Why is this particular subject monumental in dictating our fundamental beliefs in a transcendent divine entity? Many have asked if there is a God, then why does he allow suffering.
Before we even look at the question, we must first understand why. In simple response is to question the questioner as to their motives behind the question. It is effortless to disregard any thought, doctrine, or belief when we cannot allow these facts to enter into our life or dictate how we live it.
Therefore, answering this question to any particular audience would entail looking at the driving force behind these questions. For an atheist, the reasoning behind such questions would deny any such foundation platform that would ultimately disengage their hold or control in the lives they live. Living an autonomous life without anyone to answer to and follow seems such an ideal precept.
Nevertheless, strangely enough, this precept is false because when we include this moral foundation into their lives, order and meaning will subsequently and inevitably give answers to their questions. In a sense, humanity has been inherently hostile in any submission to any transcendent foundations that would provide answers to their questions.
Humanity inclination that by allowing anything outside their scope of reasoning or attestation is unacceptable. Humanity defiance in anything of absolute authority without any debate or compromise is unacceptable. Whatever authority must have attestation and concession before accepted as logical.
However, such passionate doctrines will ultimately defy any sense of logic and will never satisfy their need for an absolute autonomous existence.
Then we have agnostics who search for evidence. A very understandable trait to have, but after calling one an agnostic, we must have the genuine desire to look at the evidence and accept it for its authenticity. Arguments must have based on evidence from the pro and the con of each argument and, ultimately, the conclusion. One plus one will always be two, and to argue the result would be illogical, then; if the evidence itself proves a conclusion, to deny the evidence, how can anyone move forward into accepting any conclusion.
We have other world views that offer many different interpretations in establishing divine existence. Their views vary, but ultimately, one has to study and evaluate all the doctrinal, theological, philosophical and religious interpretations. Pain and suffering debated and how any God from whatever world view embraced would justify it.
We can debate the worth and authenticity of other world views but do not have the testimony and the evidence to justify them. A belief held with undying faith revealed, in the way, truth, and the life of Jesus Christ.
The significance of this is monumental as Jesus’s ministry personifies the subject of suffering and pain and what it means for Christians.
We looked at how God had given so much to his chosen people in the OT but rejected. Over 2500 years of rejection by his chosen people. However, our God is sovereign, and His ‘will’ be done.
Isaiah 46:9–10 (KJV)
“9 Remember the former things of old:
For I am God, and there is none else;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times the things that are not yet done,
Saying, My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all my pleasure: “
Nevertheless, if we look closely at what God plan has been from before the beginning, we will realize that we are his creation made in His likeness and image.
Genesis 1: 26 (ESV)
26 And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….”
That in itself proclaims the ultimate inheritance that we created. As Paul wrote in
Ephesians 1:11 (ESV)
11″In Him, we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”
From Adam, we predestined to walk a journey that would take us through an evolution from our destitute in Eden onwards. An evolution that seeds grow within us, our children, our neighbors, our communities, and out to all the nations.
Deuteronomy 6:6–7 (ESV)
6 “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.”
7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
God proclaimed this long journey in changing us to his image and likeness and truly becoming his children. Look at ourselves and honestly ask ourselves if we are indeed his children. We walk through our lives daily, thinking we can walk righteously and believe that we all fall short. It is because of this fundamental Christian belief that many have turned their backs to God. Disillusioned people devise ideas and concepts of life to avoid reality in God. Philosophers deduce the inexistence of God, as Friedrich Nietzsche declared in his book – God Is Dead.
Humanity has developed theological, Philosophical, Scientific, and many other so-called thinking schools to seek avenues that comfort their world view against God’s existence. World religions today proclaim divine existence based on man devised so-called intellectual standards and human-made moral standards. The problem with all these points of reference is that man himself created them. Even as we move forward, humanity continues to struggle with the four premises of our existence.
Many religions produce within their standards of interpreting these answers.
Hinduism – has many levels of pathways to their ‘Gods.”
