When I see and experience huge sufferings and huge pain, I often ask "where is God?"

A Wonderful Comment from @xplosive

I blogged about our experience at a fancy and expensive wedding, and I pondered about wealth being a challenge to faith. @explosive brought up a greater challenge, and that's this:

When I see and experience huge sufferings and huge pain, I often ask "where is God?"

It's only natural to question the goodness and love of God, when His creation experiences great pain and suffering and it seems that He does nothing about it.

If God is so loving, then God certainly would stop these things. Some people say there is a greater good in all of this.

The Best Questions are Difficult Questions

People have pondered this question for a very long time. I don't know if I can really answer this question, it's something I've wondered myself. There are some scripture that has helped me to better understand.

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It seems that suffering tests the hearts of believers. It's something God does that makes a separation between those "along for the ride" and those who are committed. One of the greatest forms of suffering is hunger. We are not familiar with this type of suffering, but some say it's worse than death. Yet God made his people suffer hunger in the wilderness:

“If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt!” they said. “There we sat by pots of meat and ate our fill of bread, but you have brought us into this desert to starve this whole assembly to death!” Exodus 16:2

He does this to HUMBLE US, to TEST US, to KNOW WHAT'S IN OUR HEART.

God led you all the way in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commandments. He humbled you, and in your hunger He gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had known, so that you might understand that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3

It's easy to love God while He's allowing us to live in luxury, but when He makes us HUNGER for a time and eat nothing but our "daily bread", denying us our accustomed luxuries, tests our fortitude and our trust in Him. We don't know how well we'll do until we're actually tested, but it seems best to practice gratitude for whatever we have. For little or for much, for cheap or for rich, for plain or for luxurious. If we're too busy being grateful, we don't have time or energy to MURMUR and COMPLAIN and be deceived into believing God is not so loving after all. May it never be - the first step towards understanding a loving God is fearing that loving God and seeking after HIS ways. This is wisdom and it will lead to a relationship between man and God that will someday fulfill all of the greatest LUXURIES one can imagine! The only way to forming this relationship is through Yeshua, the Word of God made flesh.

The Blessings or the Curses

All that above is well and good for the believers, but what about those who question the existence of God, or denies the existence of God, or who believes in other gods? Doesn't this seemingly apathetic behavior seem to confirm that God doesn't exist or if He does, He doesn't care?

The only answer for this is: God is God. He is not indebted to His creation, His creation is indebted to HIM.

I know that's an uncomfortable answer, it was uncomfortable for me at first. We like to think that since God made us, he OWES us, since we didn't choose to be born. But the reality is that no matter how much we hold on to the idea that God owes us good things, the more difficult our lives will be. The more difficult it becomes to be GRATEFUL for what He provides for all of us. And the truth is (if anyone is willing to see it) that God gives good gifts to the righteous and the wicked together.

[God] causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45

Why does God do this? Couldn't He make constant drought over the wicked and abundant rain for the righteous? He could, but He doesn't, because He commands believers to love their enemies, just as He shows loving kindness to His enemies. He doesn't require believers to do anything He doesn't do Himself:

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

Conflict and Discomfort

The world is completely run on conflict and discomfort. Without conflict and discomfort, people would never do anything productive, civilization would collapse. God does not bring conflict and discomfort to His creation (except on rare occasions), we are the creators of these. And conflict and discomfort, suffering and death are not GOOD, yet they are allowed to continue.

Why wouldn't a GOOD God simply snap His fingers and eliminate all suffering and death? Because He shows mercy to His enemies, and the greatest enemy is death. Even after Yeshua returns and reigns, even after 1000 years of the Kingdom of Heaven, death and suffering is not yet defeated... not until the the end.

The end will come, when [Yeshua] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after [Yeshua] has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power. For [Yeshua] must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet: the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:25

There is a time that will come when ALL SUFFERING and ALL DEATH will be defeated, having no more authority or dominion over God's Creation. Until then, it is our job to endure the testing of our faith - and if we lack faith begin in the FEAR OF GOD, gaining wisdom and understanding in Yeshua and His walk and praise Him and Worship Him.

