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How Can God Really Be Good and Sovereign if He Lets Us Suffer?

Updated on June 22, 2011

The Question

"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 wants 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 preventable illnesses.

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!

God allows suffering because...

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    • BobMonger profile image


      5 years ago from Carlin, Nevada USA

      Great hub, Dave. The world we live in is seriously flawed, but whose fault is that? Certainly not His! If EVERYONE followed His way these things would not be happening. The question is not "how does God allow this" it is "why do we?"

    • shelbymiles profile image

      Shelby Miles 

      7 years ago from Dallas, TX

      I'm a firm believer in that adversity makes you stronger. That is why we come to the Earth plane. We are here as spiritual beings living a human experience so we can grow and expand the lessons of our soul. Earth is the playground for the lessons. I speak about New Age adversity and how it is guiding us towards a deeper sense of self-enlightenment. Freewill allows the freedom of choice which draws in the lessons a soul needs for their growth. Great discussion!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Anyway you can rationalize the unknown to placate your tiny mind (tiny mind explained as not seeing things in a rational sense that you DO NOT KNOW- ITS ALL MADE UP!) is what a child does. You need to grow up and use a little rationalized science to explore your world instead of agreed upon lies and deceptive dogma. Very sad people feel this way....

    • C.V.Rajan profile image


      8 years ago from Kerala, India

      Very well analyzed and very lucidly written. You seem to have grasped the core of religion.

      Some of your lines were very striking: "His love is not a pampering love. God’s love is a perfecting love."

      "I'm perfectly happy not knowing all that there is to know. If I knew everything, then I would probably be like God..."



    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      9 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Hi Dave again. I wander why I could not vote any more. I would vote for: Other. God does not allow suffering because He loves us. To me it does not make sense. The suffering is the curse for not keeping the Law. We see it clearly in Deuteronomy 28. God is not double minded. God allows suffering because we allows. He gave us authority on the earth and He does not manage our earth. We do. Of course we leased it to Satan who is the prince of the world system. Devil cannot give suffering if we do not allow it. If we have right teaching we will learn how to protect ourselves.


    • daveearley profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Vladimir, thanks for your comments. 

      Sciantel, I agree; God wants us to love each other and Him as well, but He won't do it for us.  He wants us to choose, and to learn, and to do things on our own.  Thanks for commenting. 

      Countrywomen, I'm glad you enjoyed the article.  Thanks for the request and for commenting as well.  The world truly would be a better place if we could all stick to the quote wouldn't it? 

      Eovery, thanks for your comments.

      Happy World, thanks for your comments as well.  I understand your feelings.  The ego of humanity definitely tries to raise itself up to God's level.  Reconnecting with God is always a good plan. 

    • Happy World profile image

      Happy World 

      9 years ago from Slovenia, Europe

      Thank you Dave, beautiful and inspiring hub. I absolutely agree with every thing you said accept for Adam and Eve part. I see this part of the Bible more as the metaphor and believe that the root of suffering in the world is the ego. The part in us that arrogantly sat on God's throne and is making the mass that we can see in the world. And if we or let say our ego don't surrender to higher intelligence which is God, we will continue to suffer more and more till we reach our  bottom, where the ego will say:" I can't take it any more, I did all I could with my best intentions, but I failed. God if you exist please come and help me." That is how we reconnect with God our highest part. Now we are his hands and feeds through witch he will create heaven on Earth.

      This is how I see it :)

      You are a blessing...

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Good hope.  This is and has always been a good question. 

      I think the answer lays that he doesn't when he will stop the injustice.  If you look at this life to be just a blink in the time of eternity, and that in the eternal the injustice will get their reward/punishment and the one that had to suffer will be bless with blessing to great to imagine on earth.

      He loves us so much that he will not interfere with our free will.  But in the final judgment all rewards and punishments will be handled.   Why did God flood and kill the people in the time of Noah.  Why did he tell the Isrealites to kill all the people (men, women and children) of the midianates (Num 31:17-18). 

      Most of this suffering you see today are from the unrighteous doings of others, especially the country leaders.  At the judgment days, this leaders and evil doers will be held accountable for these actions.  These actions will beheld as testimonies against them, and possible will condemn them if they do not proper repent of the evils.

      I hope this help the understanding. 

      Keep on Hubbing!

    • countrywomen profile image


      9 years ago from Washington, USA

      Dave- Thanks for answering my request. I was really moved with the whole article and you do have a positive approach towards Christianity. I especially liked "Keep sharing the love, and I'll be with you, but leave that vengeance stuff up to Me."and wish it was practiced more often rather than being preached. 

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      God is Holy. I am glad He is. He won't always interfere unless it is His Will to because we all have a free will like you said. If He did it all for us how could we grow, and learn to be a holy people of His. learn to be kind and help out others if He does it all for us. He just put that on my heart to say.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      9 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Very good and truth.


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