Suffering and the God of Love #2 Is God Responsible for Suffering?

If we think about it carefully, we find that there are basically four kinds of suffering in the world:

  • Suffering caused deliberately by humans

In this category are included war, robbery and murder. If a person (or a nation) sets out to deliberately kill, maim, rob or cheat, then a great deal of suffering will be caused. Is it then fair to blame God and ask why He does not stop it?

  • Suffering caused unintentionally by humans

In this category we have the likes of famine and starvation. The fact is that there is enough food produced in the world to feed everyone adequately. The problem is, who gets it? Some have more than enough, while others starve. (At this point we may all start thinking of other people we know who have too much. Poor countries blame rich countries, poor people blame rich people. We can all think of someone better off than ourselves, and it’s easy to point the finger and say “Why don’t they give up some of their wealth?” But that really is no use, because the fact is there are also people who are poorer than us, so we need to point our finger at ourselves and ask whether we are prepared to give up some of what we have.) So whose fault is this suffering? God provides and we refuse to share—we can hardly turn round and say “Why does God allow such suffering?”

  • Suffering caused by human foolishness

If, for example, someone crashes their car while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, who is to blame? (Incidentally, much suffering could be avoided by following the wise guidance that is to be found in God’s instruction book, the Bible.)

  • Suffering that appears to be out of our control

It is the case that some suffering in the world — probably a small percentage — is not our fault. For example, children are born with deforming conditions which have no identifiable cause. It is this kind of suffering which is most difficult to understand.

We must go back to the beginning and ask the question, “What is the overall cause of suffering anyway?” And as with every important question of life God gives us the answer in the Bible.

We read in Genesis 1:31 that when the works of creation were finished, ‘God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good’. So clearly the world cannot have been full of suffering at that point. In Genesis 2:17 God gave the first man Adam a clear warning: ‘Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’ Adam and Eve decided not to believe God, but instead to believe the serpent’s lie: ‘You will not surely die’ (3:4). As a result of this disobedience God brought the curse upon humanity: ‘By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return’ (3:19).

That is the cause of suffering. Suffering is a symptom of our mortality. It is not the disease, it is the effect of the disease. We suffer because we are mortal dying creatures. We are dying creatures because of sin: ‘The wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). And we all sin. Therefore ultimately the present state of creation is a result of human wrongdoing.


Chris Furniss


Find to read:

  1. Does God stands behind all evil on earth
  2. Is God behind all suffering here on earth
  3. About Suffering
  4. Suffering
  5. Suffering continues
  6. Suffering produces perseverance
  7. Suffering leading to joy
  8. Suffering-Through the Apparent Silence of God – Foreword
  9. Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
  10. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  11. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  12. Self inflicted misery #9 Subject to worldly things
  13. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #1 Suffering covered by Peace Offering
  14. Way of Life
  15. Working Of The Hope



Suffering and the God of Love #Intro

War, why do people keep doing it


Additional reading

  1. Sometimes we face trials
  2. Pain and Suffering is inevitable but Misery is optional

3 thoughts on “Suffering and the God of Love #2 Is God Responsible for Suffering?

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