This is the understanding that allowed me to be at peace with the concept of God allowing suffering. I believe it to be compelling and true.

An Insufficient Answer

I know that for some people who have experience great pain and suffering, this is a difficult and perhaps insufficient answer. I find this is usually because in their hearts, they are looking for a reason to blame God for their difficult life - and perhaps that's not a bad thing. When a person experiences a difficult life full of pain and suffering, they SHOULD cry out to God, demanding that He explain it. God doesn't owe anyone an explanation, but He hears the cries of those who call on Him.

He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:19

The Story of Job

The difficulty is when man (in his low estate) becomes prideful and refuses to cry out to God, rather choosing to become resentful towards Him, creating a mis-characterization of Him. They deny His existence and ultimately blaspheme His Name. This is what Job's wife insisted he do, when God allowed great suffering for Job:

Then Job’s wife said to him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9

Job's integrity was in insisting that God is GOOD no matter the circumstances. Yet his wife was pretty much saying "just admit it Job, God isn't so GOOD after all, look what he's allowing to happen to you! Just say what we know you're thinking, curse this god and die. Admit that He doesn't care about you!" But Job didn't commit this sin, rather he spoke the truth about the character of God:

“Should we accept from God only good and not suffering?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said, neither did he blaspheme God with his lips. Job 2:10

Then Job makes his complaint towards God:

I loathe my own life; I will express my complaint and speak in the bitterness of my soul. I say to God: Do not condemn me! Why do You prosecute me. Does it please You to oppress me, to reject the work of Your hands and favor the schemes of the wicked? Job 10:1-3

God was not pleased with the suffering of Job, He was not prosecuting Job. He was testing Job to see if he only honors God when things are comfortable, to see if he would blaspheme God if things become uncomfortable. But Job did not blaspheme God, or mischaracterize Him. He essentially said that he didn't understand why God was allowing this unfair travesty to happen to him.

Isn't it all the unfair travesties that we don't understand, also?

God's ultimate answer to Job is God's answer to us. There is a lot that we (dust and ash) will never fully understand about Him. Were we there at Creation? Are we God? No, God is God we are His creation. There are things that we will never wrap our brains around. God was pleased that Job didn't deny or blaspheme Him, or spoke inaccurately about the character of God, nor cursed Him, nor spoke badly about Him. God would be pleased if we do the same.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

Conclusion

This is my current understanding about why God allows suffering, pain and death in the world - while remaining GOOD. God Himself is the definition of GOOD, we must be careful before we judge the goodness of God by our own standards. This is what it means to "fear God", accepting Him for who He is and drawing near to Him, learning of Him, growing in His wisdom and ultimately loving Him with our whole hearts.

He sees pain and suffering differently than we do, He sees TIME differently than we do, He sees death differently than we do. He is our CREATOR and in the resurrection our RECREATOR. He knows what is best for us, even if it's uncomfortable. Even if it's painful. Even if it makes our stomachs groan - if we trust in Him and His Son (our redeemer) He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.

We will be enjoyers of our inheritance.


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Benjamin Turner: God fearer. Rooted in Messiah. Husband of @lturner. Father of six wonderful children. The guy behind the camera. Blockchain enthusiast.

Bless the Most High!

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Thanks for sharing your beliefs. It sounds like God requires Ying and Yang to create some sort of harmony. What are your thoughts on Karma?

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Karma: Where I Agree

The principle of karma (Sanskrit for "deeds") is the idea that good deeds bring about good results, while bad deeds bring about bad results. I agree with this basic principle of deeds to results, that living in obedience to what is good in the eyes of the Most High brings blessings, while disobedience brings about curses.

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Now as a man is like this or like that, according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be;
a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad; he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7

And here they say that a person consists of desires, and as is his desire, so is his will; and as is his will, so is his deed; and whatever deed he does, that he will reap. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Karma: Where I disagree

Where I disagree is the idea that "good intentions", (not only the good deeds), also brings about "good karma". If I find a pile of money and put it in my pocket intending to find it's owner (good karma) but neglecting to do so and I spend the money (bad karma), I would have "neutral karma" based on my good intention (intending to find the owner) and bad deed (neglecting to find the owner).

