- We live in an imperfect world in which we are vulnerable and susceptible to suffering and death.
- Humans at times can intentionally inflict suffering upon others.
- Suffering can come about through illness, war, poverty, disease etc.
- We are unable to eradicate suffering altogether.
Certain suffering however can be of benefit. Pain can alert us to the need for medical assistance, for example, toothache or broken bones.
The Bible provides insight into the origin of suffering. It is the consequence of man’s fallen sinful state. Ever since sin appeared through the disobedience of Adam and Eve mankind has been on a downward spiral, not only concerning sinful behaviour but by not having clear direction, hope or knowledge of God.
“For as by the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners . . .” (Romans 5:19).
“Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). But there is hope:
“. . . so also by the one Man’s [Jesus’] obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).
God is often ridiculed and accused of allowing suffering to continue without intervening, this leads people to ask why God allows suffering. But sadly mankind has willingly turned his back on God and misses out on God’s blessings towards those who trust him.
“. . . casting all your care upon him, for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
And so the question really could be ‘what has mankind done for God to intervene and prevent
suffering once and for all’? The answer is . . . nothing.
However God’s promise is that Jesus will establish a world that will be free from sin, suffering and death when he returns to the earth and sets up God’s kingdom.
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). The Lord’s Prayer.
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(Quotations are from the New King James Version of the Bible)