Buddhism – based on rebirth and Karma
Islam – is based on works. Sins weighed by good and evil. Do more good than bad, and gain excess to their God.
Atheist – believe in God’s non-existence and that our existence is for the moment, and we should always live for the moment and not expect anything more.
And many, many more. Interpretations are all fallible and easy to denounce but will not spend time on that now. We look at four questions of life, and we begin to create our interpretations is of why and how, and what lives are to be.
Origin: We debunk the origin thesis by continuously coming up with proofs or evidence to the creation story. Science continues to play a leading role in trying to offer evidence to support their proofs for creation.
Meaning: we continue to ask, “what does it all mean’ “why do we exist.’ Is this all there is in life? We question our daily lives and the continued monotony in our lives. We become bored, and we start to look for external stimulation to make our lives more enjoyable, leading to moral decay.
Morals: We devise laws and moral standards that are man driven sets of standards that we create for our convenience. When a man sets the standards for morality, history has shown the continued failures.
Destiny: Is this all there is? We conclude that there is nothing more after death because they stay silent when we ask the dead. Death seems like the ultimate conclusion to a lifelong existence that we all spend searching for answers.
As Christians, we live a complete and satisfying life because we can walk through life, knowing the answers to all those questions. However, as Christians, we too fall short many times to path that provides us comfort. We question pain and suffering, and we question God. We look for answers from him when we ultimately live in a time when God has already provided all the answers for us.
There is but one point and time in the history of humanity when all these answers answered. It is the death of our savior Jesus Christ. His ministry of the earth was the personification of all the prophecies that proclaimed in the past. He brought Mankind under one roof to gain the inheritance promised by God. He gave rebirth for all sinners and hope. He gave two laws to live by from the original 613 laws of Moses.
Matthew 22:37–40 (KJV)
37 Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
He was God who walked amongst us for only one reason. For Mankind is the ultimate author of his self-destruction, the Father sent Him to rewrite our salvation? Salvation can only be when Mankind had paid for all his sins. Salvation demanded blood for all sinners. Forgiveness is paid for by the death of our Jesus Christ. His birth is the story for us to know and proclaim by our faith and witnesses who documented and proclaimed his church. Gospels are blankets of contentment in learning and understanding with all our faith in his glorious message to all Mankind.
Today we celebrate a new beginning in knowing full well that all that proclaimed in the stories of old were all true, and it was by faith that many believers then that they held for that promised to fulfill. We live in a time whereby we know the truth and have all the answers for our existence made clear to us in his scriptures. We live the most significant moments in the scriptures, where we as his children walk in the faith of his return, and we proclaim his Glory.
Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power given unto me in heaven and in the earth.” 19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” 20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
When we look at the Christian Judaic world view, we are the only belief on earth that acknowledges that we are all sinners who have established ourselves as not worthy of being apart of God’s Kingdom. When we realize that fact, nothing will allow us access to God’s Kingdom, we then understand that no matter what we do here in this world will gain our access.
The one glorious fact that we can gain that excess is through the atonement of our sins. We are doomed to eternity for the sins of our hearts, let alone the sins we have done. As Adam failed and brought into our souls, there is but one person who had fulfilled God’s laws in perfection. None other than His beloved Son Jesus Christ. What Adam failed, Jesus Fulfilled and died for all our sins and only through him can we have access to the Father.
John 14:6 (ESV)
6 Jesus saith unto him,” I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 12: 47 (ESV)
47 “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”
If Jesus came to heal the world, how can we deny that salvation if only by faith that we follow his footsteps and allow the Holy Spirit to fill and guide our lives? Our transgressions are forgiven through his pain and suffering when he took the punishment on the tree for us.
Today, many of us live our lives void of any meaning and distance ourselves from the salvation offered in Jesus. God had always had a plan for us, and if only we open our hearts to his grace, we will converge upon the path to righteousness. Nevertheless, at the same time, God will be done, and if he decides to bring back to the fold, we are then subject to the pain and suffering he allows upon us.
