Pain and Suffering


“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him . . . they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. . . . And none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.” (Job 2:11-13)

If God is sovereign and omnipotent, why does He permit “bad” to exist? Since pain and suffering exist, God seemingly must not be omnipotent, or not good, or both. Those who have been hurt by evil often conclude that if God cannot stop it, He does not deserve worship. Although this debate won’t be settled in this short devotional, some Bible facts must be considered.

When Adam and Eve chose to embrace the lie of self-determination and reject the rule of the Creator over them, God pronounced a sentence of death on all life and the sentence of disorder on all functioning systems in the universe. Death, of course, is the source of all pain and suffering, and “thorns and thistles” represent the ultimate decay of function and order in everything else. Pain and suffering are the result of evil, not the cause (Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 8:22).

Satan reverses that truth and would have mankind believe that God is the source of evil and must be placated.

Since Job was suffering, and God was sovereign, the only solution seemed that Job had violated one of God’s laws and therefore was suffering because he had sinned. Logic dictated that God was good and right, therefore Job was wrong and evil. The trouble was, of course, that human logic could not take into account the inscrutable omniscience of an omnipotent Creator. “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies” (Psalm 25:10). HMM III

Adapted from The Book of Beginnings by Dr. Henry M. Morris III.