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The Reason Why God Allows Suffering

Updated on January 31, 2019
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Dr. David Thiessen is an educator, writer, pastor, and speaker. He has authored several books on a variety of topics including Archaeology

Suffering is a Large Part of This World

This actually can go without saying. No person who has lived on this earth, save for young babies and children, can say they have not seen suffering take place on a daily basis.

One doesn’t even have to go to the news to see this suffering. It takes place in their own lives, as they walk to and from work, or go about their daily routines. Suffering is as much a part of this life as breathing.

George Carlin Got It Wrong

One of the more popular quotes made by Mr. Carlin was when he gave a description of the current condition of this world and the people in it. After he summed up his view in that quote, he said, ‘Is this the best God can do?’

Well God did not create poverty, torture, crime, hunger and more of what Mr. Carlin said. God provided everyone with food, water, a beautiful place to live, light, animals to keep us company and much more. After he made each one the Bible tells us, ‘and God saw that it was good’. Good here translates into perfect.

What Mr. Carlin observed and blamed God for were the condition of the world and every thing else after sin and corruption did and is doing its deadly destructive work. It was man who let those destructive forces in and allowed them to destroy the perfection that God created.

Don’t blame God for what he did not do. God did provide a way out but many people are blinded by sinful forces and reject that beautiful option.

Why Does God Allow Suffering

To answer this question, I turn to what Dr. Craig Blomberg wrote in his book From Pentecost to Patmos. It is probably the best answer possible that can be given on this topic. He wrote:

Second Peter provides the classic New testament answer to the problem of evil. Why does God delay in righting all the wrongs of the world?… he waits because the only way he can do away with all evil is to do away with this word as we know it, and that will mean an end to the opportunity for anyone more to be saved… (page 482)

The Bible tells us that God wants all men to be saved. He cannot achieve his goal or desire if he listens to all the prayers of those who want suffering to end. He cannot end suffering and leave life as it is.

The present world is corrupted by sin, the devil and his minions are still free to deceive, hurt, and destroy God’s creation and people still exercise their God-given ability of free choice to choose darkness over his life.

The world must end and God must bring in a new untainted heaven and earth after he destroys the current ones.

What Can We do

Given the nature of how this life is there actually is something we can do. First, if we love God, we understand his position and continue to bring the gospel to as many people as we can.

God’s plan of salvation is very inclusive and is open to people of all colors and nationalities. The only thing those people need to do is give up their sins, their false religious beliefs and accept Christ as their Savior.

Second, we must endure. God did not promise us a rose garden and said that evil men will multiply and do despicable things to their fellow human beings. We need to endure those torments looking to Jesus for support, endurance and encouragement. After all Jesus suffered as we did when he was on earth.

Jesus lost his father, Lazarus and others, etc., to the corruption of this world and he understands what we are going through.

Third, we must learn. We must learn the lessons that God wants us to know while we go through suffering. That way we can become better lights to the unchurch world and help them through their times of suffering.

We do not force them to sit through gospel messages before we help those who are trying to make it through their trials. We roll up our sleeves and get to work helping out as Christ would want.

Fourth, we pray. We continually ask God to block evil from doing more harm, for strength to help those in trials and for the resources to handle the situation and much more. We do not establish days of prayer or other public spiritual demonstrations.

Instead we do as the Bible says and go into our prayer closets and give our requests to God.

Finally, we understand. God will answer many of our prayers but we have to be ready for when he doesn’t and people still suffer and die. We can usually only see the surface of what is going on and must trust God and his actions because he sees the real situation as he looks on people’s hearts.

Understanding will help us help others through their difficult times. Plus, it will help us to avoid pat religious answers that annoy so many people who suffer some form of loss.

Some final Thoughts

We must come to the point of acceptance as well. Suffering is here to stay until God does away with evil and this world. We must accept that fact and then ask God to prepare us to handle those difficult times, as well as preparing us to help those enduring their trials.

Plus, we cannot lose hope or faith in God. He knows what he is doing and knows the best way to handle any given situation.

© 2019 David Thiessen

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