The Bible teaches that God created the Universe, and everything in it. Everything that is out there that is big, He created it. Everything within the big stuff, like molecules that we can't see with our eyes, He created it. People are all here for a purpose, and the purpose is His.
The Bible teaches that God did a lot of powerful things thousands of years ago. Some of these things are; freeing the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians, parting the Red Sea, parting the Jordan River, feeding the Israelites with Manna from heaven, enabling the Israelties to take over the Promised Land, defending the Israelites from horrendous attacks, curing the sick, raising the dead, calling people straight into heaven, among other things.
When Jesus Christ came here in the flesh, He did many similar things. Some of the things He did were; healing the sick, healing the physically impaired, feeding many with only a little, showing authority over the weather and nature, walking on water, turning water into wine, raising the dead, as well as other things.
God also does some powerful stuff that I like to call heart change. He did it with Saul about 2,000 years ago, who is also known as the apostle Paul. Saul used to hunt down Christians, torture them, and even kill some of them. He was a religious person, born in a religious family, and he believed he was doing what God wanted him to do. However, one day he found out that he was actually persecuting Jesus Christ when he was stopped by a blinding light on the road to Damascus. He was instantly changed from Christian killer, to a follower of Christ. The same thing happens to many today, and I believe that it is something that only God can do.
If God is powerful enough to do any of these things, then I have no doubt that He is powerful enough to stop injustice. In fact, I believe that sometimes He does stop injustice, but sometimes He does not, which leads us to the next question...
Is God really good if He allows injustice?
Women are abused and raped. Children are abused and molested. Children are hungry, sick, and dying. People are robbed of their things and their lives. People are hurting, people are suffering.
Where are you God? Why aren't you doing something about this?
First of all, do we always do what we are able to do when we have the chance to do it? It's okay, you can be honest. We don't. We like to point the finger at God, and then go back and live in our own little world(for the most part).
Secondly, I would say that God is doing something. I believe that He works through people. After all, He is spirit, and said that He would always be with us. People claim that they are working for God, or doing this or that for God. I really believe that He does do things through us. As the Bible says, we are His hands and feet. Everyone has skills and things that they can do, and everyone can do their part in this.
Lastly, we have the case of free will. There is always evil, and sin, and wrong choices because we have all been given free will. If God wanted to make some robots that would do only what He wanted them to do all of the time, then He could have done that. Instead, He chose to give people a choice, and He really wants us to choose Him and to love Him.
Does this solve the injustice question?
I'm sure it doesn't. However, the Bible teaches that God's ways are far above our ways, and I believe that He really knows better than I do. Sometimes we like to think that we can do a better job if we were in such a position, but we can hardly keep our own lives under control, let alone others.
The Bible tells us that God is the only judge, and that vengeance is up to Him. "Keep sharing the love, and I'll be with you, but leave that vengeance stuff up to Me."
Is God really good?
A lot of people like to blame God for suffering that is merely the consequences of their own actions. Others like to blame God just because there is suffering in the world. The fact is, there will always be suffering when we are able to choose between good and bad because we don't always choose the good. In fact, some people even like to choose the bad. Some people are quick to spread lies, steal, and shed innocent blood. God loves even those kinds of people, and He is even able to accomplish His good purposes through their actions, yet He will not force His way into their lives. He really wants us to choose Him.
God could end everything right now, but instead, He has a plan and I'm sure it's much better than any plan that I could come up with. He has been doing great things for us since the beginning of time, even though we have rejected Him time and time again. He continues to reach out to us, and love us no matter what we have done to Him. Oh yeah, He is really good.
How have we rejected Him?
Adam and Even first rejected Him in the Garden, and humanity has been spiraling downwards ever since. Which leads us to our final question...
Why does God allow suffering?
We all know that God allows suffering. He does. Everyone goes through suffering at some point in there life, some more than others. The thing is; we act as if suffering is just something that happens to us out of nowhere.
It all started way back when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of
Eden. They had choices to make back then, and almost every choice was
an excellent one; should I have pineapple today or Mango? Should I take
a swim in the river or not? Should I take a ride on that Giraffe? Now,
maybe those aren’t the exact choices that they had to make, but you can
imagine that they had some pretty amazing choices to make from day to
day. It was the Garden of Eden, and they were in direct fellowship with Almighty God!
