Why does God allow pain, suffering and evil to exist?

I don’t like to be called religious; because I am no better than you. In fact, you are probably better than I will ever be. However, I do love my God and strive to live the life He planned for me. So when God is blamed for all the evil in the world, I have to respond. Don’t blame God.



It’s my fault.



Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God





Before you cast the first stone, look in a mirror, because it’s your fault too.

Every single one of us is to blame. It is our choice. God told us how to live a life without pain and suffering. (That’s what all those rules are for in the Bible.) Then he gave us the freedom to choose if we were going to follow them or not. We don’t; we can’t. We all make choices that hurt ourselves or other people and we have all been hurt as the result of other people’s choices. Pain and suffering is the cost of our freedom.

Joshua 25:15 – “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…”

Romans 5:12 – "Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, (Adam) and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-“

We each have the ability to choose how we live our lives. God does not force us to believe in Him and he doesn’t force us to obey Him. It is up to us to decide what we do with our lives. We decide how we react to the people and circumstances we are faced with. This is an awesome gift, but it comes with a price: sin. We all make choices that go against God’s will for us, resulting in sin. And with sin, comes pain and death. Our choices have consequences. They affect other people, they affect the world around us and they affect our inner being. This has been going on since the beginning of time. Adam’s choice to willingly disobey God planted the seeds of evil in all of us. The world was never the same. But don’t be too hard on Adam. Given the right set of circumstances, it would have been any of us.

Ps. 51:5 – “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

Psalms 5:4 – 6 – “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.”

Romans 8:18-22 – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (20) For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”


The world is steeped in sin, crippled by it. Sin infiltrates everything, it’s in our very core. We pass it on to our children; even nature is affected by it. The earth groans under the burden of sin we have put upon it. This wasn’t the way it was meant to be, but God had to allow it in order to give us the gift of free will. In fact, God hates sin. It breaks His heart to see us live in so much pain and suffering. We live in a fallen world, a world of sickness and suffering where we are surrounded by evil. But don’t blame God for it, our freedom is precious; we wouldn’t have it any other way.


Rev 21:1 – Then I was a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”) (Rev. 21:4- “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Isaiah 25:8- “He will swallow up death forever. The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he wil remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth.”

Romans 12:19-“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: :It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”


This does not mean that God is powerless, unable to fix the world. The day will come when He will fix it all and we will live in perfect peace and harmony. Until then, He demonstrates his great power by using our painful circumstances to make us stronger, more mature. He uses our trials to show us His love, to teach us, to bring us closer to Him. Don’t worry, God sees what the evil man does. He will get His revenge on the wicked; in time they always pay. We can trust that He is in control and nothing will happen to us that He doesn’t know about and have a plan for.


Deuteronomy 31 : 6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid of terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Psalms 118:5 – 7 –“In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper.”

Hebrews 13:5,6 – “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”


God has not deserted us. He is there when we are overwhelmed with our pain. He cares about our suffering. He loves us in spite of our sin. Jesus died for us so our sins could be forgiven. If we accept that, He promises that He not leave us but will help us face anything we are going through. He promises to give us the wisdom and strength we need to grow in our faith.


So if your heart breaks when you see the world is not fair, when the innocent die and the evil man wins, know that God’s heart breaks too. When a baby is born diseased, and children starve in the streets, God cares about them all. When the tornado sweeps through the city and the tsunami crashes over the island, God is still there. God loves us dearly and wants us to love Him too. But it wouldn’t be love, if we didn’t have a choice. Unfortunately many chose to reject God and live life for themselves, regardless of the hurt they cause others. That is why there is so much pain and suffering and evil in the world.


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Comments 15 comments

Rosalinem profile image

Rosalinem 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Very true, the free will that we have been given once we abuse it then the consequences. Voted up and awesome


cadebe profile image

cadebe 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing this hub regarding free will and its consequences. I also voted up, awesome and beautiful.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Acts of God like the recent 8.6 earthquake is your fault.

Ironic that events of destruction are so aptly put as Acts of God.

