Why All The Pain and Suffering on Earth?
God does not cause pain and suffering on earth. The devil does.
It is the work of the devil, and is getting worse now as the world is becoming more and more rejecting of God. Look on social media, the majority of the young generation has become athiest. They'll mock you if you mention Jesus or the Bible. And even the so called "Christians" today, many are on the verge of spiritual death. This is a sign of fast approaching end times - as Jesus said in Matthew 24:15-24 "when you see the abomination that causes desolation standing in the Holy place... false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders..." More on this here: End Times.
You ask, "why doesn't God stop it? Isn't He in control?" Yes, but this is earth, not heaven. The devil's grip on people keeps them separated from God. Perfection will be in heaven.
People want to be gods themselves. It's been this way since creation. And Satan who himself was an angel who wanted to be god, and was cast out of heaven, has been enticing people into it. And people bought into his craftiness and lies!
For those scouring the scriptures looking for any parts that may incriminate God to post on the web and get a few pathetic clicks, have you noticed the story of Adam & Eve in there? That world, was the perfection of God. Remained so until these first 2 humans succumbed to Satan and brought him into their lives. Then things went downhill from there, causing God to take drastic actions throughout history to keep humanity from sending itself to hell. Jesus' redemption sacrifice was the perfect design from God to save us from hell, while He maintained His holiness!
We all heard there is nothing impossible for God. But the reality is, there is one thing impossible. God cannot in His Holy nature unite with evil in any shape or form. This is the only impossible thing for God. And so, when people reject Him, He can only stay-away. Resulting in the devil taking control, and bad things continue to happen!!
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
2 Chronicles 15:15
All Judah ... sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.
When people are not doing the right things towards God - atheism, Satanism, paganism, or Christianity their preferred way, it is the same as rejecting God, which is also the same as allowing the devil in. And so, God cannot force Himself on them to bless them. Today's people pick & choose and tweak the Bible to fit their lifestyles. But the reality is, God expects it the other way around. And if they don't care for God's ways, and want to criticize and veer from His Scripture, He does not care for them either:
2 Chronicles 15:2
... The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
God created us with freedom to choose. It is all about our choice! Having true peace in our lives, is a direct consequence of our choice!! If you say you chose Him, is it Christianity your way? Or His way? Look at all the links on my homepage. You'll see what I'm talking about.
Isaiah 57:21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
Note: The term "wicked" in the Bible always meant the person who rejected God. This includes the majority of so called "christians" today!
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!
This was what the angel said when Jesus was born. And notice, "peace for those God is pleased with". Who are those God is pleased with? They are definitely not the churchgoers. They are those who know Jesus' commands and keep them. So despite the no-peace on earth today, there are some who are having true peace in their lives.
You want peace in your life? Learn Jesus' commands and keep them. If all people do this, then there will be peace on the whole earth.
Is God then with the true Christians and protects them from pain and suffering on earth? YES!
Should we boast about it? Of course we should! But only with the right attitude - that is with respect to other people.
“Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”
“No harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.”
"The righteous" = the one who's sins are forgiven through the daily praying of the Lord's Prayer.
Did God help Noah (the only believer) before the flood came?
Did God protect baby Jesus when King Herod ordered the slaughter of all babies under 2 years of age? Were some of the other parents nice people? Should Mary and Joseph have stayed quiet about Jesus surviving the ordeal to keep from offending the other women whose babies were killed?
Did the Jewish people who obeyed God's commands cross the red sea on dry land? And the Egyptians who did not know God or obey His commands drown in the water of the red sea? Weren't some of the Egyptians who drowned nice people? Should the Jewish people afterwards not say anything about it to keep from offending the Egyptians and their beliefs?
Did Jesus perform amazing miracles in the whole region, except in unbelieving towns? Should He not have said anything about their unbelief to keep from offending them? Mark 6:5-6 ...Jesus could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
We are either true believers, or we are not believers at all!! There is no in-between!! Our relationship with God is higher priority and above our relationship with other people. God IS with us true-Christians today, and DOES protect us from all harm. And we are proud of it. Is it because we're good people? NO!! It is because we obey Jesus' commands. Which results in God forgiving our sins, and making us "Righteous", so we receive His blessings here on earth, and in the next life. We boast about Him, not about us.
During our life on earth, Jesus said: "...in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation”, John 16:33. This is because the devil has blinded many people, keeping them in their sins, and preventing them from reconciling with God, and therefore they're not truly "in Jesus" and not "having peace".
Bad Things Are Not "God's plan"!!
When bad things happen, people use terms like "it's God's plan". It is not!! The real problem is, most people (including "churchgoers") don't really know God. And therefore are not truly with God; they are kept separated from Him by the devil's lies. As a result, God cannot intercede for them to help them! The end result: no peace on earth! The devil deceives in a variety of ways, keeping people in the dark, examples:
When bad things happen the devil tells people "it's God's plan".
"By faith alone", doing nothing keeping it simple... Singing hymns in church on Sundays; not growing spiritually. Likely became spiritually dead.
Many women (and men indoctrinated) view God as too strict and a male-chauvinist, and are praying to Mary, the "female representation in heaven", to intercede for them.
Calvinist - thinking God already decided, and it's not your call it's His. You don't really know God. And therefore He does not know you.
Many people consider the Bible full of contradictions - an antiquated book.
The devil makes atheism look so cool. Young generations are flocking there.
So to all "churchgoers", if you continue doing these things below, you are not reconciled with God, and are still in your sins. And therefore He cannot bless you nor intercede for you, and bad things will continue to happen:
Not seeking God as Jesus instructed in the Sermon on the mount.
