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Why Has God Allowed Suffering?
The Truth About God's Plan For Mankind
It's time we touched on a subject that has become more and more of concern to people both Christians and those who simply do believe and want to believe that there is a God: Why do we suffer so much?
The world has gone mad; that is the belief of many people. Hate, corruption, violence, and an overall "me-first" attitude has cast a pall over the entire planet to the point where there is a total feeling of despair among the masses. Hopelessness and desperation has led many to thoughts (and acts) of violence and even suicide. Basically, there seems to be no escape, no light at the end of the tunnel as it were; no hope. Is there any relief on the horizon? Is there hope for mankind? If God is so loving and magnanimous, why does He allow so much bad to proliferate worldwide? Are we all doomed?
To get the answers to all our questions we must first get a true understanding of God and God's purpose for man; and the history thereof. Let's start by consulting his word the bible...
Turn if you will to Genesis chapter one-Throughout chapter one of Genesis we see the great detail and work God went through in creating the Earth; we know of these things He created: night, day, the sea, stars, planets thereabout, the animals and vegetation. We also know that all these things provide a service as it were, or perform a function, be it lighting our way, providing sustenance, regeneration of our air, and even our amusement and curiosity were all supplied by way of these creations. Next, as verse 28 tells us; God "Blessed" man and gave them authority over all that was and is upon the earth. God even told man to: "Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it...".
Notice that through all of his work of creation and then instruction to man, there was no mention by God of impending suffering or destruction. But He did say one thing to man' He created many trees in the garden of Eden that were good to look at as well as to provide food; but He also planted two other trees: the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and bad. These two trees He gave specific purpose and instruction concerning. The tree of life was there to provide everlasting life, a regeneration tree as it were. Eating from the tree of life would would assure immortality as it renewed the flesh and all it's components. But the tree of knowledge of good and bad placed there in the garden served a different purpose; it served as a reminder of the need for obedience, of one's need for God to provide and decide what's best for man. That tree, the tree of knowledge of good and bad was a symbol of God's authority, his rightful sovereignty over man and was placed there for man to willingly accept that sovereignty...or not. Yes, God granted man free will.
Again, in placing the trees in the garden God did not mention any "plan" to make man suffer; but He did make this one statement:"...but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day that you eat from it you will positively die."
From that point we all basically know the story. The serpent, Eve, Adam, and the eating of that forbidden fruit which led to their being subsequently expelled from the garden of Eden. To that point they did in effect "die" as they were no longer granted access to the life-sustaining tree of life. Without that tree's fruit man was prevented from partaking of the regenerating of his body; denied access to the source of their immortality(perfection), man's body began to slowly degenerate and deteriorate. Scars took longer to heal and did not heal evenly or smooth, pain became a factor such as in childbirth, bumps, bruises, even headaches came into existence; all the things we suffer even now. With this came the degeneration of the human brain and thought process too. Think about this: are we more advanced now at this point in history, or were they who were much closer to perfection and had deteriorated far less than we more advanced? From a brain that used 100% of it's capacity to where we now used less than one third of a third of our brain's capacity! Food for thought.
Yes, the tree of life would have prevented all of that which was only the beginning of our suffering. Look at verse 22 of chapter three in Genesis:" and the Lord said, behold, the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken...". God went on to post mighty angels, Cherubims, and a flaming sword to block entry back into the garden of Eden preventing man from getting to the tree of life(verse 24). This left man without any way of obtaining the fruit that gives immortality. This also suggests that the tree of life still exists; a topic for another discussion.
No where in those verses was it mentioned that God intended for man to suffer the things that we do today. He did mention that man would suffer however due to their act of rebellion and that is found in verses 17-19. But there is also something discussed there in Genesis that can give us insight into what's going on now. Chapter three verse 14:"...and the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou has done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thy go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life; and I shall put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise his heel...". This is actually a prophesy, the very first of the bible; it is the foretelling of how God planned to remedy what had transpired there in the garden of Eden.
Yes, even then, right away God knew the remedy and solution! He informed the perpetrator of the rebellion, Satan of his plan and also Satan's own fate. From here allow me to point out something often overlooked: God still loved man; he lovingly and with foresight not only allowed them to keep existing and produce offspring; but He also (verse 21) "Made them coats of skins, and clothed them..."; yes he provided protective clothing for them which would involve allowing Adam the knowledge of where the materials came from in order to produce more on his own. Even in the face of their rebellion against him did God still maintain the role of a loving parent! Question: Does this sound like an unloving God who does not care for our well being? When our own children come to the place where they no longer want to abide by our rules and must leave our home, do we not still worry after them and even give them a few dollars, household items, and more?
This brings us to a deeper realization: Satan was actually a "Son of God"! He was once called "Beautiful", in heaven actually', and held a very powerful position, number three just below Jesus who was number two in heaven. (Zechariah 3:1, Job 1:6) But Satan eschewed his position out of jealously and a rebellious mien. But again, God, Jehovah, is indeed a loving parent. He had to have had love for Satan when he was in heaven; and thus when Satan set forth to challenge the rightfulness of god's rule, Jehovah basically said:"Prove your point". No, there is no place in the bible that expressly says this; but consider this: when Satan questioned whether Job would remain faithful after losing everything that god had provided, did not God allow him to "Prove his Point"? Then too, in the book of Revelation does it not state that:"After the thousand years reign of Christ has ended, Satan will be loosed for a little season..."; some translations say "For a little while"; either way we know that he will be set free to again "Prove his point", only this time there will be according to the bible, a earth filled with "New Adams" as it were, people who were given access to perfection once again, people given the very same chance that Adam had: to be perfect and choose for themselves!