Always believing that humanity is the cause of their pain and suffering, humanity and God have never induced the pain and suffering we blame him. There is always a chain of events caused by man that ultimately leads to our pain and suffering. There are instances in the OT, God has brought his wrath upon man, but it has always been for disobedience and punishment. He has never brought about Pain and Suffering for no reason. God’s purpose has always been to a more significant cause and part of his plan for our salvation.
As we walk in the path of Christ, we pick our cross and follow in his footsteps. We face the challenges of the unsaved world, and we become proclaimers of our faith—unfortunately, there many who, unbeknownst to them, are intimidated by the news. Sometimes ideas are much easier to convince than passions. Lifelong beliefs, which reveal as false, can profoundly affect many people, and the immediate reaction is retaliation. Firmly believe with the workings of the Holy Spirit, their hearts will smoothen, and joy of salvation will ultimately bring them the realization of their salvation. Many will ultimately become lions in proclaiming God’s word.
The prophets of old enriched with the Glory of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit never feared the retaliation of unbelievers. Paul, a persecutor of early Christian, ultimately filled with the spirit, became one of Christ’s greatest proclaimers and bore the burden of his suffering and, ultimately, martyrdom in proclaiming the Lord. He is one, who through the centuries, continued walking in the prophet’s steps and strengthened with the power of the spirit willing to sacrifice all for the Glory of our Lord. How does one define this type of suffering? Foolish? Few caught up in this arena of sacrifice, then the actuality of insanity could be proclaimed, but thousands, hundreds of thousands through the centuries till today, continue to walk the path of the proclamation of the Lord at whatever the cost.
Pain and suffering of this materialistic world are ultimately by humanity’s choice whether we walk to the Glory of the Lord, A process to be molded to the Lord’s will, or merely the consequence of our destructive nature.
To provide a single answer to why Pain and Suffering are like explaining the complexity of God’s creation itself. The glorious mystery to God’s sovereignty and will is beyond human comprehension, and we do better to accept his will and walk in his path. If such a perfect world existed, then, by all means, will humanity ultimately dwell in a Kingdom described in Genesis Chapter 1?
For we have but only two laws to live by
MATT 22:37 37
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
If only by these two laws do all the laws of the OT hang? What a glorious world we will be living in. The evolution of humanity back to its first steps in Eden to the fulfillment of the creation story.
Pain and suffering are ultimately the evolutionary processes in reminding us that we are human and that we ultimately have been defying God since creation, and it is the stimulus of our minds to realize how far we have strayed from our salvation. So why question pain and Suffering but rather embrace it as our fundamental lesson to searching for the light that shines in the darkness. We have allowed the darkness in creation to envelope the light. For God separated the light from the dark but humanity in defiance has allowed the darkness to envelop the Lord’s light.
So before we lash out, we must look at ourselves, not just the surface but into our souls. No one can reach within but and open our hearts to God. Only then the Glory and Spirit of God fills us, and His Glory shall personify in his Likeness and Image.
God is sovereign and, in his glorious mystery, will allow pain and suffering. It is the one physical and emotional conduit in humanity to ask themselves why. If only to look at God, when even through all their denials of his existence, ask why. God does and will allow pain and suffering for humanity in their ongoing plight to deny his existence then ultimately acknowledge his existence when they ask ‘why.’ The irony of humanity incestuous claims of his non-existence and existence.
He was only molding a man to walk the path that God has laid out for him, for written throughout the bible, where a man takes into the path of righteousness. Outstanding wondrous accounts of men molded like clay to God’s will. In the book of Job, we see how God himself proclaims his divine sovereignty over all creation, and all within his creation is to his purpose. God’s purpose may not, by any means, be for our purpose. For we are within his creation, and we are all here for his ultimate inheritance. Our roles are but a small part of the broader spectrum of God’s plan. Who are we to judge God for so as it was for Job, for we are not privy to all that is part God larger plan?
We arrogantly deny his Glory within the created cosmos. We belligerently deny that God’s plan is outside our spectrum of comprehension and understanding. It is by faith we accept our places in the cosmos and apart of God’s larger plan.