The Preacher’s Corner: Why does God allow people to suffer?

Chris Caudill Evangelist

December 27, 2013

Do you ever wonder why people suffer in this world? Have you ever asked, “If God loves people, then why does He allow people to suffer?” Well, I want to answer this question for you. First, I want to acknowledge something by asking you a question. What is suffering? What I mean is in terms of suffering in your body? Suffering is a by-product of death. Our bodies are decaying, slowly gravitating toward one final day that ends in death. So suffering is the decaying process that takes us to death. Now mind you, there are some who suffer a great deal, and others who do very little suffering, but all are suffering none-the-less, because we are all dying. This also includes the animal and plant kingdoms. The Bible says in Romans 8:22, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Therefore, none of us are exempt from this decaying process. But why do we decay? Why do people die? And why do we as humans have to suffer through various degrees of suffering?

I’d like to say that since none of us are exempt from the decaying process of death, then any one of us are susceptible to suffering, whether it be a lot of suffering, or a little suffering. But here is why; the Bible says in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Originally, God introduced death into the world upon men, because men sinned against God. God warned Adam beforehand that if he sinned, then he would suffer death (Genesis 2:17). Adam did not take God seriously, sinned against the Lord, and suffered the consequences. Since Adam and Eve were the parents of all humanity (1 Cor. 15:45, Gen. 3:20), the obvious result was that all of their descendants would inherit the same punishment. Why? It’s because they contaminated all of humanity when they sinned. It is no different than when a child inherited his parent’s traits. So we all die, first of all because of the original sin that Adam and Eve committed. But, it doesn’t stop there!!! Some people ask “But why am I being punished for Adam and Eve’s sin?”

This brings me to my next point. Have you ever sinned? Do you sin? A Christian who knows what the Bible says, will say “yes”, but what about those of you who do not know much about the Bible? Do you think you have sinned? Have you ever told a lie? One of the Ten Commandments says we should not lie (Exodus 20:16). If I told you a lie, what would you call me? A liar. Have you ever stolen something? It doesn’t matter if it’s something small, or something large. The Bible says “thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). What does that make you? A thief. Have you ever looked on someone in lust? Jesus said that whoever looks on someone in lust, has committed adultery in their heart (Matthew 5:28). So this would make you an adulterer, which means you broke another commandment from the Ten Commandments, which states “thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). So I’ll ask again, have you ever sinned? If you’d be honest, then you would have to say yes, because sin is determined by what God’s Word says. In Romans 5:12, quoted above, in the last part of that Scripture, it says “and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. 1 John 1:8 says “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Therefore, none of us are perfect. We all have sinned. What is the punishment for sin? Death! “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” So are we being punished with death and suffering because of Adam and Eve’s sin? Yes and no. Yes, because the contamination of sin passed down to all of humanity through the parents of all humanity (Adam and Eve), and therefore death also passed down to us, and no, because we all have sinned and still sin too, and we are suffering due to our own participation of breaking God’s laws.

This brings me to my last point. What right do we have to complain about suffering? I mean in light of what our Creator has told us. Because He is our Creator, He therefore has the right to set the rules, and even enforce them if necessary. But just like with Adam, He has also warned us that death would come as a result of sin. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death”. So why should we complain about death, suffering and disease, when we participate in the very thing that God told us would bring these things on? Lamentations 3:39 says it this way, “Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?” See, from God’s perspective, He has warned us, and told us the consequences, and yet we choose to go down that road, so He asks “Why are you complaining about the punishment of your sins?”

Why do people suffer? It’s simple. We choose to sin against God, in spite of the knowledge of the consequences.

Local evangelist Chris Caudill can be reached at HeNeverGaveUp@aol.com or www.ChrissCollectionOnline.com.