Why Does God Allow Suffering?

FAQ: Hold on. Now that I'm thinking about children, I realize I still have a problem with all the suffering I see in the world. You just told me about a perfectly loving God, but you didn't explain why He allows so much pain and suffering?

The "problem of pain," as the well-known Christian scholar, C.S. Lewis, once called it, is atheism's most potent weapon against the Christian faith. Our human intellects and notions of fairness reject the apparent contradiction between a loving God and a world of pain. Therefore, the only way to reconcile this issue is to view the world from God's perspective. The only way to even begin to understand God's perspective is to read His Word, the Bible.

The Bible tells us that God created a "very good" world (Genesis 1:31). Mankind was blessed to live and fellowship in a beautiful garden planted by God Himself (Genesis 2:8,9). However, mankind rejected God and His "very good" creation. Mankind disobeyed God's simple rules and chose to taste of the fruit of evil. As a result, suffering entered the world (Genesis 3).

God's initial purpose for suffering was punishment for Satan, Eve and Adam. Since Adam was mankind's first representative, Adam's punishment affected all of creation (Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 5:12, 8:22). God's ultimate purpose for suffering is redemption for mankind (1 Corinthians 15:22) and renewal of all creation (Acts 3:21).

Jesus Christ is the perfect model of humility, servanthood and suffering (Romans 5:8). He experienced temptation, pain and death just as we do (Hebrews 2:17,18). With Christ's death on the cross, He reclaimed what Satan stole in the garden, and provided the way to redemption for all mankind (Hebrews 2:14,15). Suffering was the means by which Christ set creation back on the road to restoration.

We forfeited our chance for eternal life without some cost when we rejected God in the beginning. This cost applied to Jesus, God's only begotten Son, and it applies to each of us, God's adopted children. Although suffering had no place in God's original design, it became nevertheless useful to God's ultimate plan. Our sin caused our separation from God and made Christ's suffering necessary. Our sin caused our fallen world and made our suffering inevitable.

God takes no pleasure in the suffering of His children (2 Peter 3:9). He is patient, loving and merciful, operating for our eternal good outside our notions of time and fairness. His only goal is to reconcile His children to Himself. The Good News is that God loves us so much that He provided a free ticket to renewal and salvation through the suffering and death of His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Suffering and death in this corrupted world are guaranteed for each of us. It's our choice whether to accept God's free ticket to eternal life in paradise (Acts 4:12).

Many argue, "Why would an all-powerful, all-loving God allow pain and suffering?" The only way to begin answering this question is to view our fallen world from God's perspective. You see, God dwells in the dimension of eternity. His primary objective is to love us and have us love Him in return. From God's perspective, He uses the trials of this painful world to lovingly prepare His children to spend eternity with Him. The Apostle Paul said, "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). In Hebrews, we learn that Jesus himself "for the glory that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).

Suffering is a fact of this fallen world. The Bible is a testimony to this reality. However, the complete message of the Bible is that God has His plan for redemption all worked out. Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ have a wonderful hope - a hope of eternity with God in a place where there is no more suffering, evil or death (John 1:12, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Revelation 21:4).

Read More Now!
Adam & Eve
Original Sin
God's Love

Back to FAQ

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus

Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus

I still have questions