There was one thing though that God told them they could not choose; fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. One bad choice in all of the Garden, and guess what; they made that choice. Satan, the one who deceives the whole world, tempted Eve to eat of that tree, and she did, and then Adam also ate of it. From that point on mankind became imperfect, turning from God mankind chose to do what should not be done. God then sent Adam and Eve out of the Garden with some consequences to bear:
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. -Genesis 3:16&17
I believe that these are direct consequences of a choice that should not have been made. Even parents have to discipline their kids when they make choices that are not right, and may even hurt them. The Bible says that Adam and Eve died at that point when they turned away from God, and to sin. This was a spiritual death, meaning that they were now separated from a holy God by a wall of sin. They were sent out of the Garden so that they could not eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in their imperfect state. They now would have to feel the burden of the land, and suffer physical death.
So that’s it? We suffer because of Adam and Eve’s choices?
That is how it started, but it has not stopped because mankind continues to make awful choices. The whole Bible records the bad choices that mankind has made throughout history, and it continues today. Mankind believes the lies of the enemy and constantly turns from the Creator God. Mankind constantly makes bad choices that lead to suffering of all sorts. God loves each of us unconditionally no matter what choices we make, but His love is not a pampering love. God’s love is a perfecting love. Sometimes when we go through suffering it’s for our own good, whether it is something that God wants us to learn, or the result of certain choices that we have made in our daily lives.
What about the children who suffer?
This is a difficult one for people to understand because no one
to see a child suffering. Here’s the thing though; we can do something!
It’s true! We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in this
fallen world. He wants to use us for His glory and His great purposes.
God loves His children, He said that the kingdom of God belongs to
them. We can help children who are suffering through various ways;
World Vision, International Justice Mission, other non-profit
organizations, we can pray, we can give of our time and finances, we
can spread the word, etc… We can do all sorts of things to put an end
to some kinds of suffering around the world. It starts with each
individual. If you’re so concerned about it, if it really bothers you
that much, then get to work; you can do something. You can make a
difference. If all of us who had enough, gave to those who did not have
enough, I believe that we could cure world hunger as well as other
We must also look at one other specific suffering, that being the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that He gave up His rightful place in heaven, and came to earth in the form of a man, and He did suffer, make no mistake. He was brutally beaten before even going to the cross, a beating that could have killed a man. He was nailed to the cross, and felt a separation from a holy God He had never known before, while the burden of our sins was placed on Him. He really did suffer, and He knew that it was all going to happen. At any point He could have let go of the burden, He could have called down angels from heaven to destroy the earth, but that was not the point. He suffered, and He did it for us. If you need to wonder about suffering, shouldn’t it be about His suffering?
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? -Romans 8:32
Jesus knew that He was going to suffer and die. God allowed His own Son to go through suffering and death, and in one of the most horrible ways that I could imagine. I know that if I wonder about suffering, it's about how He suffered for me.
One more point, is that this world is not all there is. Everyone suffers, everyone dies, and then we move on. Sometimes we focus on this life as if it were all there is, but I believe there is so much more to come, and the sufferings in this world will not compare to that which is to come, if they are even remembered at all.
I believe that God wants to make us perfect, and without suffering, and learning some things on our own, we just wouldn't ge there. I know it doesn't exactly explain away all of the suffering that goes on throughout the world, and I don't claim to have all the answers, or to be one of the wisest people on the face of the Earth, but I trust that God is always in control. Through what I have learned, and what I have experienced, I believe that God is in total control, and that nothing is impossible for Him.
Those are just some of the reasons why I believe what I believe. Sometimes we go through suffering based on our own actions, other times God wants us to go through suffering for a greater purpose, and for other cases of suffering, I just don't know. I'm perfectly happy not knowing all that there is to know. If I knew everything, then I would probably be like God, but I don't and am far from being like God.
Like I said before, there are a lot of things we can do while we are here to help prevent many kinds of suffering. We just have to choose to do it. Even if we don't, I believe that God is in control, and that this life is not all there is. It may not seem right, but I believe God knows very much what is going on, that He is good, and that whatever the big picture happens to be, it is something better than what I could come up with.
I'd like to thank Countrywomen for the request, as I love to write on subjects such as this, and it also helps me keep things in perspective and become more aware of what happens around me, and what I can do as an individual. Sorry I don't have all the answers, but hopefully this article will help in some way, shape, or form.
Be blessed, and be a blessing as well!
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