If God is an all loving God, why does He allow all the pain and suffering going on in the world?
Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) If God is an all loving God, why does He allow all the pain and suffering going on in the world?
(A) In the beginning when God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, they were created perfect. They were the pinnacle of God’s creative ability in the human form. God did not create them to experience pain and suffering. God gave them a beautiful garden to live in and God walked with them every day. They had everything they needed to experience life to the fullness. Everything was absolutely perfect, all according to God’s perfect will. God is, and always will be in complete control of everything that happens; nothing happens without His knowledge of it.
But something happened that changed their perfect state. Genesis 2:7-9: 7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
We need to realize that whole human race is the “CREATED.” You and I and all of humanity have been created by God. If there were no God as some believe there would be nothing in existence. WE ARE GOD’S CREATION! Romans 9:20-21: 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Being that we are the created means that we are subject to the rules and regulations of the Creator. This is where the tree of knowledge of good and evil come into play. Genesis 2:15-17: 15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil functioned as a test of obedience. Adam and Eve had to choose whether to obey God or break His command not to eat of that tree. They wanted to know good and evil so when they actually ate the forbidden fruit, the consequences of their actions became self-evident. They found themselves in a different relationship to God because of sin. Remember, they had free will to choose. They made the wrong choice! God did not want robots that He controlled, but a family of children that loved Him of their own free will. So He gave men freedom to choose. But you say to me, why does God punish me for their mistake? I might have made the right choice and ate of the tree of life. NO, God knew that you, I, or anyone else under those same conditions would have made the same choice. We all would have wanted to know good and evil just like Adam and Eve. So when Adam and Eve sinned, we all sinned and all are born with that same sin nature.
The other tree talked about in Genesis 2:9, called the tree of life was the one they should have desired to eat of. Eating of the tree of life would have given them a proper relationship with God.
The real questions which faced Adam and Eve are the same ones that face people today. Which path should be chosen? What kind of relationship does one want with God?
We know from the scriptures that Eve was tempted of the wily old serpent (which was possessed by Satan the devil) to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Her eyes were opened, as was Adam’s eyes upon disobeying God’s command and they knew they were naked. They were naked all along, but they had no concern about this as is revealed in Genesis 2:25: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
The Hebrew word for ashamed, in the preceeding verse is: “buwsh” (boosh) meaning “to pale, not being disappointed, embarrassed” or loosely defined as “not concerned.” But when they sinned against God, things changed. They knew they were naked and they were embarrassed. Oh, they were the still the same flesh and bone mortals but what changed was the environment. Our parents were now vulnerable to the environment. God cursed the ground where Adam would have to toil to make his food, and cursed Eve and her child bearing to endure great pain. He pronounced that they would eventually die and return to the dust. Everything changed after Adam and Eve sinned against God.
What changed is the world became a dangerous place to live. No longer would they have the comforts of a perfect garden that God planted east of Eden, but they would be subjected to the briar, the brambles, and the sin nature of future off-spring that were no longer immune from suffering and barred from eternal life, as an angel guarded the gate to the Garden of Eden with a flaming sword. He essentially cut them off from the Tree of Life.
So it began and the world has been a most dangerous place to live from that point on. Satan has tempted men and women throughout the time of our existence on this earth to thwart God’s plan of redemption of His creation lost to Satan, because of sin. You may be asking within yourself right now, “Why did not God make His creation with the inability to sin?” If God is so powerful, then why are we having so much trouble in the world, why did God not create a creature that would not sin? Of course, God did make creatures that cannot sin. They are called “cows.” Any animal creature made apart from the image of God, which He made man, has the inability to sin. Why do we have the ability to sin? Again, the word is: freedom.
Here in America as well as around the world people have rules and regulations, laws to live by. Why? For the most part they are for our own good, but we have the choice to live under those rules or to ignore them. Some chose to ignore them and live as they wish and by doing so they must suffer the consequences of their rebellion. Adam and Eve realized the consequences of their decision almost immediately. Right after their rebellion God made them leave the Garden He had created for their pleasure. They brought that condemnation on themselves, and they knew it.
Is there such a thing as innocent suffering? Since “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23, there is no one who has the right to freedom from God’s wrath on the basis of his own innocence.
As far as babies are concerned, and others who may be incompetent mentally to distinguish right and wrong, it is clear from both Scripture and universal experience that they are sinners by nature and thus will inevitably become sinners by choice as soon as they are able to do so.
The world is now under God’s Curse, Genesis 3:16-17 because of man’s rebellion against God’s Word.
This “bondage of corruption,” with the “whole world groaning and travailing together in pain” Romans 8:21-22, is universal, affecting all men and women and children everywhere. God did not create the world this way, and one day will set all things right again. In that day, “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” Revelation 21:4.
So the moral of this article is this: God gave us what we wanted, the knowledge of good and evil. But by wanting that knowledge man sinned against God, because God commanded the first man and woman not to eat of that tree. Why did God make that command? God knew the consequence of wanting to know good (no problem with the good), but with that knowledge also came the evil. In other words the evil part of that knowledge would mean that man would experience all the pain, suffering, moral decay, sickness, accidents and all the atrocities man was capable of inflicting on other human beings and also came the pain of death. Yes, we all asked for it and God gave us what we wanted, so don’t blame God, blame yourself.
