How can a loving God allow such pain and suffering?
The God question: the one thing that has caused more people to turn away from their faith and their beliefs. If God loves us, why do we suffer? If He is good and just, why do good people die and evil ones live?
At the heart of every human there is a desire to know, to understand. Ultimately it was the curiosity of Eve that caused her to eat the Forbidden Fruit; not because the serpent convinced her, but because she wanted to be like God. That’s why it was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We caused the pain and suffering by allowing sin into God’s perfect world.
God does not allow sin; He endures it.
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. –Proverbs 6:16-19
Why would 7 things be an abomination and not 6? Because 7 is God’s number of perfection and six if His number for Man. If we could, we’d mess that up to. We allowed sin in, we condone it, and commit it. We are innately curious, we want to know. Nonetheless, though it is our nature, it is not necessarily our privilege to know. God allows us to know as much as is good for us, and maybe if we ask hard and long enough He will allow us to know as much as we can bear. But, He knows that for our good He can’t tell us everything.
Our finite minds couldn’t handle all the knowledge of God. So, He warns us about what is bad for us and wants us to trust Him.
If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t He get rid of sin?
God want’s you and I to love and obey Him of our own volition. He is a jealous God, but when you’re the sole provider for a universe and the only all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present being, you have a right to be jealous. Especially when small-minded humans bow to statues and drugs, and other humans. God loves us infinitely and longs for us to love Him back. If there was no choice to disobey, it wouldn’t really be true obedience: merely compliance.
One day, God will destroy sin and this cursed earth with it. But, while we still have a choice on earth, He wants us to choose Him. Not to get into the mind of God, but try to think about this from His perspective: He knows our hearts, and with a choice billions of us choose self and sin over God. If we didn’t have a choice, what kind of love would we give God? He already has angels who sing His praise, but He wants you to sing for Him. He already has winds and seas that obey, but He wants you to obey Him. In one instant, He could wipe all of eternity from existence and start again; but He wants you to come to Him, to love Him.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
The Bible says that it rains on the just and the unjust alike:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. –Matthew 5:45
Rain is never a bad thing, it is a gift of heaven. God is saying here that the earth will continue to spin even when your world is falling apart. The same blessings of sunshine and rain that come to the just will also come to the unjust. You must understand that this world is not God’s home. He does not care for the things of the world as He cares for us. God lives in human beings. He lives through the lives of those who trust in Him.
Bad things happen to good people because God wills it to be. There is nothing we can do to prevent the curse of this world to take its toll on those we love. The righteous do not suffer more than they can bear on this earth. For those who have been saved by the blood Jesus Christ paid on the cross, this world is no longer their home.
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. –Romans 8:18
These present sufferings, these bad things that happen to good people, they cannot even be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. Bad things happen, but they happen for a reason. The righteous glory that they are counted worthy to share in the sufferings of Jesus through physical trials, (1 Peter 4:13-19).
The God question is always why. But what if the answer we need isn’t the answer we want. Sometimes we look to God to blame Him. We want Him to apologize for ruining our lives, and then we want Him to fix everything. But, what if the answer He gives is “Because I’m God”? Often our questions don”t mean what they say. We know God is there, we know He’s in control, otherwise how could He fix things? We trust Him, but grief is too often stronger than belief. Even though we know He is, can we trust He is in control. When we realize who the Creator of the world is, and we look at ourselves, the answer to all our troubles lies in the very identity of God Himself.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. –Psalm 46:10
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist