3 Powerful Reasons Why God Allows Suffering

3 Powerful Reasons Why God Allows Suffering

Peter Guirguis Suffering 30 Comments

Why does God allow suffering in this world?

Why does God allow evil things to happen?

If God is real and He is all-powerful, then why doesn’t He stop these bad things?

Those are some of the most difficult questions that people ask today when it comes to suffering.

In this video, I give you my non-traditional answers to these questions.

And if you’d rather read an article instead of watching a video, then scroll past the video below to read the enhanced transcript version.

 

Imagine if you had the power to be able to stop all of the sufferings of the world.

That means that you could:

  • Prevent kids from having cancer or you could
  • Prevent terrorist attacks from happening
  • Prevent drunk drivers from a hitting killing innocent people

If you had the power to prevent these things from happening, wouldn’t you want to exercise that power?

The answer is, “Of course, yes!”

Of course, you would want to do that, and I would like to also.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that?

Whether you believe in God or not, God does have these supernatural abilities.

If you assume that God is all-powerful, then how come He doesn’t stop bad things from happening, and end all suffering?

why does god allow suffering

The question of why God doesn’t end all suffering has consumed the minds of many people all over the world.

In fact, it is probably the number one reason why people have issues with God today.

It’s the primary factor why some people who believe in God end up sometimes doubting their faith, and abandoning their belief in God altogether.

These people think to themselves things like, “Well, if I have a child, that child is suffering, and it’s in my power to be able to help him or her out, then I would do everything in my power to help my child.

“If that’s the case with me, then how much more, then, with God who is supposed to be all-perfect?

“It would make perfect sense that if God is real, then He should prevent these bad things from happening in the world today.”

I know that that’s what I used to think when bad things happened in my life, and God didn’t stop them from happening.

When God didn’t prevent these hurtful situations, I would think, “What’s up with that, God? Are you for real?”

So Here You Go, Here Are 3 Powerful Reasons Why God Allows Suffering

They’re three compelling reasons, in my opinion, of why God does not stop or prevent all suffering from happening to you, to me, and in the world.

One more thing before you continue reading; these are my reasons.

You can Google this question, and you’ll find that some people have answered it in a different way than me.

So just keep in my mind that this is my opinion on the subject of suffering.

1.  Reason #1: God did not give you artificial intelligence

There has been much talk recently about artificial intelligence.

You have all these technology companies that are looking to build products, services, and software using artificial intelligence.

Now, if you’re not familiar with what artificial intelligence is, it is when a programmer programs a robot or a computer so it has built-in machine learning.

For example, some robots can learn:

  • How to talk in any language
  • How to say your name
  • How you like to have your eggs cooked
irobot Will Smith

In the movie, iRobot, Will Smith plays a cop who investigates a murder that may have been committed by a robot.

Now just so you understand the point that I’m making here, these robots aren’t built with all the words of a language, or all the names in the world, or all the different ways that someone likes to eat their eggs.

No.

These machines are capable of learning these types of things all on their own.

Think of it kind of like how a baby learns how to walk and say his first few words.

It’s like that!

Artifical intelligence opens up a big can of worms.

The ethical and moral problems of artificial intelligence

If you can program a robot or computer to have human-like learning capabilities, then it raises some interesting questions like:

  • Can it learn to love?
  • Can it learn to have human emotions?
  • Can it learn to have desires?

As you can see, the line gets blurry when you ask if a machine can think on its own (i.e. it can learn), then does that machine have free will or free choice?

So in essence, is that robot more than just a machine since it’s exhibiting human-like qualities?

These topics are being currently studied, and there’s a huge debate in universities and online forums.

I’ve had many discussions with people from different backgrounds about this topic.

Have you heard of the 3 laws of robotics?

One of the very famous things that’s an important part of this topic is called the Three Laws of Robotics.

It was first created by a famous author named Isaac Asimov.

He’s a well-known sci-fi author, and he wrote a bunch of novels before passing away in 1992.

The three laws of robotics are these three rules where if a company or an individual were to program them into robots, then it would be greatly beneficial to humanity.

That’s because these laws will prevent the robot from evolving into a bad agent that can harm people.

Let me tell you what these three laws of robotics are since they’re relevant to this point that I’m making about why God did not give you artificial intelligence, and how it’s related to suffering.

