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(RNS) Having survived a devastating earthquake during a 10-day mission trip to Haiti, Freedom Gassoway now savors every minute she spends at home with her family in Beaverton, Ore. But for this 33-year-old mother of two, some of life has also lost its sweetness. Meals no longer taste good, she said, since she’s always thinking […]

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  1. WHY SO MUCH SUFFERING?

    Most people think that suffering is God’s will and that he long ago determined everything that would ever happen, including tragic events. Many are told that God’s ways are mysterious or that he brings death upon people—even children—so that he can have them in heaven with him. The reality is God never causes what is bad. The Bible says: “Far be it from the true God to act wickedly, and the Almighty to act unjustly!”—Job 34:10.

    In many cases, many blame Almighty God because they think that he is the real ruler of this world. The reality is, as the Bible teaches, the real ruler of this world is Satan the Devil. The Bible clearly states: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) This makes sense. This world reflects the personality of the invisible spirit creature who is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Revelation 12:9) Satan is hateful, deceptive, and cruel. So the world, under his influence, is full of hatred, deceit, and cruelty. That is one reason why there is so much suffering.

    A second reason why there is so much suffering is: mankind has been imperfect and sinful ever since the rebellion in the garden of Eden. Sinful humans tend to struggle for dominance, and this results in wars, oppression, and suffering. (Ecclesiastes 4:1; 8:9)

    A third reason for suffering is “time and unforeseen occurrence.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) In a world without God as a protective Ruler, people may suffer because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    It is comforting to know that God does not cause suffering. He is not responsible for the wars, the crimes, the oppression, or even the natural disasters that cause people to suffer.