"I just don't understand! Why did this happen to me?"
"Either God must not be all-good or He is not all-powerful."
"If a righteous, holy God created the world, where did all the ugliness come from?"
"How could a good God exist in light of all the misery in the world?"
Questions such as these have plagued man kind for nearly as long as there has been man kind. Man has struggled to understand. He has looked for answers. But only those that look in the right place have been successful in finding what they seek. There is only one place where answers can be found. That place, is the Bible.
Psalm 25:8, Psalm 33:5, Psalm 34:8, Psalm 119:68, Psalm 145:7, Isaiah 63:7, Jeremiah 33:11,
Nahum 1:7, Matthew 19:17, Romans 2:4, Romans 11:22,
In summery, these verses tell us that the God of this universe, the one and only God, is a God of abundant goodness, righteousness, uprightness, justice, kindness, compassion, tolerance, patience, refuge, night, and love that endures forever.
Well, that right there can lead to more of the same questions above. "How can a God like that be in control and yet evil and suffering are so rampant?" or "Is God the source of evil and suffering?"
Genesis 1:4, Genesis 1:10, Genesis 1:12, Genesis 1:17-18, Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:25, Genesis 1:31
If all that God created was good, then He cannot be the source of evil and suffering. So what is? Did God create man as a robot without the ability to make moral choices, or is he a free moral agent?
Genesis 2:15-17, Jeremiah 35:15, Ezekiel 33:11, Hosea 6:1, Matthew 22:3, Luke 14:17,
2 Corinthians 5:20, Revelation 3:20,
Man is not a robot. He has the ability to choose right or wrong. So what did he choose? Is he the cause of evil and suffering?
Genesis 3:6, Isaiah 43:27
Man chose to disobey God. This was the first sin committed by man. What was the result to this sin?
Genesis 3:16-19, Romans 5:12-13, 1 Corinthians 15:21
The result of sin, is the evil and suffering that so prevails in the world around us. And since the sin was committed by man, the cause of evil and suffering is man. Well, what about the omnipotent God that is supposedly in control? Does God have enough power to stop evil?
Job 42:2, Psalm 115:3, Psalm 135:6, Isaiah 43:13, Habakkuk 3:6, Matthew 19:26, Mark 14:36,
Luke 1:37, Revelation 19:6
Yes, God has enough power to stop evil. Nothing is impossible with Him. Well, then why doesn't He destroy evil?
Genesis 6-7, 2 Peter 3:3-13, Lamentations 3:22, Ezekiel 33:11
You ask, "Why doesn't God destroy evil?". I say, do you really want Him to? The last time God destroyed all evil, He did it by destroying the entire earth by a flood. He will destroy all evil again. When He does it then, He will consume the whole earth with fire. It is only because of his love that we are not yet destroyed. He is patient with us and is giving us more time to come to Him before the whole world perishes.
But that's not the end of the story. God did do something about evil. He sent His only Son to become sin for us, that we might become righteous.
2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:12, Psalms 69:20-21, Romans 5:8, Luke 19:41
As Christians, how should we respond to suffering?
Job 42:5-6, 2 Corinthians 1:9, Hebrews 12:5-6, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, 1 Peter 1:6-7, Hebrews 3:17-18,
James 1:4, 1 Peter 4:12-13, Philippians 3:10-11, 1 Corinthians 11:20-32, 1 Peter 5:10, John 9:3
As Christians, when we see suffering we should let it remind of several things. How lowly we are. How much we need to rely on God to raise us up. If it's a punishment for something we have done, we can be assured that God truly loves us. It reminds us of what Jesus went through for us. We can be sure that it will bring us to a more mature state if we let it. We can have the knowledge that Gods work might be displayed through our sufferings. And we will remember the grace that God has bestowed upon us. This is the Christian response to Suffering.