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|Why does God allow such suffering? *very long*|
|Posted By: Poocho||Date: 1/31/03 1:53 p.m.|
In Response To: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update) (SilverBrin****of WP)
Why does God allow such suffering?
At times like these many of us who have a belief in God may ask a question such as the above. In fact it is very common. When we look back on history it seems as though there is no limit to the amount of injustice and pain that men and women have been willing to inflict upon each other. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) Then we look at the anguish of victims of natural disasters or of mental, emotional, and physical illnesses—as in the case we are now considering with Brian.
Even for those of us with religious convictions, it is many times hard to understand why God would allow such problems and suffering to continue. Why doesn’t he just step in and eliminate all these problems? If we want to have peace of mind and a healthy relationship with God, we need to find the answer to this question. The Bible provides such an answer. Please consider the following information.
The question of why God allows suffering has troubled many people throughout the centuries. Some claim that God is ultimately the cause of such suffering. Others, unable to accept that God could permit suffering, instead chose to deny that even exists. Mary Baker Eddy, in Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures says, “Evil is but an illusion, and it has no real basis. If sin, sickness, and death were understood as nothingness, they would disappear.” After thinking about the tragic events of history, especially from the first World War to out day, many have concluded that God simply isn’t able to prevent suffering.
However, such claims provide no comfort for the suffering; nor do they coincide with how the Bible reveals God as just, dynamic, and caring. Consider just a few scriptures. Job 34:10, 12 says, “Therefore, you men of heart, listen to me. Far be it from the true God to act wickedly, and the Almighty to act unjustly! . . . Yes, for a fact, God himself does not act wickedly, and the Almighty himself does not pervert judgment.” In Jeremiah 32:17 Jeremiah prays to God, saying “Here you yourself have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. The whole mater is not too wonderful for you yourself.” And, of course, there’s 1 John 4:8, where it says that “God is love.” So what does the Bible say about why suffering is permitted?
How Did Suffering Begin?
God didn’t create humans to suffer. On the contrary, he mad the first human couple, Adam and Eve, perfect, prepared a delightful garden to serve as their home, and assigned them meaningful, satisfying work. (Genesis 1: 27, 28, 31; 2:8) However, in order for them to continue being happy, they needed to recognize God’s rulership and his right to decide between good and bad. That divine right was represented by a tree called “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” (Genesis 2:17) For Adam and Eve to demonstrate their subjection to God, they would need to obey his command not to eat from that tree.
That sounds like a pretty simple arrangement, considering Adam and Eve could eat from every other tree in the garden. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve weren’t able to obey God. A rebellious spirit creature, later identified as Satan the Devil, convinced Eve that it actually wasn’t in her best interests to obey God. According to Satan, God was depriving her of something highly desirable: independence, the right to choose what was good and what was bad. Seduced by the prospect of independence, Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, and Adam soon did the same. (Genesis 3:1-6)
That same day, Adam and Eve started to experience the results of that rebellion. By rejecting divine rulership, they lost out on the protection and blessings that subjection to God had afforded them. Adam and Eve were evicted from Paradise and became subject to sickness, pain, aging, and death.
Settling the Issue
Well, couldn’t God have just overlooked Adam and Eve’s sin? No, that would have further undermined respect for his authority, perhaps encouraging future rebellions and resulting in even greater suffering. In addition, allowing such disobedience would have made God a party to wrongdoing. The Bible writer Moses reminds us: “God’s works are perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness, with whom there is no injustice; righteous and upright is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4, footnote) In order for God to be true to himself, he had to allow Adam and Eve to suffer the consequences of their disobedience.
But why couldn’t God have just destroyed Adam and Eve along with Satan, who brought about their rebellion? We know he had the power to do so. If he did so, then Adam and Eve would not have produced offspring that had to be subject to suffering and death. However, such a demonstration of divine power would not have proved the rightfulness of God’s authority over his intelligent creatures. Also, if Adam and Eve had died childless, that would have signaled the failure of God’s purpose to fill the earth with their perfect descendants. (Genesis 1:28) And “God is not like men . . . Whatever he promises, he does; he speaks, and it is done.”—Numbers 23:19, Today’s English Version.
God, in his perfect wisdom, decided to let the rebellion continue for a limited time. The rebels would have more than enough opportunity to experience the effects of independence from God. History would show beyond doubt mankind’s need for divine guidance and the superiority of God’s rule over man’s or Satan’s. At the same time, God took steps to make sure that his original purpose for the earth would be accomplished. He promised that a “seed” or “offspring” would come who would ‘bruise Satan in the head,’ removing once and for all his rebellion and its damaging effects.