A God that can kill is not a God to worship, just one to fear.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Welcome Rosalinem. Thank you for your encouraging comments and vote of confidence!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

You are welcome Cadebe, I am glad you stopped by and appreciated my hub!


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you Ib Radmasters, I appreciate the time you took to read and leave comments on my hub. I have thought about them carefully. I believe it is always good to consider a different point of view. I hope you don't mind if I comment on your comments!

I was taught in school that the phrase "act of God" was simply an acknowledgement that something has happened that is out of human control, regardless of if you believe in God or not. I have heard it used equally by Athiests and Christians in reference to both amazingly good and disasterously bad events. So I don't think it is a literal indication of someone's beliefs.

At one time, natural disasters such as earthquakes were considered the acts of unconcerned gods, such as Atlas shrugging or Namazu flipping over. But today, science has taught us the truth of how earthquakes occur.

While I do believe that God has the power to cause the earth to quake if He wants, I think that in most cases they are the natural consequence of how the earth is made.

However, if you do believe that the evil in this world has the power to affect nature and influence our earth, then I must admit that I add to that evil with my own sins, and would bear a part of the responsibility along with everyone else.

You are right, the power of God is something to be feared and respected. If He did not love us, and wanted to kill us the first time we did something He didn't like, He could. Fortunately, He doesn't. He gives us the choice to decide if we want to get to know Him or not. He will let us live our lives on our own if we want.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to further define my beliefs ib radmasters. Next time I will visit you!


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

April

Thanks for the alternative opinion on this subject.

According to Genesis the Biblical God created this world. So when we look at the world and the universe we have to attribute both the Good and the Bad to that God.

The Bible also says that God created Evil, and that doesn't make sense.

So my opinion is that according to the bible, if I were to believe in it, then I would also have to believe that God created a defective Earth, and Universe, as well as defective Angels and humans. If God didn't create the Evil, then mankind and Angels would not have Evil or Evil Traits.

That is my view, and I see no reason to change it, and I won't try to change your view. Again I do appreciate your efforts to present your point of view.

Thanks.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Good Morning ib radmasters, thank you for your comments!

It was not my intent to change your mind. Since I do believe God gave us all the freedom to choose what we believe, then I have no right to take away that choice from anyone else.

Of course I do agree that God allows evil to exist, and that it all cycles back to our freedom of choice. But I am still able to believe He loves us.

Enjoy your day!


ParadigmEnacted profile image

ParadigmEnacted 3 years ago

People will never stop engaging this circular argument, not that I'm faulting you for mentioning it. You're right that God allows humans to do what they want, and it's out of free will that humans have chosen each other and this world over him. So unless they come to him and open a dialogue with him, they get what they get.

Since it is humans that have chosen to operate in this world out of free will, they are the ones that allow suffering and evil to prevail, not a God that may or may not exist. Humans know what it will take to make things better, but they don't, because none of it appeals to them until they hit bottom.

I don't subscribe to any particular religious rituals myself, and I feel that the Bible was written by man not God, but the scriptures certainly portray the nature of man accurately.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Thank you for your visit and your insight Paradigm. I appreciate your willingness to stop and read a hub on a tired subject. It was written in answer to a friend. Have a great day!


ParadigmEnacted profile image

ParadigmEnacted 3 years ago

This was well written and stands out from a lot of others that touch upon this topic with the outstanding number of texts from the Bible which help make your point and your addressing the fact that others should have accountability. You summed it up. Many other hubs feature a lot of whining and subjectivity, so I just wanted to clarify that yours really stood out.


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 3 years ago from Arizona Author

Wow, thank you, that means a lot to me. I was afraid it came across as a bit harsh. I am glad it stands apart from the whining. Have a good night!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

It is always interesting to note that non believers who blame God for suffering are indirectly admitting He exists.

I call this ironic logic the "blame god paradox".


April Reynolds profile image

April Reynolds 2 years ago from Arizona Author

I agree Ozinato, I know some devout atheists who are pretty angry at the God they don't believe exists. Even for them, he makes an easy scapegoat.

Thank you for your visit, I appreciate the comment.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

April

thanks

I note that many atheists are starting to delete my comments on other hubs regarding the "blame god paradox".

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