  • Law #1 is that a robot cannot harm a human being, or through inaction, allow for a human to be harmed.
  • Law #2 is that a robot must obey a human being unless it conflicts with law number one.
  • Law #3 is that a robot must protect its own existence, as long as it doesn’t conflict with the breaking of laws numbers one and two.

As you can see, these laws, if they’re programmed into a robot that has artificial intelligence, then they probably would be pretty helpful to humanity.

But the problem is how do you govern that?

How do you make sure that all people who are working on artificial intelligence projects actually program these three laws into their robots?

That’s the current problem.

But you see, God did not build you with artificial intelligence.

He didn’t build you with programming that would make you into a robot.

God made sure that you have freedom.

You have free will.

A part of that free will is the freedom to do good, and the freedom to do evil.

We’re going to dig a little bit deeper into this powerful truth in the rest of this article.

But that’s the first compelling reason why God allows suffering.

It’s because God did not build you with artificial intelligence.

You’re built in God’s image, and part of that image is that you have free will and free choice.

2.  Reason #2: God does not use supernatural prevention 100% of the time.

We know that probably God prevents certain things from happening, but unless He shares those things with us, then we don’t know what events He stopped.

For example, think of all the terrorist attacks that were going to happen in New York or L.A. or some other city around the world, and God prevented those from happening.

For some reason, He wanted to do that.

But, there are other times where God allows terrible things, like those terrorist attacks that do end up coming to fruition.

So, God does not use His supernatural prevention abilities 100% of the time.

worship god

The fact that God doesn’t use His power to prevent all suffering confuses many people.

Now, before we dig into why He doesn’t use His supernatural prevention abilities 100% of the time, let’s take a look at one key attribute about God.

First of all, God is a good God.

He’s a righteous God.

Deuteronomy 32:4 says this:

“The Rock! His work is perfect. For all His ways are just. A God of faithfulness and without injustice. Righteous and upright is He.”

From this verse, you could say, “Hey, God is a good God. He is a righteous judge, and all of His judgments are perfect in all of their ways.”

Now, you might not feel that way sometimes, but that is what the Bible says.

But I think a lot of times we tend to misunderstand God, so that’s why we come to faulty conclusions about His goodness.

Now, the problem with us wanting God to use His supernatural prevention abilities is that we actually don’t want Him to use them 100% of the time.

You see, we only want Him to stop 100% of the truly evil things, but when it comes to lesser bad things, we’re kind of like, “Hmm, God, maybe you can let some of those slide?”

Let me give you some examples.

Example #1 – Drunk Drivers, Sex Trade, and Terrorist Attacks vs. Adultery and Pornography

We want God to stop terrorist attacks from happening or drunk drivers from hitting and killing innocent people on the sidewalk.

We also want for God to stop all the wicked people who are going to kidnap women and children and sell them into the sex slave industry.

But, what about this?

What about a married man who is currently watching pornography, and he has such an addiction, that six months from now, he is going to cheat on his wife?

Should God stop that married porn-watching man from committing adultery?

Example #2 – Thieves Robbing Homes vs. Cheating on Your Taxes

We know that you and I want God to stop thieves from breaking into our homes.

But should God also stop people from cheating on their taxes?

Example #3 – Murder vs. Gang Initiation

Should God only stop gang members if they’re about to murder someone?

Or should God stop them during the gang initiation process?

Or should He stop the gang member from being initiated in the first place?

So, you see, sin is a progression.

The small sins done today lead to bigger sins done tomorrow. #ButJesusSavesClick To Tweet

We want for God to stop the big sins that are going to happen tomorrow, but maybe the smaller ones, He can let those slide?

And God isn’t going to do that, because He’s a righteous judge.

That’s going to lead us to reason number three, why God allows suffering in the world today.

3.  Reason #3 – God does not want to remove all those who commit evil.

If I give you this Bible verse, then you’re going to understand where I’m going with this.

The Bible verse that I want to share with you is Romans 3:32, which says:

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

If God were to remove all people who committed all evil acts, then that would also include you and me.

are you guilty of causing suffering

You and I are guilty of causing other people to suffer but we want God to take it easy on us or to look the other way.

Now, you might be thinking, “Hey, Pete, I’m not evil. I’m a nice person. I’m cool. I don’t hurt people, and I try to help others as much as I can.”

