Why is there suffering in this world?
This question has been raised time and time again throughout history. If a supposedly good and all-powerful God exists, why does He allow war, famine, murder and other life’s tragedies? Would He not have the power to prevent and even eliminate all the bad in the world?
The Bible doesn’t answer this question directly. However, the Bible does tell us that a lot of suffering in the world is caused by man himself, as a consequence of the choices he makes out of his free will. War, violence, adultery and other deeply wounding situations are, in fact, caused by man. We cannot blame God for our bad choices. Instead, we must take a look in the mirror.
In this world, however, there is also much suffering that is not caused by man, such as many illnesses and natural disasters. Why doesn’t God prevent these from happening? To some extent, this remains a mystery to us. It seems, however, that God uses hardship and life’s situations to call us into His presence. Perhaps one reason for suffering is to remind us how small we are and thus encourage us to turn to God. On the other hand, suffering brings people closer to each other and it is God’s will that we help those that are in need.
Our comfort and hope in the midst of suffering is Christ – He has defeated sin and death through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
(Psalm 34:18 ESV)