Why didn’t God create a world without suffering? Perhaps one of the greatest challenges to God and Christianity is the problem of evil. While we touched on this subject in other articles and podcasts, some people still find this argument against God powerful.
We tend to look at problems through human eyes. And in doing so, we miss the bigger picture or implications of how we would solve problems. And perhaps this is no more evident than when we talk about pain and suffering.
We all like to think if we saw someone suffering, we would try and take that burden away from them. This seems like a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t we try and stop suffering when we see it. And if we had the power, we would create a world without suffering. So why didn’t God create a world without suffering?
Humans were given free will by God. And He wants a relationship with us. But He wants us to come to Him of our own free will. God will not force someone into a relationship. That would be cruel. He instead allows us to choose for ourselves.
But, as with any good thing, our freedom can be misused. The same freedom that allows us to love, also allows us to hate. The ability to help someone in need is countered by the inclination to ignore the suffering of others. We have a choice and therefore can make a wrong choice. In this way, we contribute to the suffering we see around us.
God Knows The Future
When we are in the midst of suffering, it is hard to see past our current situation. Sometimes we are suffering because we made bad choices. Or we suffer due to the bad choices of others. These can be powerful learning tools.
As parents, we can understand this. We may permit a small amount of suffering into our children’s lives to spare them greater suffering later. We’ve all seen the hurt look our child gives us when we take them to the doctor for a shot. They don’t understand why we didn’t stop them from getting hurt. But as parents, we understand the greater good we are achieving by allowing a small amount of suffering at the time.
God Understands Our Suffering
God is not an idle observer of our suffering. He is grieved by our pain. And he has compassion for us. He shared in our suffering when He humbled Himself to become a human. He experienced thirst, hunger, and excruciating pain and suffering at the crucifixion. This is not an academic exercise for God. He experienced what we are going through. And he has a plan to rescue us from our own self-caused suffering.