While yeah, that might be true, but God’s standard of righteousness and morality is way different than yours and mine.

I mean, we’re like, “Hey, if you never cheat on somebody that you’re with, then that’s awesome,” but God says that just thinking about it is actually cheating on them.

You see, sinful acts don’t just depend on your actions, but they also depend on your thoughts and words too.

If you want to understand why God doesn’t want to remove all those who commit evil, then look no further than to 2 Peter 3:9 which that says:

“God is not wishing that any would perish, but that all would come to repentance.”

God allows humans to sin and doesn’t stop them from sinning because He is giving you and I a chance to repent and put our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

To repent means to change your mind about your sins so you stop doing them.

Can’t stop sinning?

Welcome to the club.

When you put your faith in Jesus and trust in Him to get you into heaven, then you become born again.

That means that God gives you a new heart and new desires to help you with whatever sin you’re struggling with.

Does That Make Sense?

To tie everything together, God’s primary concern in this world is not to stop all the evil things from happening.

His ultimate concern is to get you and me into heaven and to get us into the most loving and trusting relationship possible with Him.

That is why God does not give you artificial intelligence.

Instead, He gives you the freedom to be able to make choices.

Yeah, some of your choices will be good, and some of your choices will be evil.

You might not think that some of the things that you do are evil, but by God’s standard, they are.

Additionally, God does not use supernatural prevention 100% of the time because He wants to give you the freedom to make choices, whether they are good or bad.

That’s also why God does not remove all those people who commit evil acts, because that would mean the removal of you and me.

God is gracious and merciful because He’s constantly giving us the chance to go to heaven instead of going to hell.

Over to You

What do you think?

Why does God allow suffering?

 

Comments 30

  1. Pete you are so confused….there’s a huge difference between sin and having a child born with an incurable genetic disorder.
    I get it; god is not going to remove sin and he allows people to have free will.
    It wasn’t either (sin or free will) that created that poor suffering child and the heartache of helplessness that was thrust on the family and the aftermath of thier broken lives. God created that child. But of course, no person can hold God accountable, after all we are just dirt it gods hands. How dare dirt question the all powerful ‘loving?’ Creator of the universe.

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  2. A child being born with an illness is devastating for sure but also a result of sin, not of the parents or anyone else necessarily, but it’s the state of humanity in general. The premise is the same however; If God were to remove all things unlike Him that would include you, me and every person ever born, save our Lord and Savior Jesus. Great post.

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  3. you’re really stretching the link from sin allowed by god because ‘man’ is not a robot and god allowing that sin because god gave us free will.
    you totally neglect to recognize that god himself creates suffering.
    II Corinthians 12:7: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me (by god) a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
    god deliberately chose to make Paul suffer. god intentionally forced suffering onto Paul’s life and god forces suffering onto our lives as well. god desires to keep us humble. god wants us to be lowly. god himself wants to get the glory.
    Our lives are not about ‘Us’…god purposely causes suffering because he will break us down until we are humble and submit to him (because he loves us so much?) ‘Hey, what are you cryin about? Your life is just a vapor – hold out put up with the pain and suffering (even this is the only reality we can see, feel, touch) god has a big prize waiting for you after you are dead!
    God is all about suffering (“take up your cross & follow me”)…he created suffering.
    John 9 1 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.
    And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”
    Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so (caused by god) that the works of god (for gods glory) might be displayed in him.
    Even after yielding our will to gods (thy will be done) he guarantees people will have suffering in life,
    John 15:20
    Remember the word that I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you as well; if they kept My word, they will keep yours as well.
    Acts 14:22
    strengthening the souls of the disciples and encouraging them to continue in the faith. “We must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
    1 Corinthians 15:19
    If our hope in Christ is for this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all men.

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      Personally, I don’t agree with your interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12:7. When you read the passage in context, it does not say that God gave the thorn in the flesh to Paul. The thorn in the flesh was described by Paul as a messenger of Satan, therefore, it cannot have been created by God. However, God did allow for Paul to have this thorn in the flesh so in that sense, He gave permission for this thorn in the flesh to be given to Paul.

      In another comment, I asked you if you are a Calvinist. I’m just getting now to all the comments so I will just wait to hear your reply so that we can continue our discussion.

