- Religion and Philosophy
Why is There Evil and Suffering in the World?
Evil and suffering? Left unanswered these questions can become the reason for rejecting God. We can't know every reason, but, God did give us free will, and because of our sin nature people make mistakes. God's creation had to be a place where evil is a possibility.
Our choices are sometimes at fault. The choices we make can affect not only us but also our family, friends and others. The Bible makes it clear suffering can be a result of God's discipline in our lives. No discipline seems pleasant at the time. However, later on most discover it was for their benefit.
We can see persecution of the church caused many Christians to flee and scatter. Wherever they wound up they preached the word, and the Good News was spread throughout the world.
We may not know the reason for suffering in a given situation. But we can be assured, as true believers, it's for our benefit.
Is it possible some may utilize this issue to deny there is a God? Certainly, however if we reflect on the matter it becomes obvious the issue of evil and suffering is an argument for the existence of a good God. In other words, evil is only defined by an objective standard. It's the knowledge Jesus died for us at Calvary, and our sins are forgiven. Atheist and evolutionists have no such standard.
Does God Cause Evil?
The book of Job gives us insight into this question.
"But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips" (Job 2:10).
So, the answer is a resounding no. God is good, the Bible clearly teaches this, therefore God couldn't be the source of evil. Many have pondered these questions throughout the ages. If only we would take a serious look at what the Bible teaches. No pain or suffering has ever come to us that God's heart hasn't experienced.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Could it be there are no good people? God sometimes causes suffering in order to bring about a greater good. None of us deserves the life we have. It's a gift from God. Christianity is the only religion or worldview having an answer to evil and suffering. We are living in a fallen world which God will restore in heaven.
Does God Hear Our Pleas?
Yes, God does hear.But more often than not, God doesn't answer our pleas immediately. Even though this might seem to be the case, it's not He hasn't heard our prayers. It's just He may decide we need to learn patience. We need to persevere. God hears our cries. In fact, He knows our requests before we even ask. God answers prayers according to His purposes.
Do People Deserve to Suffer?
We may not be be directly responsible, but in a sinful world both good and evil people will suffer. As Christians God promises us suffering on earth will one day come to an end. We must remember suffering is a result of sin. God's purpose is to use it to conform us to the image of Christ.
Lessons from Job
God called him "blameless." However, his life became filled with physical, mental, and emotional suffering. It was enough for him to consider death over life. But during his trial he began to realize God still loved him and was providing for all his needs.
Why Do Good People Suffer?
The Bible tells us in Revelation 21:4 there is coming a time when all sorrow, tears, pain and death will pass away.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
However, for the time being, we must face the fact people do suffer. It may not make any sense to us why God allows suffering at the time. Many ask, "If God is so good and loves us, why doesn't He put an end to all suffering?"
There was a time when suffering didn't exist. When God first created Adam everything was perfect. There was no sickness, pain, or sorrow. It was God's plan for man to live in peace and harmony for eternity.
According to Genesis Chapter 3, it wasn't until man chose to rebel against God, that sorrow entered the world. Man sins against God in Genesis 3:6-7, and God reveals to Adam and Eve the consequences of sin in Genesis 3:16-19. God told Adam and Eve they would now experience sorrow and death. By this we can see suffering and sorrow we experience today doesn't come from an unjust God, it's simply the consequences of sin. We suffer because we are sinners.
Yet many so-called Christians today continue to ask, "I didn't do anything wrong. How can I be a sinner?" We are all born into sin, inheriting it from our first human parents Adam and Eve.What does God accomplish by allowing us to suffer? If man hadn't strayed from God's plan there would be no sorrow, suffering or death. In the beginning these things didn't exist.
God doesn't enjoy it, but does allow people to suffer for various reasons. Sometimes God allows tragedy in order to demonstrate our need for Him. There are many who would still be lost if God had not allowed some tragedy to get their attention.
The Bible is filled with examples where God uses suffering to reach people. Just as any responsible parent disciplines their children, God disciplines us.
Many suffer needlessly today because they refuse to confess their sins and repent. God's people have always been persecuted, so it should come as no surprise when it happens. The apostles considered it an honor to suffer persecution for their Lord.
SufferingTeaches Us Vauable Lessons
Not all suffering Christians are disobedient. Why does God allow them to suffer? If we believed some popular conceptions today, we could blame it on a lack of faith. However, the Apostle Paul didn't live in sin or lack faith, but he suffered nonetheless.
Sometimes God uses suffering to make us stronger so they will be better equipped to comfort others. As we have learned there are many reasons God allows suffering.