Jesus Christ was that promised Seed. At 1 John 3:8 we read that “the Son of God was made manifest . . . to break up the works of the Devil.” This he did by laying down his perfect human life and paying the ransom price to redeem Adam’s childish children from inherited sin and death. (John 1:29, 1 Timothy 2:5, 6) Those who truly exercise faith in Jesus’ sacrifice are promised permanent relief from suffering. (John 3:16, Revelation 7:17). When will this happen?
An End to Suffering
The rejection of God’s authority has caused untold suffering. It is fitting, then, that God should use a special expression of his authority to end human suffering and accomplish his original purpose for the earth. Jesus mentioned this divine provision when he taught his followers to pray: “Our Father in the heavens, . . . let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”—Mathew 6:9, 10.
The time that God has allowed for humans to experiment with self-government is about to end. In fulfillment of Bible prophecy, his Kingdom was established in the heavens in 1914 with Jesus Christ as its King (we can get more details regarding Bible prophecy relating to 1914 at a later time. Contact me for more information). Shortly, it will crush and put an end to all human governments.—Daniel 2:44.
During his brief earthly ministry, Jesus provided a small sample of the blessings that the restoration of divine rule will bring to humanity. The Gospels provide evidence that Jesus showed compassion for members of human society who were poor and discriminated against. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and resurrected the dead. Even the forces of nature obeyed his voice. (Matthew 11:5, Mark 4:37-39; Luke 9:11-16) Imagine what Jesus will accomplish when he uses the cleansing effect of his ransom sacrifice to benefit all mankind! The Bible promises that by means of Christ’s rule, God “will wipe out every tear from [mankind’s] eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”—Revelation 21:4.
Comfort for Those Who Suffer
How heartening it is to know that our loving and all-powerful God cares for us and that he will shortly bring relief to mankind! Usually, a seriously sick patient willingly accepts treatment that will cure him even if it is very painful. In the same way, if we know that God’s way of handling matters will bring eternal blessings, that knowledge can sustain us no matter what temporary difficulties we face.
Do you, like millions of others, yearn for the time when mankind’s present sufferings “will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart”? (Isaiah 65:17) Be assured that the blessings of God’s Kingdom are within your grasp if you follow the Bible’s advice: “Search for [God] . . . while he may be found. Call to him while he proves to be near.”—Isaiah 55:6.
To help you do this, make the reading and careful study of God’s Word a priority in your life. Get to know God and the one whom he sent forth, Jesus Christ. Strive to live in harmony with God’s standards and thus show that you are willing to submit to his sovereignty. Such a course will bring you greater happiness now despite the tests that you may have to face. And in the future, it will result in your enjoying life in a world free of suffering.—John 17:3
There. I hope that helps some on this forum. It seems certainly appropriate for the occasion. I encourage anyone who found this helpful to look up the scriptures I have listed within the reading. This will help to show you that these thoughts are from the Bible, not from men. If you have any questions or comments that you wish to ask me more privately, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, I will try to remain on this forum for most of the afternoon (until around 5:00 p.m. CT). If I seem to be ignoring your reply, I can assure you I’m not. I’ll stop back here on Monday to take care any replies made over the weekend.
On a more legal note, I want to make clear that I did not write the information above (from the beginning until the last paragraph with a scripture noted at the end) on my own. Although I agree with its content, it was all partially adapted from an article in the January 1, 2003 Watchtower. I encourage anyone interested to obtain a copy of the magazine for the article in its full form. Also, all scriptures cited were from the New World Translation unless otherwise noted.
Thanks for reading. I hope to provide more encouraging information in the future when it is appropriate.
