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Why Has God Allowed Suffering?

Updated on May 27, 2014

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!

Truth Is...


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    • daledad8 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from pittsburgh

      Mr. Kane, is that a comment or a hub you've posted?

    • profile image

      Errol Kane 

      8 years ago

      Why Does God Allow Suffering?

      Has God caused the suffering in the world?

      What issue was raised in the garden of Eden?

      How will God undo the effects of human suffering?

      AFTER a terrible battle in one war-torn land, the thousands of civilian women and children who had been killed were buried in a mass grave surrounded by markers. Each marker bore this inscription: “Why?” Sometimes that is the most painful question of all. People ask it sadly when war, disaster, disease, or crime takes their innocent loved ones, destroys their home, or brings them untold suffering in other ways. They want to know why such tragedies befall them.

      Why does God allow suffering? If Jehovah God is all-powerful, loving, wise, and just, why is the world so full of hatred and injustice? Have you ever wondered about these things yourself?

      Is it wrong to ask why God allows suffering? Some worry that asking such a question means that they do not have enough faith or that they are showing disrespect for God. When reading the Bible, however, you will find that faithful, God-fearing people had similar questions. For example, the prophet Habakkuk asked Jehovah: “Why is it that you make me see what is hurtful, and you keep looking upon mere trouble? And why are despoiling and violence in front of me, and why does quarreling occur, and why is strife carried?”—Habakkuk 1:3.

      Did Jehovah scold the faithful prophet Habakkuk for asking such questions? No. Instead, God included Habakkuk’s sincere words in the inspired Bible record. God also helped him to get a clearer understanding of matters and to gain greater faith. Jehovah wants to do the same for you. Remember, the Bible teaches that “he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) God hates wickedness and the suffering it causes far more than any human does. (Isaiah 55:8, 9) Why, then, is there so much suffering in the world?


      People of various religions have gone to their religious leaders and teachers to ask why there is so much suffering. Often, the response is that suffering is God’s will and that he long ago determined everything that would ever happen, including tragic events. Many are told that God’s ways are mysterious or that he brings death upon people—even children—so that he can have them in heaven with him. However, though, Jehovah God never causes what is bad. The Bible says: “Far be it from the true God to act wickedly, and the Almighty to act unjustly!” Job 34:10.

      Do you know why people make the mistake of blaming God for all the suffering in the world? In many cases, they blame Almighty God because they think that he is the real ruler of this world. They do not know a simple but important truth that the Bible teaches. The real ruler of this world is Satan the Devil. (A topic for another Hub to come soon)

      The Bible clearly states: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) When you think about it, does that not make sense? This world reflects the personality of the invisible spirit creature who is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Revelation 12:9) Satan is hateful, deceptive, and cruel. So the world, under his influence, is full of hatred, deceit, and cruelty. That is one reason why there is so much suffering.

      A second reason why there is so much suffering is that, mankind has been imperfect and sinful ever since the rebellion in the garden of Eden. (Another Topic that will appear soon on a Hub) Sinful humans tend to struggle for dominance, and this results in wars, oppression, and suffering. (Ecclesiastes 4:1; 8:9) A third reason for suffering is “time and unforeseen occurrence.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) In a world without Jehovah as a protective Ruler, people may suffer because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      It is comforting for us to know that God does not cause suffering. He is not responsible for the wars, the crimes, the oppression, or even the natural disasters that cause people to suffer. Still, we need to know, Why does Jehovah allow all this suffering? If he is the Almighty, he has the power to stop it. Why, then, does he hold back? The loving God must have a good reason. 1 John 4:8.


      To find out why God allows suffering, we need to think back to the time when suffering began. When Satan led Adam and Eve into disobeying Jehovah, an important question was raised. Satan did not call into question Jehovah’s power. Even Satan knows that there is no limit to Jehovah’s power. Rather, Satan questioned Jehovah’s right to rule. By calling God a liar who withholds good from his subjects, Satan charged that Jehovah is a bad ruler. (Genesis 3:2-5) Satan implied that mankind would be better off without God’s rulership. This was an attack on Jehovah’s sovereignty, his right to rule.

      Adam and Eve rebelled against Jehovah. In effect, they said: “We do not need Jehovah as our Ruler. We can decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.” How could Jehovah settle that issue? How could he teach all intelligent creatures that the rebels were wrong and that his way truly is best? Someone might say that God should simply have destroyed the rebels and made a fresh start. But Jehovah had stated his purpose to fill the earth with the offspring of Adam and Eve, and he wanted them to live in an earthly paradise. (Genesis 1:28) Jehovah always fulfills his purposes. (Isaiah 55:10, 11) Besides that, getting rid of the rebels in Eden would not have answered the question that had been raised regarding Jehovah’s right to rule.

      Let us consider an illustration. I'm sure, just about all of us had one of these students in our class. Imagine that a teacher is telling his students how to solve a difficult problem. A clever but rebellious student claims that the teacher’s way of solving the problem is wrong. Implying that the teacher is not capable, this rebel insists that he knows a much better way to solve the problem. Some students think that he is right, and they also become rebellious. What should the teacher do? If he throws the rebels out of the class, what will be the effect on the other students? Will they not believe that their fellow student and those who joined him are right? All the other students in the class might lose respect for the teacher, thinking that he is afraid of being proved wrong. But suppose that the teacher allows the rebel to show the class how he would solve the problem.

      Jehovah has done something similar to what the teacher does. Remember that the rebels in Eden were not the only ones involved. Millions of angels were watching. (Job 38:7; Daniel 7:10) How Jehovah handled the rebellion would greatly affect all those angels and eventually all intelligent creation. So, what has Jehovah done? He has allowed Satan to show how he would rule mankind. God has also allowed humans to govern themselves under Satan’s guidance.

      The teacher in our illustration knows that the rebel and the students on his side are wrong. But he also knows that allowing them the opportunity to try to prove their point will benefit the whole class. When the rebels fail, all honest students will see that the teacher is the only one qualified to lead the class. They will understand why the teacher thereafter removes any rebels from the class. Similarly, Jehovah knows that all honesthearted humans and angels will benefit from seeing that Satan and his fellow rebels have failed and that humans cannot govern themselves. Like Jeremiah of old, they will learn this vital truth: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” Jeremiah 10:23.

      WHY SO LONG?

      Why, though, has Jehovah allowed suffering to go on for so long? And why does he not prevent bad things from happening? Well, consider two things that the teacher in our illustration would not do. First, he would not stop the rebel student from presenting his case. Second, the teacher would not help the rebel to make his case. Similarly, consider two things that Jehovah has determined not to do. First, he has not stopped Satan and those who side with him fr

    • LisaG profile image


      8 years ago from Caribbean

      This is a question many people ask over and over again. As we approach the last days and times will get more difficult, it will be even more perplexing to some. You answered it well though and I hope it reaches as many people as possible.

      By the way, I got your hub request and will be working on it shortly

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very deep and enlightening. Very well written and informative. Excellent!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A most excellently wrtitten piece!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You are blowing me away with all this knowledge. This is something we talk about and I am glad someone decided to address it. So much goes on bad in the world and people want to know these things. God bless you and what you are doing here.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You are blowing me away with all this knowledge. This is something we talk about and I am glad someone decided to address it. So much goes on bad in the world and people want to know these things. God bless you and what you are doing here.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Once again you have written a very good and informative piece and as always it is well received.

    • profile image

      King B 

      9 years ago

      Good stuff!Excellent!


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