Not obeying Jesus' commands; not praying the Lord's prayer daily with the "Bread" meaning the spiritual Bread of life, for the forgiveness of sins.
Not having genuine love for, or faith in God, always skeptical.
Not having genuine love for all people of all ethnic backgrounds and religions.
And most importantly not forgiving others.
"God's plan" is when true believer's ask God for something, and He does not give it to them, but instead He gives them something much better. For the rest of the people on earth, it is a world in random motion - good and bad things happen randomly to unbelievers.
The more people reject the true God of the Bible, the worse things become on earth, as we are witnessing now. And don't think that people in Ukraine for example are less Godly than you. Jesus warned us about this in Luke:
Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent you too will all perish.”
Notes: Jesus here talked about "if you don't repent, then you too will suffer..." Which also means if you do repent, as in get right with God, then you will not suffer these things on earth anymore. The other important point here is if a group of people is suffering, it does not mean that they are worse sinners than you! Each of us needs to look at themselves, and make sure we are genuinely right with God. Not by our definition "be right with God", but by His. What is His definition of right? Keep reading the Bible.
You may ask, but what is the fault of the innocent babies? God is with them. He may not be with you if you're still in your sins, but He is definitely with the babies. If babies die, He takes care of their spirit. But their close relatives suffer and mourn, due to the above complacent and foolish behavior bullet-lists. We need to stop trying to be gods, and just trust God and genuinely seek Him in the Bible. He does not have to explain to us every little move He makes! He is the same God who created this universe and all the good things in it, trust Him. Compared to His infinite wisdom and power we are extremely limited in every way; we just trust Him!
So How Do We Turn Things Around?
These 3 things cover most of what is needed. And notice none of them are works of the flesh; all three points are spiritual!!
Seek God wholeheartedly, by reading the Bible. If all you do is go to church as in doing your spiritual homework, you're on the wrong path.
Pray the Lord's Prayer daily for worshiping God, and for the forgiveness of your sins through the "Bread", the sacrifice of Jesus.
Love - genuinely love, believe in, and worship God. And genuinely love all people and forgive them, including your worst enemies!
Then God will pour out His blessings on you and your family, protect you and yours in every turn of life on earth, and give you eternal life:
The coming of the Messiah did establish a way to peace on earth. But only a few found it! Which is consistent with what Jesus said here:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
God Disciplines the Ones He Loves
There are situations where God pokes true-believers to get their attention because they're veering from the right path, example stopped praying the Lord's Prayer daily or stopped seeking God in the Bible regularly. The disciplining may be viewed as bad things in life; these are usually material losses or psychological distress. God would never destroy the person He loves, only poke them to get their attention. From many verses in the Bible like the ones below it clearly describes a disciplining act, not totally destroying the person.
for the Lord disciplines the one he loves and punishes every son he receives. Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His Holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, as does a father the son in whom he delights.
In the case of a true believer, the disciplining would be mostly in the form of either material or psychological stress. They would range from annoyances to painful-living-conditions. So what does that mean? God tightens the pressure on the person He loves to get them to change their ways. If the person ignores the pressure, God tightens more until they do. Then as soon as the person realizes what they're doing wrong and fixes their ways, God removes the pressure, and the person's life becomes more normal.
There are many ways God uses to get the believer's attention. God is very creative with these, He usually customizes them to the person's life circumstances. Here are some examples to give you an idea of what triggers discipline, and how:
If a true believer is not praying the Lord's Prayer daily, this would be one reason for God to discipline this person. You say that's many believers today. Correct, this is why many believers are experiencing problems in their lives. God knows our intentions towards Him, and pokes us accordingly. Btw, I myself experienced this at one point in my life, which helped me see clearly.
Another example, if a true believer is not behaving properly. Attending public events that are obviously detestable to God, or joking about things in the Bible, or laughing along with those mocking things from the Bible, would trigger chastisement from God.
Some examples of methods God uses to discipline us; to get our attention. If a person, for example, is in a car accident, which could range from a fender-bender to a complete car destruction, and they [the person and his family] walk away unharmed, it could be God getting their attention. The loss is material and annoying yes, but a genuine believer should consider the possibility of God trying to get their attention. They should pray to God - first thank Him for their safety, then ask Him to give them enlightenment on what He wants from them. This is one example of this. Other examples may be, little annoying things regularly happening daily for example. These would be the start of God's pressure. One should heed answers from God before the pressure increases. How do I know these things? Many stories in the Bible show how God worked with believers. Take Jonah's story for example. God told Jonah to do something, but Jonah resisted God's request. Then God caused the storm, and Jonah be thrown out of the ship, then be swallowed by a fish. It was only when Jonah realized his disobedience, he prayed to God and asked for forgiveness. Then the fish spit him out, alive. Perfect example. Jonah a true believer disobeyed God. God exerted pressure on him. Jonah repented and asked for forgiveness. Then God removed the pressure. And Jonah went to Nineveh and preached as God had asked him to.
But if we persistently ignore God's pressure and continue with our ways, He will give up on us, which would be a deadly mistake:
Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.
Why Does God Allow the Un-Godly to Prosper?
We all see this in the world, and there are many references in the Bible questioning it. But no clear answer from the Bible.
Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?
My perspective based on some verses like the ones below, is that God has His ways of shaking the world back and forth to separate the seed from the chaff and determine who truly loves Him, both for our and His benefits. He does that by various methods including giving riches to the un-Godly. We should be careful not to fall in the riches trap nor let it affect our spiritual decisions. As we all know financial riches do not necessarily mean real happiness anyway.
The seed sown among the thorns is the one who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
True Christians Can Perform Miracles
This Is How We Should Pray