Hope I helped,
|I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||SilverBrin****of WP||1/14/03 10:15 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Hig2003||1/14/03 10:29 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Jerry||1/14/03 10:38 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||guy who doesn't post....too often||1/14/03 10:42 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||MarshallT3||1/14/03 10:55 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Greg||1/15/03 7:10 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Dark Teno||1/16/03 9:14 p.m.|
|You don't need to know Brian...||CYBRFRK||1/14/03 11:23 a.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||*Ar-Isildur of *WP*||1/25/03 10:48 p.m.|
|!!!||oddworld18||1/25/03 10:51 p.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||OdditiesInLife||1/25/03 10:55 p.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||Big Mac||1/27/03 8:36 p.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||Skeletor||1/26/03 12:08 a.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||mnemesis||1/26/03 12:20 a.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||Lion||1/26/03 12:53 a.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||poena.dare #CP#||1/26/03 2:08 a.m.|
|:D||Djof||1/26/03 9:42 a.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||Louis Wu||1/26/03 11:59 a.m.|
|Come on, We Can Say It Together||Pallor||1/27/03 11:10 a.m.|
|Re: Come on, We Can Say It Together||Louis Wu||1/27/03 12:36 p.m.|
|Re: You don't need to know Brian...||Appleicious||1/26/03 3:17 p.m.|
|Hang in there --||CYBRFRK||1/26/03 11:02 p.m.|
|You are an inspiration. *NM*||Adam Daniel||1/27/03 9:23 a.m.|
|rock on brian *nt*||rolf||1/27/03 8:18 p.m.|
|<3 *NM*||Sep7imus||1/14/03 10:40 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Red Loser||1/14/03 11:02 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Razorback||1/14/03 11:28 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||oddworld@school||1/14/03 11:36 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Recon1||1/14/03 11:43 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Warbow||1/14/03 11:48 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Exogenesis||1/14/03 11:57 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Ak Darkster||1/14/03 12:10 p.m.|
|<3||Pallor||1/14/03 12:11 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Poocho||1/14/03 12:57 p.m.|
|Well said...and thanks! *NM*||CYBRFRK||1/14/03 1:07 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Red Loser||1/14/03 1:11 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Poocho||1/14/03 2:15 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||bullet||1/14/03 1:32 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Clefton Twain||1/14/03 1:41 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Vesty||1/14/03 2:32 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Halo Addict||1/14/03 7:03 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Elan Sleazbagano||1/14/03 6:10 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Major Tom||1/14/03 9:11 p.m.|
|A few words||Trunksage||1/14/03 9:32 p.m.|
|Very beautiful, thanks *NM*||Red Loser||1/15/03 1:14 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Ruzhyo||1/14/03 10:42 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Da Loaph||1/14/03 11:41 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Ciarán||1/15/03 4:48 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Lion||1/15/03 6:06 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Alexis||1/15/03 7:10 p.m.|
|Would a Halo card be appropriate?||Barnolde||1/15/03 8:44 p.m.|
|Re: Would a Halo card be appropriate?||vector40||1/15/03 9:05 p.m.|
|Re: Would a Halo card be appropriate?||vector40||1/15/03 9:15 p.m.|
|Re: Would a Halo card be appropriate?||vector40||1/15/03 11:32 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Columbo||1/15/03 8:58 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||SR Omniscient||1/15/03 9:37 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Nuva Kaita||1/19/03 11:46 p.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Break Point||1/20/03 12:14 a.m.|
|Re: I Need Your Help. (Ar-Isildur Update)||Hawkwings||1/20/03 12:21 a.m.|
|We love you Ar!||PanZer||1/16/03 12:05 a.m.|
|Re: We love you Ar!||Nowedont||1/16/03 6:44 a.m.|
|Re: We love you Ar!||Lennox||1/16/03 11:33 a.m.|
|Re: We love you Ar!||Djof||1/16/03 11:43 a.m.|
|Re: We love you Ar!||Red Loser||1/16/03 7:30 p.m.|
|Re: We love you Ar!||siwdys||1/16/03 10:47 p.m.|
|Re: We love you Ar!||Hawkwings||1/17/03 6:41 p.m.|
|Re: We love you Ar!||TheOtherChris||1/20/03 10:27 a.m.|
|Re: We love you Ar!||Sesshoumaru, Lord of the Western Lands||1/20/03 4:23 p.m.|
|You are in my family's thoughts and prayers Ar.||Skeletor||1/20/03 4:43 p.m.|
|Re: You are in my family's thoughts and prayers Ar||goatrope||1/20/03 4:49 p.m.|
|Re: You are in my family's thoughts and prayers Ar||oddworld18||1/20/03 6:06 p.m.|
|Give it up for Ar||SmokaGlowstick||1/25/03 11:57 p.m.|
|w00t w00t for *Ar *NM*||goatrope||1/25/03 11:59 p.m.|
|WORT WORT WORT! *NM*||¤¦FLAWED¦¤||1/26/03 1:58 p.m.|
|Why does God allow such suffering? *very long*||Poocho||1/31/03 1:53 p.m.|
|Re: Why does God allow such suffering? *very long*||Napoleon||1/31/03 3:55 p.m.|
|I'll be back Monday. *NM*||Poocho||1/31/03 5:15 p.m.|
|Re: Why does God allow such suffering? *very long*||Poocho||2/3/03 2:33 p.m.|
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