Looking at this, we see that Jehovah is not only complete in his judgment and justice, but replete to a fault. He will go the extra length it takes to prove that there are and will be those on earth who are willing to fully submit to his rule and remain loyal just as Adam should have. It is not God's fault that we suffer and die; no, that blame falls to Adam and Satan for his part. But in the meantime, there are millions born who suffer and die; many suffer extreme hardship, torture, violent deaths, debilitating and distressingly painful illness, and more. Does this mean that God doesn't care? NO! Just think, He is waiting for the right and pre-set time to act on behalf of mankind. The limit of time He has set for Satan to wreak havoc in an effort to prove his point in this phase of human development. As we see, Satan will stoop to any level in order to cause grief and chaos, but he has yet to really prove anything but that we do in fact need God's guidance, protection, and instruction! 2Peter 3:9 says: "God is not slow respecting his promise, as some people consider slowness, but He is patient with you because He does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance...".
What is being said here is that God is allowing YOU to get your act together right now! He is allowing you time to stop living life the way YOU see it should be led and start recognizing that He has a better way; one that will benefit you and your loved ones, and also give you opportunity to reunite even with loved ones lost in death and returned in the resurrection! Oh how wonderfully merciful and gracious is He! Think about it, if you start obeying and following Jehovah's ways you will be given the chance to live forever and be perfect here on earth as He originally purposed for man to do. if you do not repent and change over to his way, you will be forever destroyed just like Adam and Eve.Truth Is...
Why should you believe there will be a resurrection to life here on earth? Don't they teach you in church that everyone of God goes to heaven? Well let's compare what they teach in church to what God's word the bible says: turn to Psalms 37:29 where it tells us that the righteous will possess the earth!, Then there's Ecclesiastes 1:4 where it says the earth will stand forever and to time indefinite. next, Psalms 117:16 says:"The heaven, even the heavens, are the lord's; but the earth he hath given to the children of men..." Isaiah 45:18, let's read that:"For thus saith the Lord created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it, He hath established it, he created it not in vain, he created it to be inhabited...". Ok, so we see GOD saying that He created the earth with a purpose, the very same purpose He told Adam and Eve in Genesis, and He established it, meaning it is not meant to be a temporary thing, nor is it a "farm" to cultivate candidates for heaven as they basically want you to believe in church. "The Meek shall inherit the earth". Does not the bible say this? (Matthew 5:5) Isaiah 54:8-11 tells us that God's word will not go out and then return to him unfulfilled. It's a matter of who you choose to believe, the church or GOD! If the church is not teaching you these things that you have just read from GOD'S WORD yourself...leave that church! We Are told to "flee Babylon" in the final days are we not?
So what about all the suffering Truth Is...? Well, when God prophesied and promised back in the Garden of Eden to remedy th problem Adam, Eve, and Satan brought about, He knew it would take what amounts to no time for him, but to us ages. Remember2 Peter 3:8 says that " a day with the Lord(Jehovah) is as a thousand years...". This would be in keeping with what He told Adam, that in the very day that he would eat the forbidden fruit in that very day he would die. Adam did not live 1,00 years' he live 930 years. Theoretically he died in that "same day". Along these lines, God is not slow(2Peter 3:9) but He is actually giving Satan a "couple of days to prove his point. In the meantime He is trying to allow as many as possible here on earth to show they are worthy of the sacrifice he makes on our behalf to save us from sin and death Did He not "give his only begotten son..."? Don't you think that was painful for him to watch. But Jesus in his loyalty obeyed; also out of equally loving us, his brothers and sisters. We truly are in very good hands who trust in the Lord!
Just think about it, if God would have acted long ago, we wouldn't have had the chance we do now, to repent and to draw closer to Jehovah in a stronger relationship. Our children, family and friends would not be afforded the same opportunity. It is not something so terrible when you realize that when on earth Jesus performed miracles of healing and resurrections to demonstrate clearly that there will be a rewarding of life and another chance in the future for those who innocently suffered. It is indeed a grand plan God has! We just have to learn to TRUST his judgment as Adam and Eve failed to.
In essence, the suffering is a consequence, but not a finality, nor is it a punishment. It is the result of sin which Adam introduced into our lives; and the only relief be it now or in the future kingdom can and will only come from God himself. To put it into simpler terms, He's going to make-it up to us or make it better rather, as He is not the cause of it. James 1:13 says:"let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of god; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man..."
What this says is that God doesn't use evil against us as He is not of evilness. When people say:" God put me in jail to slow me down...", or "God took them"(in death); it is not the truth. Verse 14 of James says it:"...But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed..."
This means that it is our decision(s), action, attitudes, and behaviors, desires, and leanings that bring about the things that beset us or those very same things in others that cause innocents to suffer. it lies with man, not God. he has the remedy, but He will only serve it at the optimum time, just as He does with his blessings, and judgments. Jehovah is an orderly God indeed!
So if you wonder why we suffer, realize that there will be relief, and that should give encouragement to align yourself with God in order to reap the benefit and reality of that relief when it does come. The greatest thing about that relief is that regardless of whether we are alive, or fall in death between now and the time that it is administered, it STILL will be there for us! There is no more powerful reason to walk closely and even closer with Jehovah God! As I always and repeatedly say, now matter how close you may think you are to God and no matter how good a relationship you feel you have with him, you have not been called "friend" as Abraham was, so that means you can get a lot closer!
This brings us to the end of another discussion signaling that yes, there must be a part two: "God's Plan for mankind: The Truth About Going to Heaven"...
Until then...Pray Anyway!