The world is filled with all kinds of suffering. If there really is a God, why does he not stop those terrible sufferings that afflict so many people?
Thousands of people are asking this question. Those who lost their dear ones in disasters, others who constantly experience sickness or pain The news of wars, catastrophes or other painful and horrific incidents are constantly reported in the media: 100 deaths per day in Iraq, 73,000 people killed by an earthquake in Pakistan. Recently, one of my friends was diagnosed with severe cancer; It could have been me! Perhaps you yourself have experienced the trauma of abuse in your childhood, or maybe you have witnessed serious violence or are in a worrying or even a dangerous situation. All of us have faced some of those circumstances. Perhaps it is with frustration and sorrow that all we can do is to desperately ask, ‘Why? Why ? Why ?’
The atheist has no answer
In crisis situations they have no one to turn to. If there is no God; if we are only a random connection of atoms—the toy of a process of evolution in which only the fittest survives—why are we so unsettled by pain and conflict? For the atheist, it only the normal phenomenon in a world subject to chance? Truly, the evolutionist believes that progress from the first sign of life is by chance mutations and the ‘survival of the fittest.’ This requires us to see and experience dreadful oppression and cruelty.
The atheist has no hope .
When the sceptic or atheist thinks of death, the best thing he can expect is to hope for a rapid and definitive disappearance. Let us be honest, there is no cause for hope and that is why men are engaged in a desperate search for pleasure on earth. The Bible says that Mankind generally thinks in this way “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die” (Isaiah 22:13 , 1 Corinthians 15: 32 )
Are there any answers?
We want an answer. We all need hope. The Bible offers both.
We read that when God created the world, ‘He saw all that he had done and behold, it was very good’ (Genesis 1:31 ). The world at its creation was perfect, without suffering or suffering. When we see imposing mountains or astonishing arrangements of the vegetable mode, or when our hearts are touched by kindness … we may have a faint glimpse of what perfection should be.
How Evil Appeared
Suffering and death came into to the world only when the first human beings rebelled against their creator. The Bible says that ‘the wages of sin is death’ ( Romans 6:23 ). Adam and Eve had the choice to obey or disobey, and they disobeyed. Since then, like them, we have all wanted to live our own lives instead of keeping to the rules of God; ‘We were all wandering like sheep, each one following his own way’ (Isaiah 53: 6 ).
The first man born on this earth murdered his brother; Since then, most of the suffering in the world today is caused by men to other men: terrorist attacks, child abuse, rape, theft … We can not blame God for what the men and women inflict on each other.
Why does not God get rid of evildoers?
We would like God to punish the unjust and the wicked, the problem is this: if God eliminates evil now, where will he stop? We all agree that people such as Hitler, Stalin or the serial killer Harold Shipman should be punished, and with them all those who destroy lives by their cruelty. But what shall we say of a man who has beaten his wife or children? What shall we say of thieves? What shall we say of those who speak lies? What shall we say of ourselves and of our words? What of our treatment of others: selfishness, anger and immorality in thought even if not in act?
In fact, each of us has caused some pain to others. We are therefore all liable to the judgment of God. For example, one Times reporter once asked his readers to answer the next question, ‘What is the biggest problem in the world today?’ A correspondent replied: ‘Dear Sir, I am.’
God is righteous and holy. He can not tolerate evil. In his eyes, even the sins we hold for the little ones are enough to condemn us to hell. ‘Whoever keeps all the law, but sins against one commandment shall be guilty of all’ (James 2:10 ). A chain needs only one defective link to become a broken and useless. If God wanted to punish all those who inflicted any suffering, He would be obliged to destroy the whole human race. God will judge the world one day, but at this moment He is patient and gives everyone the opportunity to come to Him to be saved from such judgment.
What about natural disasters?
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the natural world was affected as well. Since the fall, we along with everyone else, have been subjected to the curse attached to sin.That is why death, disease and all kinds of annoyances inevitably affect us. It is the reason why natural disasters occur, the natural elements seems to be out of sync. God decreed that the state of the universe, the state of creation, would be linked to the state of the highest creature, conceived in its image: Man. The state of Man is reflected In the state of creation. The Bible says that creation ‘has been subjected to vanity’, that it ‘sighs’ (Romans 8:22 ). We see this through various earthquakes, tidal waves, Eruptions, floods, landslides, thorns, weeds, poisonous creatures, deadly diseases and much more. These are revealing signs of the fact that the normal purpose of nature has been affected by the original revolt of man.
