If God is Good, Why is There Suffering?


Have you come across this objection? “If God is good, then why is there suffering in the world?”

Chances are good that you’ve come across it. So, how do we wrestle with this?

Why is there suffering if God is good?

First, we don’t get to live in a perfect world, because everyone’s done something wrong, at some point. In a perfect world, even one person doing one wrong thing (sin) causes it to be…well, not perfect anymore!

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Our sin causes other people to suffer. There are immediate effects, and there are secondary effects, tertiary effects, and infinitely more. It’s obvious to us how someone committing crimes that immediately affect others visibly and tangibly cause a ripple of suffering…such as murder, stealing, etc. But less obvious sins cause ripple effects, too. This can be as subtle as an unchecked attitude problem or even some seemingly harmless selfishness. All of these things have effects on others, big or small.

So, why doesn’t God just keep us from sinning?

If He did that, then we’d all be robots, forced to do good (aka His will) all the time. And robots with no free will can’t love.

girl wondering why there is suffering if God is good

God wanted beings who would be capable of loving him back. Free will is an absolute requirement for that to be possible. And, having free will to love or reject God means that just as a matter of statistics, some will choose to reject Him.

“But, the world has diseases, earthquakes, etc…so where’s God?”

Speaking of the whole “fallen world” aspect, there’s also the reason our entire world is in decay…because at the start of humanity, the first people God ever created DID in fact choose to disobey God…aka, to reject Him, thereby ruining the perfect world that they had been living in up to that point.

But there’s hope. Yes, we live in a fallen world, and it has to be that way for now, because we’re not perfect people. But also, there’s a better life waiting for us in eternity…IF we say YES to God and agree to follow HIS path to salvation.

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