Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Our world is full of suffering. Why?

Why do children die of cancer? Why do families suffer from starvation? Why do people going about their normal daily lives get killed by terrorists?

Why is our world so full of tragic suffering—and senseless death?

People who believe in the Christian God believe He is all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful. But if He knows about suffering—and if He loves the people who are suffering—why doesn’t He use His power to stop the suffering?

Many people have theories about why God allows suffering. But the real answer is found in God’s Word, the Holy Bible.

The Apostle Paul described the age we live in as “this present evil world.” Now here’s an interesting question: According to the Bible, who is the god of this “present evil world”? The answer might surprise you.

Ezekiel 28 describes a magnificent archangel who was “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” Isaiah 14 tells us God gave this angel authority to rule the Earth. But then this angel turned to evil, and tried to seize God’s throne. This angel’s name was Lucifer. After he rebelled, God changed his name to Satan. And notice: God cast him back down to Earth.

The Bible says Satan is real! Not only that, he has also deceived the whole world. But that’s not all. The Bible also makes this shocking statement: Satan is, in fact, “the god of this world”! (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Does the world around you begin to make a little more sense when you realize that the god of this world is actually the devil?

But why is God allowing this? There is a valuable reason: God is teaching us something.

The sadness, the misery, the tragedy that surrounds us is not something to ignore. It’s something we must face up to—and learn from.

Jesus Christ faced these facts. In His day, a building collapsed, tragically crushing 18 people. He said, “[T]hink ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4-5).

Jesus Christ Himself said that some human beings suffer and die—even though they are no more sinful than those who continue to live.

Romans 3:23 says that all human beings are guilty of sin. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says that time and chance happen to everyone. Jesus said that, one way or another, we will “all likewise perish”—unless we repent!

Repenting means giving up your entire way of life—and submitting to God’s way of life. It means, turning to the true God and allowing Him to rule you.

Jesus showed that the disasters people are suffering are warnings to those who believe in God. One way or another, your brief existence will end—unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. The most fundamental lesson a human being can learn is to face the truth—to recognize his own helplessness apart from God.

But what about those who died? You might think that they can’t learn any lessons from their own deaths. But what does the Bible say?

“Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.”
—Ezekiel 37:5

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God ….”
—Revelation 20:12

The plain truth of the Bible is that all those who have died will live again! They will be resurrected to physical life at a time when Jesus Christ has replaced Satan as the god of this world!

“God shall wipe all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”
—Revelation 21:4

To summarize: Satan is the god of this world. God allows him to inflict suffering and death—to teach a valuable, eternal lesson to those who will repent.

In the future, God will replace Satan as ruler over the world, He will resurrect those who have died, and He will give them the opportunity to repent and share a relationship with Him.

Why does God allow suffering? This is God’s answer—from the Bible. Repentance is the most important lesson you can learn.

Begin your journey toward repentance and a relationship with God by reading Gerald Flurry’s booklet Repentance Toward God.