Unarguably God could prevent any type of suffering, pain, and sadness. We see from the Bible accounts that he has the power to part great bodies of water, heal the sick and infirm. He can feed many from few.

So my question is this. God has the power to stop suffering, so why doesn't he?

Please have at least 1 reference or source in your post. Thank you

edit: Sorry I should have done a search for the question before posting this one. I can't delete the question so community and moderators feel free.

  • This question has at its core, the premise that suffering is the worst thing that could exist; that it ought to be stopped; that no other end can justify its existence. That really doesn't make any sense, when you think about it.
    – Flimzy
    Nov 12, 2013 at 23:39
  • 1
    Suffering may be a good thing.
    – Double U
    Nov 13, 2013 at 0:16
  • Suffering is NEVER a good thing.
    – hookenz
    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:33
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    @matt Paul disagrees. See Romans 5:3 and 1 cor 2:6 Nov 13, 2013 at 11:13
  • Ahh, that's because Paul is referring to suffering for the sake of the Gospel and that's entirely related to persecution. Suffering on a hospital bed that's not a good thing.
    – hookenz
    Nov 13, 2013 at 20:34

2 Answers 2


While the four-star generals plan their theater operations in the Pentagon, the ground troops carry out the actual missions in the conflict. A company’s board of directors decide which products they will carry. However, it is the men and women with specialized skills in other departments who carry out the orders. The judge hands down the prison sentence, but the sheriff, warden, and prison staff carry out the actual incarceration.

In the same way, God often chooses to work through people under him. For instance, he worked through Moses, King David, Jesus, and the apostles. He still works through people today.

He works through several Christian organizations established to battle poverty. He works in the tiny soup kitchens many churches run to help the poor in their communities. Through them, many children receive food, clothing, shelter, toys, and the message that God loves them. God IS stopping some suffering.

This does not take into account the people working hard to get children adopted, build AIDs orphanages in Africa, help drug and alcohol addicts, rescue sex slaves, and transform children’s lives that were ruined by crime.

God did not starve the children, nor cause riots and tortures. Evil people do all these things, and Christians do what they can as willing servants of God to right wrongs and relieve suffering.

Jesus said, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (John 5:17b). Jesus saw what the Father was doing and he did the same. Whenever Jesus did good, God worked through him: “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs which God did through Him in your midst” (Acts 2:22b). Many have blamed God for all the wrongs in the world. We can blame God all we want, but we would do better to surrender to God’s will, sign up with a charitable group, roll up our sleeves, and get to work. Then we’ll find God working right where we are!

It is still the same today. God is not lazy or impotent. He is working. Paul could say it and so can many Christians today: “To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily” (Colossians 1:29).

  • I have heard it said that suffering improves one’s character. (For instance, the pain we bear as the result of a bad decision trains us to avoid that kind of a decision next time.) If you believe this is true, name one example in your life or in the life of someone you know when suffering improved character.

  • Some people bear suffering patiently with gentleness while others endure the same trouble with bitterness and depression. If some have borne the trial well, was the trial to be blamed? What are the reasons for your answer?


Unarguably? I think you need to think again.

God doesn't stop suffering because God is not sovereignly in control of every single thing that happens on the earth. He's not violating your actions and will not force you to believe in him. He wants us to be a people of faith. Forcing us to believe in him is not of faith. How can you love someone who decides everything that happens to you? You're made in his image. You have emotions, thoughts of your own and you have the ability to believe in him or not.

If God were in control of everything then he would have to be responsible for every murder, rape, theft, sickness and every single wrong thing that has happened in the world since it was created. Why? because he allowed it to happen which means he has endorsed it. But I can tell you, this is absolutely wrong. You need to accept that God is not responsible for man's actions.

It's the NIV bible translation that has popularised the phrase Sovereign Lord. God is sovereign in the sense that he is the creator of all. He is Lord. But religion has come along and said that God controls everything that happens. This belief is untrue. God is not responsible for all the things that happen in the world. God does not violate man's will. God gave men the ability to choose from the very beginning when he placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden. He then gave man dominion over the earth. That is why we have the ability to make choices.

Gen 1:26 - "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

However, God has always been reaching out to men. Despite the belief by some that God can't be anywhere near us because of sin. I would like you to note how it is Adam and Eve who hid from God not the other way around. God has always been reaching out to men from the beginning.

Gen 3:8 - And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

In Adam and Even choosing to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and hiding themselves from God. They are in a sense rejecting God and choosing to go their own way. Now if God is a good God and was in control of everything, this never would have happened. So you can see that God is not controlling our actions. This isn't to say that God can't help you in your time of need, but he's not forcing you to make right choices.

As for the suffering and bad things that happen. The Lord has already answered by sending our saviour Jesus. If everyone were born again and were to be walking according to the spirit as in Romans 8 then I think the world would be a very different place. But do remember, this earth and everything we see is temporary. There will be a new heaven and a new earth some day. It's all part of the big plan he has made for those that believe. And when we do die physically, we do not die eternally because through Jesus we have eternal life right now.

Rev 21:1 - And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

  • Good answer. By saying he can unarguably stop suffering I mean to say that he has the power to. I should have refined my question better. Thank you
    – Jeremy
    Nov 13, 2013 at 21:13

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