Are those who suffer worse people than others?
Were those people affected by the tsunami, as well as those who were injured in the terrorist attacks, worse than us? Not at all! A similar question was asked of Jesus; What he said was, “These eighteen people on whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were more guilty than all the other inhabitants of Jerusalem? No, I tell you, but if you do not repent, you will all also perish ‘(Luke 13: 4 , 5).
Accidents and disasters remind us that we have a problem, that the world has gone wrong and that we can not claim to be better than others. It is up to us to repent, to acknowledge before God that we are equally responsible and guilty.
Is there hope?
Yes, God cares! Yes, there is hope! God has foreseen a solution. Two thousand years ago, someone else shouted in pain, ‘Why?’ When He was dying on the cross, Jesus Christ cried out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Mark 15:34 ).
God cares so much about the suffering and evil in the world that He sent His own Son to save us. The name Jesus means ‘God saves’, He was also called ‘Emmanuel’, which means ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23 ). God Himself, in Jesus, came to live in this world of suffering.
Jesus was born into a poor family. He saw and experienced suffering and sadness, fatigue and frustration. Many sick people, living images of our own lives, have been brought to Him and He has healed them all. Yet He endured injustice and persecution, and, ultimately, was nailed to a cross. ‘He was mistreated and oppressed, and he did not open his mouth, like a lamb to be slaughtered… although he did not commit violence or fraud in his mouth’ (Isaiah 53: 7-9 ). Jesus was the only person who never did anything wrong. He never deserved to live in a cursed world.
Why did Jesus have to die?
The Bible says ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved’ (Acts 16:31 ). Those who, in repenting, put their trust in Christ come to know that their sins are forgiven. God is no longer angry with them, for Jesus took upon himself the sorrow and eternal suffering they have deserved. This is salvation is possible because Jesus rose from the dead after three days. He was demonstrating his victory over death and all other consequences of evil. Sitting at the right hand of his Father, He can welcome us. Jesus has not only shared our experience of pain and suffering, He also died to free us from it. He died taking the place of those who are under the judgment of God. We are all in the same boat, and it is sinking. Christ alone is the Lifeboat. Unlike us, Jesus never sinned. Consequently, he did not deserve to die. He voluntarily offered God his perfect life. He suffered all the wrath of God against our disobedience. God punished Jesus in place of all those who would trust in Him. Jesus shouted, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ So that we never need to do it again; He suffered hell and judgment for us because he cares about us and loved us up to this point.
The Bible promises that those who give their lives to Jesus will also rise and have eternal life in a new world where death will no longer exist, and ‘there will be no mourning, no crying, no pain, for the first Things have disappeared’ (Revelation 21: 4 ). God will not leave this world as it is today, this universe will not always remain under the curse, it will not be eternally subject to disorder and vanity.
Jesus will come back as the Bible says in Acts 1:11 that the present creation will experience true deliverance There will be ‘a new heaven and a new earth’, a place that will know neither sin nor disease, or death. This wonderful future has been made possible by the death of Jesus on the cross, the whole universe will experience its benefits. It is true, however, that people who place their trust in Christ continue to experience suffering on earth, for they still share the experiences of life in a fallen world. However, they live differently; they are no longer orphans. God has adopted them; they are no longer alone. Jesus is not only their Saviour, Lord and King, He is their brother. They now have an eternal hope, a reason to live and daily assistance of the Holy Spirit.
The judgment is coming
Are you ready for that day? Are you still under the judgment of God through unbelief, rebellion and idolatry? Don’t you accept that Jesus died in the place of sinners? Do you still think your own good works can rescue you, and make amends for your sin? Trust Him now. Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and heavily burdened and I will give you rest.’ (Matthew 11 :28). This has been our experience, we who have come to Christ. One day Jesus will come as the judge. On that day no unbeliever who has chosen to remain in their sins will escape that judgment of both those who are alive and those who died before Christ comes. 1Peter 4 :5 says, ‘God will judge every secret action of Men through Jesus Christ.’
However, those who place their trust in the Son of God will not come to that judgment to be condemned. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, the one who hears my words, and believes in the One who sent me, has eternal life and will never come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)
The quotes that above are all taken from the Bible and by reading them in context you will see that we have not manipulated them. If you want us to give you a Bible, we will gladly do it.