  4. Here’s a scenario: Two people both have free will. One of them decides to use his free will for evil and kidnaps, imprisons, and tortures the other one. The victim here suffers immeasurably, but not as the result of having sinned, but because the evil person took away his free will. He doesn’t want to be there, doesn’t want to participate in what’s going on. So let’s not tie all suffering back to sin and free will, because often the person suffering has been denied their right to exercise their free will by someone else.

    I’m really tired of hearing apologists lay the blame of all suffering on humanity when so very often there is suffering not because of our actions, but DESPITE our actions. If God is all-powerful and He gets to take credit for everything good that happens, then He has to take the blame for at least some of the bad that happens. You can’t have it both ways, otherwise he’s not all-powerful.

    Honestly, the two most likely explanations are that either (a) God simply doesn’t exist, or (b) God exists, but never intervenes in our lives in positive or negative ways; He’s just an observer.

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      Hmm, you raise some great thought-provoking questions, Ed.

      When you say that God should take the blame for at least some of the bad that happens, what kind of things were you thinking God should take the blame for? Can you give me an example?

  5. What about hungry children or suffering children? So many bible verses say you will not be forsaken, but I bet families who are poor and can’t feed, clothe, care for their children feel forsaken. This is my question.

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      Hi Laura, yes, I am familiar with some of those verses that you are referring to. Just so that we can take each Bible verse in context, can you please let me know which one you are referring to?

  6. I had to go to Wikipedia to see what a Calvinist was…so, I suspect I’m not one.
    Nothing against those guys…I’m just a person searching for God.
    Are you something? Catholic ? Lutheran? Baptist ?

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      LOL, sorry about that, Two. I’m afraid that Wikipedia isn’t going to have the best information on Calvinism. But I did some research and I found this article to be one of the best and most concise articles about Calvinism if you’re interested https://www.gotquestions.org/calvinism.html

      As for me, nope, I’m not Catholic, Lutheran, or Baptist. I’m just Christian and I go to a nondenominational church.

  7. Following Jesus is the only way, being a Lutheran, Calvinist and etc, can’t save you, only Jesus, if you guys want to know more about evil and suffering check out Sean McDowell.

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  8. According to my understanding and in agreement to be the post; if God is to prevent all bad things from happening, it is either he will kill all of us like the author said, or He will wipe off sins from being in existence because every bad thing that happen is a result of an evil sins, directly or indirectly.

    For a child that is born with a defect, connect it to Deuteronomy 5:9 and Lamentations 5:7 perhaps you will understand how it is connected to sins.

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  9. According to my understanding and in agreement to the post; if God is to prevent all bad things from happening, it is either he will kill all of us like the author said, or He will wipe off sins from being into existence because every bad thing that happens is a result of an sins, directly or indirectly.

    For a child that is born with a defect, connect it to Deuteronomy 5:9 and Lamentations 5:7 perhaps you will understand how it is connected to sins.

  10. We have a very long and rocky way to go. We are now able to judge God? We are now Hollier than God? Who created who?
    I can’t begin to imagine myself sewing an apron and the apron accuses me of this and that.
    What do we hope to achieve with these kind of contentions?
    If we have a problem giving Him some respect, does this mean that we expect and accept disrespect from our children whom we don’t create anyway?
    HE IS THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE FULNESS THEREOF INCLUDING YOU AND ME. YOU TAKE IT OR YOU LEAVE IT. I suggest that we RESPECT AND HONOUR HIM.

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      Hi Thandie, I can most certainly understand where you’re coming from and I respect your position.

      I don’t think that any of the commentators so far meant to disrespect God or to belittle Him in any way. I think it’s just their way of trying to understand God and our universe. Of course, God is too big and too wise for us to fully comprehend Him. But with what little brains we have, we can do our best to understand God and having a dialogue about this topic is one way to go about it.

  11. Hello Pete!

    You make some good points here, but I’d like to point out that you’re not really addressing the whole problem of suffering so much as one part of it – the problem of suffering directly caused by humans.

    When you’re doing apologetics for the Gospel, people will often ask about tsunamis or hurricanes – how does a loving God allow those?

    Fr. Robert Spitzer has written a good article, on the broader topic, which you might be interested in – you can find it here: https://www.magiscenter.com/why-would-a-loving-god-allow-suffering/

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      Okay, thanks, Magis Center, for the link. I will click on it and check it out.