"The road to Hell is paved with good karma."

Spending the found money would also be justified in the principle of karma, as it would be assumed that the loser of the money has "bad karma" and the finder of the money has "good karma", creating harmony between good and evil, therefore there is no requirement to find the owner. This negates the commandment "Love your neighbor as yourself".

“You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” Exodus 20:17

In Buddhism, for example, actions that are performed, or arise, or originate without any bad intent such as covetousness, are considered non-existent in karmic impact or neutral in influence to the individual. Source

This doctrine permits sinful thoughts, as long as the thoughts have no real intention and are not manifested into action. For people who fantasize about shooting hundreds of people in a public place, there is no negative karma if it's just a thought and they don't intend to do it. If someone fantasies about raping a woman, there is no negative karma if it's just a thought and they don't intend to do it. I believe these thoughts are evil and will have consequences both in life and in the final judgment.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:10

The other disagreement with "karma" is the concept of reincarnation, the idea being that "good karma" results in an upgraded rebirth or reincarnation, while "bad karma" results in a downgraded rebirth or reincarnation. I do not believe in the eastern definition of reincarnation. I believe that EVERYONE will be "reincarnated" into their own (renewed) bodies at the resurrection and face judgment for their deeds.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. For God shall bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil. Ecc 12:13-14

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Thank you for the detailed answer. I can relate to a lot of what you say and it makes sense. :)

I noticed the evil-doers in this realm follow the Kharma law too, but as you say, probably in the Buddhist sense.

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Thank you for the detailed answer.

You're welcome, I probably should have made a post about it, I didn't follow my own rule!

I can relate to a lot of what you say and it makes sense. :)

I have done a lot of thinking about this, because eastern philosophy and mysticism is becoming very popular in the west.

probably in the Buddhist

Not picking on Buddhists, !lolz

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Appreciate you taking the time. I am often pondering the deeper questions in life. :)

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A good analogy is that this life is a video game.

Would you, as a parent, jump in, grab the controller from your child to make sure he doesn't die from the big bad boss?

It goes even deeper, we are the people who wrote the video game that we are now playing.

Not only is there evil in this world, we brought it in / allowed it in ourselves.


The problem is, from the other side of the screen (analogy) it looks like we are all having fun playing in this game. From God's perspective there is no real death. Nobody is getting really hurt. There are all kinds of safe guards put in place (like everyone has a guardian angel).

But we, here on this side, see endless suffering.
So much so that Buddhists believe that life IS suffering. (more along the lines you stated, that in order to grow, you must experience things, and then choose, and choosing means giving up something...)


One of the biggest problems with the Bible as it has been translated is that it leaves out many important things.

The definition of sin:
A sin is something that hurts your soul.

We have many senses that, when operating properly, tell us when we have hurt our body.
But, we have denied our senses that tell us when we hurt our soul.
So, many wise people made lists of things that hurt your soul. And advice to not do them.

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A good analogy is that this life is a video game.

Very interesting analogy, I can see how this could describe real life. Living is sort of "virtual" in some sort of sense.

From God's perspective there is no real death. Nobody is getting really hurt.

Yes, sort of. God made our bodies capable of feeling pain and discomfort, so people are really getting hurt - but you are correct, it's about perspective. Temporary discomfort and pain, even extended discomfort and pain is a big deal to us, but God has a much bigger perspective than we can comprehend. It almost is as if nobody is really getting hurt, compared to what real pain and suffering is like.

The definition of sin: A sin is something that hurts your soul.

Absolutely true that sin hurts your soul in the end, but I wouldn't exactly define sin that way. Some sin has instant gratification for your soul. Like the proverb "Stolen water is sweeter, and [stolen] food eaten in secret tastes better.” Proverbs 9:17 I believe the biblical definition of sin is found in 1 John 3:4

But, we have denied our senses that tell us when we hurt our soul.

Yes, this is true. There is a hardening of hearts causing people to become careless towards others and towards God, only caring about fulfilling their own desires. "God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts" Romans 1:24

Thank you for your excellent and well though through comment! Much appreciated!