I should point out here the fact that God is not the one who causes pain and suffering, but it is brought about by our own circumstances in life. The way we live, what we eat, the choices we make every day of our own free will, can determine if we suffer more than someone else who is making better choices than we are. Satan (who is evil, and again, man wanted to know about evil) also has a big part in all the pain and suffering in our world. Satan is the great deceiver doing everything he can to discredit God or cause people to believe there is no God or He cannot stop all this pain and suffering: II Corinthians 11:13-15: 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. John 8:44: 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
All this pain and suffering (which God does not cause, but He does allow it) does have a lot of good consequences. God can use this pain and suffering to draw people closer to Him whether we are a believer or an unbeliever. Remember, at the time of the original creation of Adam and Eve there was NO pain and suffering. God did not want man to experience evil which included pain and suffering, but again because God gave man free will to make his own choices, man failed by eating of that tree of the knowledge of good and evil and sinned against God. SIN IS THE REAL PROBLEM!
God also allows pain and suffering to show how serious sin is to Him. God hates sin! God is Holy, perfect and sinless. God will not allow sin to enter into His perfect Heaven where he lives. God knows that only His ways bring peace and joy; man’s ways bring pain and suffering.
Sin is the problem! What is sin? I John 3:4: 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. What law? Today, in our day and age in which we live it is the law of Love: Romans 13:10: 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. But what does the law of love include? Romans 13:8-9: 8 Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Then the greatest of all the commandments: Matthew 22:36-40: 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Could God stop all the pain and suffering in the world? You bet He could; there is NOTHING He cannot do. Will all this pain and suffering ever stop? Yes it will!! But it will not stop this side of heaven. God will not stop the pain and suffering because He gave us the freedom to choose right from wrong, again we made the wrong choice and sinned freely against God and man is still in a continual state of sin. Sin=pain and suffering. Do you get the point? As long as there is sin there will be pain and suffering!
So how can the sin problem be rectified and bring man back into a sinless loving state, being reconciled to God and where there will never be any more pain and suffering?
Christ Jesus is the one and only answer. Christ Jesus (who was God and our creator, the second person of the trinity) stepped out of heaven, became human, suffered greatly at the hands of man (which He did willingly) so He could take our sins and shed His Holy blood for the remission of our sins, died, was buried, and rose again to glory in heaven again with the Father. Our part is to believe by faith that He (CHRIST) did all that was necessary to pay for our sins. No works: Ephesians 2:8-9: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. You can only be made right with God by putting 100% faith in Christ Jesus, nothing you do except believe. Romans 3:20-28: 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Does this mean a true believer in Christ who has received remission of their sins, will not have any more pain or suffering? No, it does not: Romans 8:18-23: 18 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. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY. (The redemption of our body) means until we die or the Rapture takes place.
There is no guarantee from God anywhere in the bible that He will remove all pain and suffering even when we become believers. That is not to say that God cannot, or will not remove pain and suffering IF IT IS HIS WILL TO DO SO. But God may allow pain and suffering to continue even as believers because He may use you as an example for others to show that you are willing to suffering for Him, and for His glory. God does say he will not put a believer through more than they can bear.
When we experience pain and suffering we experience the effects of sin in our lives and we should realize what pain and suffering Christ Jesus had to go through to pay the penalty for our sins, HE had NO sin of His own to pay for. Christ did not have to pay for our sins, but He did it out of love for us because there was no other way it could be done.
Remember, all this pain and suffering is what man wanted to experience of his own free will. He took and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and sin entered into the world. God warned Adam and Eve what would happen if they ate of that tree, but they did not heed God’s warning and pain and suffering came into their lives and all of the human race since then. Don’t blame God; it’s what we asked for.
Now, here is the kicker to all of this pain and suffering. If you are an atheist, an agnostic or just don’t know what to believe and can’t understand how a loving God could allow all these things and wish you could die, thinking you will not exist anymore (because you believe there is no God) believing there will be no more pain and suffering to experience once you are dead; YOU ARE DEAD WRONG. ANYONE who dies in unbelief (don’t believe in God or that Christ Jesus is your Lord and Savior) will continue to experience pain and suffering on a much greater level for ever and ever and ever for eternity with no reprieve, ever!!! This will be the consequence of sin for an unbeliever. The unbeliever will not ever escape the grip of the pain and suffering they are experiencing. Christ already paid the price for the sins of the whole world, but it will not be applied to anyone who does not believe: II Corinthians 5:17-21: 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, BE YE RECONCILED TO GOD. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Christ already paid for all the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future. But everyone needs to be reconciled back to God the Father by what Christ Jesus accomplished at Calvary. But make no mistake, you need to believe sincerely with your whole heart before it will apply to you personally. If you are a true believer that Christ shed His Holy blood for the remission of your sins, HE died, was buried and resurrected again to glory, then when you die, you will never ever experience pain and suffering again. Only true peace, joy, love and bliss forever and ever and ever for all eternity in the presents of God. You will never be bored, will not need to sleep or eat and will have unlimited energy to accomplish great things, the things that you enjoy doing, all to the glory of our great God.
If you are an unbeliever and in denial about all that was talked about here in this article and it sounds like a fairy tale, then you are throwing away the one opportunity that will free you from all your pain and suffering. If I were wrong about all of this (but I am not wrong), I would have nothing to lose, but you my friend, If you are wrong (and you are) will regret your unbelief for eternity. This is a warning just like God gave Adam and Eve around 6,000 years ago not to eat of the forbidden fruit; your unbelief will bring you eternal suffering.
God is not willing that any should perish or suffer forever: II Peter 3:9: 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. John 3:15-18: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
In conclusion, If you believe in God and that Christ Jesus is your Lord and Saviour here is God’s promise to you: Revelation 21:4-6: 4 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. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
There is much more that could be said about this subject, but for now I hope this article has or will help explain why God allows all the pain and suffering in our world. Remember, God love everyone, but we are always free to make our own choices, whether right or wrong. Adam and Eve made the wrong choice a long time ago and we are all still paying the price for that wrong choice, because all of us would have made the same mistake. God gave us what we asked for, the knowledge of good and evil.
Have a good day and choose wisely! >>>>>>>> John