      And yes, I suppose I wasn’t able to tackle all facets of this topic as it is such a broad topic.

  12. Thanks God for people like you, Peter, who understand some mindsets.
    Can you possibly give me a verse in the Bible where God tells us to understsnd Him or even try to comprehend Him?
    All the verses I remember, God tells us who He is.
    In Psalm 46:10, He says “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
    I, personally don’t believe that “understanding” God can come from and through the use of a red pen where we mark His wrongs and rights. I believe that people who understand Him better and easily are those who just read the Word and believe it as the Holy Spirit elaborates, rather than apply human standards to analyse Him.

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      Thanks Thandie for your kind words, they mean a lot.

      I can’t think of any verses that say that we will be able to comprehend God, but I can think of at least one Bible verse that tells us that we should study God’s Word. And if we study God’s Word, then of course it’s going to give us at least some understanding of the author, and the author is God.

      “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV

  13. Sir Peter, we look at different cases from different angles and backgrounds. From the spiritual part of a case where a child is born with a defect; it is not impossible that the sins of the ancestors and or parents contributed, because God certainly does not intend that anyone should be disabled because according to my understanding, that would contradict Jeremiah 29:11.

    However, I am talking as an African from the black race where terrible rituals and sacrifices are performed and evil dedications are practised. If you observe some families or bloodlines, you can trace certain patterns in people’s lives; each family with its own. If there are covenants that the ancestors entered into with the devil, unless they are broken through a sound relationship with God and spiritual warfare prayers; it will affect that family from generation to generation.

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      Okay blessing, I think I understand what you are saying. How about in such a case where a mother is pregnant with a child and she drinks alcohol in a heavy dosage during her pregnancy even though her doctor has warned her many times that she needs to stop drinking. If the baby that is born ends up having a birth defect because the mother consumes too much alcohol during the pregnancy, then is a birth defect caused by the sin of the mother?

  14. Sir I believe before the doctors regard something as bad God did and that makes it a sin. My answer to the question is yes, the child became defective as a result of the mother’s sins or exercise of free will in a wrong way, but that is more from a physical perspective.

    In other cases like people being killed in a car crush that has been caused by a drunk driver is a different thing. That those people are innocent in that specific case does not mean they are innocent before God if they are not genuine children of God, that is why God can not t be hold accountable in that. However, if God should allow His innocent and blameless children to be victims of things like these, it could be that He purposed it to happen that way for whatever reason known to Him and which we can’t question, but that doesn’t mean He is wicked.

    Now the thing is that there is a difference between God allowing something to happen and Him causing it. God purposed good for everyone, but that is the opposite of the devil (John 10:10). A woman who drinks while pregnant despite the doctor’s warning made a choice to go that way and the results would come out as such.

    One thing that we should know is that God knows not how to do evil, but again the devil does not have the power to do something without first obtaining permission from the Almighty. The bible says the devil is an accuser of the brethren accusing them before God day and night. The accusations are simply the things we do that are sinful and which the devil sees and seizes to have as reasons to obtain permission to do us harm. That is why he couldn’t kill Job because Job was still connected to God. Sin is the only thing that disconnects us from God (Isaiah 59:1-3).

    In the case of those who are not born again and living holy, 1 John 3:8-10 says they are of the devil therefore he has enough reasons and permissions to do what he wishes in their lives. That is why it does not make sense to me when someone blames God for allowing someone to be killed in a night club. Our protection lies in holiness and righteousness.

    I am sorry sir, I might have gone far because this is a broad topic, but I hope this makes sense. I am willing to take correction in all that I said🙇

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  15. Thank you too Sir. This was a very interesting discussion. I have engaged my fellow youths in the same discussion and I just found out that many of the brethren found it a difficult question, but all that I learned here enabled me to help them.

    More spiritual insight to you Sir and may the Lord bless you in Jesus name.

  16. God should take the blame for natural disasters, diseases, and random tragedies (lightning strikes a tree, tree falls and crushes somebody) for a start. On a related note, I have to take issue with Deuteronomy’s assumption that God is good and just. I’m not saying God isn’t those things, but I’m saying that there’s no proof that he is either. We certainly see enough examples of injustice in God’s world every day to call His goodness and justness into question.

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