How can a loving God allow suffering and death?

January 13, 2017

 

 If God is so loving... how can He allow suffering, pain, and eventually death to His people whom He has created?

 

This is another one of life's most difficult questions which has led many people to decide to stop following God altogether.

 

So why has God allowed death and suffering to befall on mankind?  The Bible actually sheds much light on this topic of conversation from the very beginning. When God created the world and humanity... there was indeed no such thing as "death" nor was there any "suffering." In fact, everything was very very good.

 

God created humanity with Loving intentions. He showed us His love and proved that love to be true by creating us with "free will.'  Free will is the ability of each individual to choose and decide for his or her own self.  Without free will, we would be nothing more than pre-programmed robots. Just as He lovingly gave us this ability to chose... His desire is that we use this very free will to love Him in return.

 

When God created the first people, Adam and Eve, he gave them one simple "Do not."  He told Adam and Eve, "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." He provided them every other tree in the garden to eat from except for this one particular tree. He even gave them a warning of what would happen if they ate of it.  I am sure that many of you know what happens next.  Satan lies to Eve, telling her that she won't die, so she and her husband Adam eat.  They immediately recognized their nakedness and in the presence of God, they hid from God.

 

God, being holy in His character, could not allow sin to go unpunished.  The punishment bestowed on all of mankind was, and still is, death.  He said to Adam, "For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life."  Here we see that God restricted them from gaining access to the tree of life which provided them the ability to eat from that tree and live forever.


When Adam and Eve decided to bring about sin, mankind also brought in the punishment that God forewarned them about. Within God's love lies a true and pure justice. Just as we know truth to be 1+1=2, God's truth shows us that evil does not go unpunished. Perhaps you might be saying that your loved one is not a bad person and doesn't deserve to be suffering.  The Bible reminds us however that all men and women sin at some point in their lives. We are reminded in Romans 3:10 that "there is no one righteous, not even one." and again in Romans 3:23 that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

 

HOWEVER... Humanity's story doesn't end here! Sin and death is not the end! Thank God!  Did you know that God allowed Himself to suffer and to die? The good news is that our bondage to sin has been undone through the saving work of Jesus Christ (God Himself in the form of flesh- Gods one and only Son.)  Jesus humbly came to the earth in the form of a baby, born through a virgin. He lived a sinless life and defeated sin in the flesh by the power of God.  He performed many miracles and proclaimed truth to all who heard Him. He then was brutally beaten and nailed to a wooden cross and left to die. Jesus, God's own Son experience great suffering and also death.  HOWEVER... Jesus was resurrected from the dead!  Many witnesses observed his ressurrected body all at the same time.  He then ascended into heaven. He is fully alive even to this day in heaven and will return one day!


The Bible says that those who believe in Him are no longer condemned to death (John 3:18) but have eternal life (John 3:16)  As we read about Jesus and abide in Him, He gives us strength to endure any suffering or pain that might come our way.  While it is never easy, we are never promised a never ending life of ease and comfort as Christians while we are still in this world.  Actually, quite the opposite!  Did you know that almost all of Jesus' disciples experienced excruciating and painful deaths?  While pain and discomfort are never a good time- it is important to always remember that everything in this life is only temporary. Jesus even spoke of his pain and death that was going to come before it happened and He likened it to a mother giving birth. "Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world."  Our lives here are only a small blip in the timeline of eternity so it is important that we put nothing (including our own health) above God. Perspective is so important!  

 
Remember that if we fight the good fight and finish the race of faith in this life with endurance- we will gain a crown of eternal life.  Romans 8:18 says, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Remember that the promise to a true believer in the book of Revelation is a great one-
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve Him."

 

 

For more about this topic you may watch the video posted below: 

 

 

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