Why is pain and suffering allowed in the world by a loving God?
Most human beings have experienced moments of contrite longing for answers to why tragedies occur in their lives — concerning Christian theology, why does a God that is all-powerful, all-knowing, and more importantly, all good, allow these events to transpire? Not only does the theology dealing with the consequences of God’s blessing of free will hold an apologetic discourse, it helps us to understand the way that God feels about us as His family and how God operates in creation. Other religions have reasons for the existence of suffering in the world, including Buddhism, Zoroastrian religions, Hinduism, and Confucianism — in Christian theology, God allows suffering for several reasons including to shape mankind, as reproof for transgressions, and simply as the natural consequences for the actions that are taken. We would be a very different race if we had never fallen from God’s graces, living in the Kingdom of Heaven instead of where we exist now.
Tracing the roots of human history back to the very beginning, the first event that demonstrates God’s allowance for corruption, leading to curses on the human race as well as pain and suffering, is the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Because they ate of the forbidden fruit, God levied curses on Adam, Eve, Lucifer, and even nature itself. It was God’s will that we be punished for the action of disobedience. The “original sin” has been passed down from generation to generation since Adam’s generations, cascading consequences from the very beginning. In a way it is also a link that modern day human beings foster from the days of old — starting with Adam and working it’s way through even the greatest children of God e.g. Moses, David, and Peter, the causal forces of pain and suffering have worked their way down for millennia. Because God allowed one sinful act, the freedom of Adam and Eve to transform themselves by eating the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God has also allowed the sinful disobediences such as murder, theft, and blasphemy to manifest in human beings. This activity is not exclusive to human beings; Angels have been given chance(s) to sin, many thousands falling from grace similarly.
Israel has consistently demonstrated disobedience and a turning away from it’s relationship with God. The very chosen of God have forsaken their blessings and fallen into league with false idols in lieu of repairing the damaged bond with our spiritual Father. From the creation and worship of the golden calf to the forgetting of Jewish Jubilees resulting in the exile of the people of Israel from Jerusalem and into slavery in Babylon, the chosen people of God that have been closest to God have fallen away and disobeyed Him on multiple occasions. As mentioned, even the greatest Prophets have falleen away from the standard dictated by our Father — many people have become as the hired worker instead of the beloved sons and daughters of God.
Finally, it is a well known fact that human beings are wicked creatures; the latter generations of men, women, and children are corrupted by greed, vice, apathy, and pride. When one man takes it upon himself to bring murder to another man, God oftentimes does not intervene and stop the act of free will of the murderer. Thousands of years of individual’s decisions have been allowed by God, oftentimes also resulting in pain and suffering, simply because it was the individual’s choice to do so. We are given freedom in so many aspects that it would be hypocritical of God to take away these freedoms for the sake of safety. People choose to be social animals, to commit the most grevious acts that this world has seen, and God places the responsibility of dealing with the consequences on our race.
These statements are for the lamentation and weaknesses of human beings: we turn our greatest blessings of existent free will into actions that reflect unrighteous and immoral consciousness. God allows us to separate ourselves from Him, to fall away and be overtaken by the sin which we live in. For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, and the penalty for sin is death. Any objective entity that wishes to enact justice on the wrong-doers and villains that still live would be pressed to hold that against us. Some people may say that they are not wrong-doers, that they are not villains, but objective observation of their external behavior as well as internal desires reflects a more truthful answer. It has been asked many times: what would the world be like if those who did evil, those who created wicked, heinous acts, were not punished for their crimes? What would the world be like if those who deserved justice and kindness were not repaid for their virtues?
What hope is there for human beings given our disastrous nature and unchecked destructive tendencies? Our father love us. Pain and suffering serve as delivery platforms for us to learn the hardest lessons — ones that we would not be open-minded to given the situations that we put ourselves in. Yet at the end of the unrighteous day, our Father gave His one and only, the only begotten Son He ever had, so that the doorway to escape from our transgressions and to walk with God would be open to us. We have a unique perspective of the ability to examine ourselves and our behavior, to discern action, and to take action based on our judgments. Consequences and justice are recurrent themes throughout the history of mankind, and assist us in growing as a race. We have a growing relationship with our Father to look forward to, as well as taking our seats in paradise in the Kingdom of Heaven.