We live in a world today where suffering is evident. In many parts of the world, people are starving, and others live in poverty. There is war in various parts of the earth and men and women addicted to drugs. The world seems like it’s a place of constant suffering. Whenever you turn on the news, something horrible is being reported. How did the world get like this? Let us look at why God allows suffering.
In the book of Genesis, the Holy Bible tells us that God created a good world (Genesis 1:31). Yes, God created the world with his hands in six days and on the seventh day, he rested.
The Holy Bible tells us in Genesis 2:8,9 that Adam and Eve got to live in a Garden called Eden. The Garden of Eden was perfection in every sense of the word. There was no suffering, pain or sin.
However, when Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit that God told them not to eat, this changed the dynamic of suffering. The couple was expelled from the Garden of Eden and now had to live in suffering. Adam received the curse of having to toil the ground forever. Even got cursed with enduring pain while bearing children. From that point onward, the earth became full of suffering.
In the New Testament, the book of Romans tells us that sin was brought into the world by one man (Romans 5:12). We know this man to be Adam.
Remember, mankind brought suffering upon themselves. God is love and cannot do wrong. Therefore, people bring suffering upon themselves because of sin.
In 1 Corinthians 15:22, we see that we have hope for suffering. The New Testament tells us that in Christ, we are made alive. People that believe in Jesus Christ and accept them as their Lord and savior will live in heaven with him. What a mighty God we serve!
The Suffering of Jesus Christ
If you read about the story of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, you will see suffering at its highest level.
Here Are Some Ways that Jesus Suffered:
- He was crucified on the cross.
- He wandered in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights without food or water.
- He was humiliated by the Roman soldiers and flogged before crucifixion.
- He was constantly persecuted by the Pharisees of his day.
- Jesus was falsely accused of worshipping Satan.
- Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest friends named Judas Iscariot.
Jesus was a man that died because of our sins. He never sinned but died for ours so that we can go to heaven. In 2 Peter 3:9, the Bible tells us that God doesn’t want any of us to die in our sins. God wants us all to repent of our sins. Even children are not exempt. The Holy Bible tells us that we are all born into sin (Psalm 51:5).
As you can see, mankind brought suffering upon themselves through Adam and Eve. Now all mankind must have suffering for one reason or another. When we turn to Jesus, he can help us to walk through our suffering. Our only escape from suffering is through Jesus.
The Holy Bible tells us that in heaven, there is no suffering. Therefore, mankind has brought suffering upon itself. This has nothing to do with God that created perfection at the beginning of the world.
What Happens in Noah’s Day?
I’m sure you have heard of the story of Noah’s Ark. If not, please get a copy of the Holy Bible and turn to Genesis 5:32-10:1 in the Old Testament. It is a story of human suffering.
God found that Noah was the only righteous person living on earth during that time. The rest of the world had become corrupt and mankind living for themselves. It was a rather painful time in history.
However, God saw that the world had become evil and corrupt. He decided to destroy it all in the great flood. The flood wiped out everything that lived on earth. He only kept Noah and his family safe with the animals.
Helping Your Fellow Brother and Sister Through Suffering
The Holy Bible tells us that we are to assist our brothers and sisters through their suffering. The Holy Bible tells us to visit orphans and widows (James 1:27). Widows and orphans do suffer from having nobody to look after them. They appreciate it when we reach out to them and help them to get through their day. Perhaps you can offer them financial help or a shoulder to cry on.
Here we see that human beings should take responsibility in relieving the suffering of people that are hurting for various reasons. Christians and non-Christians should do what they can in order to bring love and peace to people that are hurting in the world.
In 1 Timothy, it tells us to be generous and to share what we have. We are to be people that are willing to help those that have little. Perhaps you have some extra money each month left over to pay someone’s electric bill or to give them some money for food.
Not all suffering is bad though. If you read in Romans 8:28, you will find that God allows things to happen for our own good. Suffering builds character. When you suffer, you gain an understanding into right and wrong. You also see things that you would not normally be able to see if you were not suffering.
For instance, how could a child born into wealth understand what a single mother of 3 is going through. Perhaps she must work a job flipping burgers all day at a fast food joint and receives little support from the father. Perhaps if the child born into wealth lost their money and had to work flipping burgers, they would understand what that single mother is going through. Coming from wealth into poverty would surely make the person suffer. However, in their suffering, they would learn to be more compassionate towards the poor and towards things they cannot understand. This would be a good life lesson.
Spiritual Tests of Suffering
If you read the book of Job in the Old Testament, you will see that Job suffered greatly. He was a man of God that was put to the test that almost took his life. This kind of a test proved that a man could be faithful to God even under the worst circumstances. It proved that God’s protection is always over us. If it is not, you could be in financial ruin or perhaps suffering from a disease that will later kill you. When God allows Satan to tempt you or to destroy your life, God stays together with you. Even though it may not seem that way, the book of Job shows us that God is always aware of what Satan is doing. Job learned a lot through his suffering. He learned that God is in full control and that Satan cannot do anything to us that God will not allow. Job 40:2 is a reminder that God control all things.