!ALIVE
!CTP
!WINE
!BEER
!LOLZ

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When I first came to God, that was one of my biggest head scratchers....

If God is good and if God is love...Why is there so much suffering?

One thing I am reminded of is that this planet, is run by the prince of darkness. The fact that there is joy, life, humor, blessings is because there is a God. The suffering isn't His doing, and while people may not like that answer, the story of Job you shared hammers home the point.

We're almost home :) And like you said...There will be no more suffering.

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this planet, is run by the prince of darkness

Yes, this is a difficult truth as the world is so beautiful and seductive. Thankfully everything under Heaven is still owned by the Most High, but clearly Satan is running the show for now.

The suffering isn't His doing

Excellent point, something we keep in mind. The adversary had to ask permission before troubling Job... so who's really in charge?

!CTP
!ALIVE

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Did you just say?

this planet

Earth is flat!!!

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d552a6b73f5351b9.webp

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(Edited)

You are a brainwashed Illuminati slave!!! The earth is flat!

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Only thing flat is your candles.

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Are you a complete idiot?? Oh I forgot yes you are a brainwashed Illuminati slave, that dont even understand that we dont live on a spinning ball.

So the sell side of the order book was emptied around 20 of march, this is extremely positive: IT MEANS NO ONE WANTED TO SELL, ONLY BUY ORDERS! Are you that stupid??

That is why the candles look small, here is the last two months with normal candles:

Screenshot from 2022-05-20 08-41-09.png

Actually I like your comments, they make me look so good, keep them coming!!! Idiot!

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In my case, i was not devoted and unbeliever but the moment i baptized and became born again, it has been from one blessing to multiple blessings.. Maybe those suffering need to be closer to him ... He created us in his image and even with people, we only remember to help those who are so close to us..

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the moment i baptized and became born again, it has been from one blessing to multiple blessings

Praise Yah, this has been my experience as well. It seems as if God offers special blessings for those who repent, yet we are not exempt from trial and testing.

Maybe those suffering need to be closer to him

I tend to believe that chastisement from the Father is a sign of love between the Father and His children - just as a good father chastises the son that He loves... even His only begotten Son!

Love this comment, thank you for your thoughts!

!ALIVE
!CTP

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I have been through enough pain to know God has a track record of getting me through it. In the midst of pain, my faith that there is life beyond the pain is what gets me through. !HBIT

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God has a track record of getting me through it.

God is so good! Even through trials, His character does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. AMEN!

!ALIVE
!CTP

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It reminds me of Tim Keller's response to dealing with the same problem. He approached the subject from different angles, which are not easy to capture in a few paragraphs. What I like most in his response is his humble admission that "Christianity does not provide the reason for each experience of pain," and yet he affirms that it "provides deep resources for actually facing suffering with hope and courage rather than bitterness and despair.”

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Tim Keller sounds like a smart guy. It is very tricky summing up such a complex question in a short blog. I agree with his sentiments.

!ALIVE
!CTP

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He actually dealt with the same question in one of the chapters in his book, The Reason for God.

!PIZZA

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Thanks for sharing. I think there has to be a mixture of good and bad. Without both neither would be recognizable.

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A mixture of good and bad? Or rather a separation between good and bad?

"There was light and God saw that the light was good and He separated the light from the darkness" Genesis 1

"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things]." Isaiah 45:7

How does a GOOD God "create evil"? By forming the light (that is good) and separating it from the darkness. What God does is "form" light and "make" peace, then he "separates" it from the darkness. This "creates" darkness and "creates" evil. Rather than calling Him a creator it's more fitting to call him a FORMER or MAKER or SEPARATOR.

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We live in a world dominated by satan, he wants to deceive, enslave, destroy and such...

Illuminati, free masons, statism and so called normality is all constructs by satanism, to enslave the masses...

For many years we have had the saying that 2/3 of the worlds population is living for under a dollar per day, the reason for this is statism, central banking, banking and such... the solution? Anarcho capitalism, and that is what came with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, now we are just waiting for the masses to adapt it...

and since Bitcoin came better things like, POW-->POS-->DPOS ---> POB

LasseCash is POB and uses almost no energy, let the masses use LasseCash and poverty might end?

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