Millions of people around the world wake up everyday to face a harsh reality. War, poverty, disease and death haunt them at every turn. It seems that our world is constantly embroiled in turmoil regardless of where we look.
Even in countries that are considered developed and industrialized, disease, pain, suffering and death are a constant companion. We all experience it. The global Covid pandemic has shown us that wealth and prosperity are not a barrier against heartache and loss.
In the midst of all this suffering we often hear questions like this; Where is God in all this suffering? If God is all powerful and all knowing why does he allow such things to happen? Does God even care about what happens to us here on this pale blue dot we call planet earth?
Ignoring these questions or worse yet, pretending that God doesn’t exist, don’t lessen their gravity or make them go away. They demand answers, answers that the Bible is adequately able to give us.
Let’s take a look at some quick Bible facts about the origin of suffering and why we continue to be plagued by it day after day.
Fact number 1. God is not the author of human suffering.
The Bible says: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.
Fact number 2. Sin originated with Satan, whom the Bible describes as our enemy.
The Bible says: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat … So the servants of the owner … said … ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’” “The enemy who sowed them is the devil.” Matthew 13:24-39.
Fact number 3. Satan was once an inhabitant of heaven.
The Bible says: “And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’” Luke 10:18.
Fact number 4. God did not create a devil. He created a glorious angel who chose to rebel against him. He wanted to take over.
The Bible says: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty … You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God … You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:12-15.
Fact number 5. Pride and vanity led to Satan’s fall. He’s the ultimate narcissist – conceited and self-centred.
The Bible says: “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! … You have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; … I will be like the Most High.’” Isaiah 14:12-14.
Fact number 6. Satan’s rebellion led to open warfare in heaven.
The Bible says: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail … So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan …; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7-9.
Fact number 7. Adam and Eve joined Satan’s rebellion and through their sin our world became involved in the conflict between good and evil.
The Bible says: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12.
Fact number 8. As a result of Adam and Eve’s decision to follow Satan and sin, Satan now claims the earth as his.
The Bible says: “Then the devil … showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” Luke 4:5,6.
Fact number 9. In order to save us from Satan’s destructive power God sent His son Jesus to die for us and save us.
The Bible says: “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18,19.
And finally, fact number 10. Satan will ultimately be destroyed and our planet will be made new.
The Bible says: “You became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God … Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom…; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth … You have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.” Ezekiel 28:16-19.
“But the day of the Lord will come …; the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. … Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:10-13.
So, there they are – 10 important facts about human suffering.
1. God is not the author of human suffering.
2. Sin originated with Satan, who the Bible describes as our enemy.
3. Satan was once an inhabitant of heaven.
4. God did not create a devil. He created a glorious angel who chose to rebel against him.
5. Pride and vanity led to Satan’s fall. He’s the ultimate narcissist – conceited and self-centred.
6. Satan’s rebellion led to open warfare in heaven.
7. Adam and Eve joined Satan’s rebellion and through their sin our world became involved in the conflict between good and evil.
8. As a result of Adam and Eve’s decision to follow Satan and sin, Satan now claims the earth as his.
9. In order to save us from Satan’s destructive power God sent His son Jesus to die for us and save us.
10. Satan will ultimately be destroyed and our planet will be made new.
The Bible tells us that we are caught in the crossfire of a cosmic conflict. A great battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. There’s a lot of pain and suffering around. The one bright spark in the midst of this conflict is the cross of Jesus.
The love of God, like a bright ray of sunshine warms the dark corners of the earth with hope even in the midst of unspeakable despair. And He does the same for our hearts as well. So, no matter what challenges you may be experiencing, there is hope. One day soon, Jesus is going to come and He’s going to create a new world where there’ll be no pain, suffering or death. But ultimately for each of us, the conflict is decided on a personal level. Who do we choose to yield our hearts to? It is this choice, that will make all the difference.
If you would like to find out more about God’s plan to put an end to pain and suffering, then I’d like to recommend the free Bible Reading Guide we have for you today. It’s called “Does My Life Really Matter to God?” Just go to our Incredible Journey website, tij.tv, to request your free Bible Reading Guide now.