I often hear two questions that relate to your three questions: Why is there so much suffering in the world? If God is a LOVING God and an ALL-POWERFUL God, why does He allow suffering to continue? We shall attempt to answer these questions using the only “source” that can give us the true answers. In other words, we shall turn to the Word of God which gives us ANSWERS FROM THE BOOK.

There is a little three-letter word that people don’t like to hear, but that word is the answer to the question, “Why is there so much suffering in the world?” That word is “sin.” In Romans 5:12 we read, “Wherefore, as by one man SIN entered into the world, and DEATH BY SIN; and so death passed upon all men, for that ALL HAVE SINNED.” Of course the “one man” in this verse is Adam, the “first man” that God created. God had put Adam in a beautiful garden which met every need that he had, but God tested Adam’s obedience by telling him, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17…NKJV). In the next chapter we learn that Adam failed the test, “She (Adam’ wife) also gave to her husband with her, and HE ATE.” That very moment the death sentence went into effect; Adam died SPIRITUALLY (see Ephesians 2:1) and he began to die PHYSICALLY. In that fatal act of disobedience Adam passed sin and death on to the whole human race. The moment one is born they begin to die! The aging process, along with disease, eventually leads to death. All of the SUFFERING that goes along with this process is the RESULT OF SIN, for “the wages of SIN is DEATH” (Romans 3:23).

We can try to ignore this truth or even deny it, but that doesn’t change the truth. There is “so much suffering in the world” because of SIN. That is why “we suffer.” Not only do we suffer, but all of creation has suffered because of the entrance of sin. We read in Romans 8:20 that “the creation was subjected to futility” and in verse 22 it goes on to say, “The whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” This teaches us that SUFFERING touches everyone and everything and that it continues to the present hour. So you are right in asking, “Why does suffering seem to never end?”

Now let’s consider the question, “If God is a LOVING God and an ALL-POWERFUL God, why does He allow suffering to continue?” First of all, God is indeed a “LOVING God”; in fact, Scripture tells us that “God is LOVE” (1st John 4:8). God is also “all-powerful” (i.e. OMNIPOTENT) which we see is implied in this rhetorical question in Genesis 18:14, “Is anything too hard of the LORD?” But there is another truth about God that is often forgotten, ignored or denied. God is also HOLY! 1st John 1:5 declares, “God is LIGHT and in Him is NO DARKNESS at all.” This simply means that God is intrinsically HOLY, RIGHTEOUS and PURE. He is SINLESS and cannot stand to even look upon sin, as we see in Habakkuk 1:13, “You are of PURER EYES that to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.” Because God is holy, He must, as a RIGHTEOUS God, JUDGE SIN. This is why He passed the death sentence on to Adam and to the whole human race; it was God’s holy and righteous judgment upon sin! This is why all human beings suffer to some extent or another and it’s why all human beings die. Even those who love God and trust that a day without suffering and death is coming will suffer because of sin entering the world. You need only read the book of Job to see how much that righteous man suffered on account of sin to know this is true.

I want to end this on a very positive note. Though “suffering seems to never end,” Scripture is equally clear that SUFFERING WILL END! I had just noted that those who love God believe “that a day without suffering and death is coming.” How do they know that? Well, let’s read Revelation 21:1, 3-4: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth…And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them….And God shall WIPE AWAY EVER TEAR from their eyes; there shall be NO MORE DEATH, NOR SORROW, NOR CRYING. There shall be NO MORE PAIN, for the former things have passed away.” Ah, dear friend, the DAY is coming when God will “wipe away all suffering”; every EFFECT OF SIN will be totally eradicated! How is that possible when we just saw that God is HOLY and RIGHTEOUS and must judge sin? The answer to this brings us back to the fact that GOD IS LOVE. In love for you and me God sent His Son to settle the sin question so that sin and all results of sin can indeed be “wiped away.” Let’s read 1st John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS.” The word “propitiation” means “satisfaction” and on the cross Jesus became a “satisfying sacrifice for sin.” His death on the cross “satisfied all of God’s holy and righteous claims against sin” and it allows God to one day “wipe away sin and suffering” from His universe forever! Of course, in order for you to reap the benefits of this sacrifice and to dwell with God in that day, you must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31). You must believe that “Christ also SUFFERED ONCE FOR SINS, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1st Peter 3:18).

The moment you believe on Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin, you will have the blessed hope of being with Him for all eternity, an eternity with “no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying and no more pain.” It is true you may still suffer in this present life, but you can be comforted by the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the SUFFERINGS OF THIS PRESENT TIME are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY THAT SHALL BE REVEALED TO US.” He wrote of this same blessed truth in 2nd Corinthians 4:17, “For our LIGHT AFFLICTION, which is but FOR A MOMENT, is working for us a FAR MORE EXCEEDING and ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY.” This, dear one, can be your hope and consolation if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior!  (449.5)  (DO)