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If God is all-loving, all-powerful and all-knowing why doesn’t he stop the suffering in the world?

This question is often thrown up in arguments about God. So, we looked at it in one of our recent teenage talks.

 Is God all-loving?

1 John 4:8 says, “God is love”. The Bible is saying that God’s very character is love itself: he is all-loving.

 Is God all-powerful?

Jeremiah 32:17 says he is: “Lord God, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you.”

 Is God all-knowing?

1 John 3:20 says, “God…knows all things”. Yes, God is all-knowing.

 So, having established that God is all-loving, all-powerful and all-knowing, imagine what would happen if God stopped all the suffering in the world. Right now.

Imagine God stopping the murderer in the act of firing his gun; imagine a girl finding those spiteful words just won’t come out of her mouth and imagine the bully, intending to get together a mean plot, not being able to organise his thoughts.  Suddenly, God stopping suffering turns into God controlling us and that seems rather less like a good idea!

 So, we get that God doesn’t want to control us. But why is suffering here is the first place?

  • When God made the world there wasn’t any suffering at all – Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw everything that he had made and indeed it was very good.”
  • Suffering and death entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned, as explained in Genesis 3:16-19.
  • There are benefits of suffering, such as teaching us patience and making us grateful for the good times. Romans 5:3 highlights this when it says, “We have joy in our troubles because we know that troubles produce patience and patience produce character and character produces hope.”

 So, does that mean there will always be suffering?

Looking at Revelation 21:4 we can conclude a definite NO!

“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain.” God plans to get rid of suffering for ever.

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