7 Reasons Why God Did Not Act Immorally When He Created This World With The Possibility Of Suffering

In my last post I pointed out that God has created a world in which there is no suffering. There are certain classes of angels that seem to exist without any suffering. Even though they may live a suffering-free existence, many people would choose to live this existence over these angels’. What this demonstrates is that a life that includes suffering may be more preferred than a life without suffering.

But of course the question still lingers: Why didn’t God create THIS world without any suffering? I would like to quickly offer seven reasons as to why God did not act immorally when creating this world with the possibility of suffering.

1. Free will necessitates the possibility of suffering

The first answer is that THIS world would not exist without the possibility of suffering. This world includes free will. If God wanted to completely remove the possibility of suffering, then he would have to remove free will. Suffering is always a possibility when free will is present; it is not guaranteed, but it is a possibility. A large portion of our suffering is caused by our own decisions and refusal or ignorance of God’s directives. I am willing to bet that everybody reading this (including the author) purposefully refuses to follow God’s directives from time to time and that this has caused suffering for both ourselves and others. God created this world with the possibility of far less suffering but we create unnecessary suffering through our rejection of God (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

2. God’s plan of redemption and glory far outweighs all suffering

Another answer is that given God’s eternal plan of redemption and just judgment, suffering in this world is minuscule compared to the glory that God has planned for those who faithfully endure the suffering. Scripture is replete with this thought (e.g., Romans 8:18-39; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). We live out this truth in microcosm ways all the time. We endure the pain of muscle soreness brought on by working out because we know that the reward is greater. We endure the pain of child birth because we know the treasure of a child far outweighs any pain. God’s promised eternal glory is more than enough to inspire faithful, joyful perseverance.

3. God’s just judgment will right all wrongs

God has promised a just judgment. God will take everything into account when conducting his judgment, even to the point of taking into account lives we would have lived under different situations. All evil actions will be judged. All perseverance will be rewarded. All wrongs will be righted. This fact demonstrates that suffering is not pointless. Suffering can create space for greatness and that is the idea of the next two points.

4. Suffering is not evil in itself and can actually be a means of much good

God was not in any way immoral when he created this world with the possibility of suffering because suffering is not evil in and of itself. As I remarked in the last paragraph, sometimes we choose to undergo suffering in pursuit of a greater good. Suffering can be a means of obtaining higher heights. Many people who persevere through suffering to obtain a great goal comment on how they would not rather it have been easy. Suffering allows for testing and stretching and this testing and stretching can be more preferable than a life in which everything is handed to you on a silver platter.

5. Suffering teaches important lessons

There is nothing immoral about God creating a world in which suffering is possible for the purpose of teaching us truths. Suffering has the very important purpose of teaching us that we need help, that we are not sufficient on our own, and that we should humble ourselves to look for help and gratefully receive the help offered. We learn of perseverance through suffering. Suffering helps us to learn compassion. Suffering helps remove complacency from our lives. We could list more but hopefully we understand by now that suffering allows us to learn many valuable lessons.

6. God shared in the suffering of his creation

God did not create a world in which suffering was possible and then sit aloof, completely untouched by the possible suffering. Incomprehensibly God choose to take on flesh and make himself susceptible to the suffering his creation could undergo. Christ endured poverty, shame, ridicule, physical pain and torture, death, difficult travel, isolation, abandonment, rejection, danger, emotional stress, celibacy, ignorance, injustice, homelessness, the struggles of fame, the loss of a loved one, submitting of one’s own will to God the Father’s, and much more. Christ partook of flesh of blood so that he might save those whom he created. When we see managers barking commands but refusing to do any of the work, we question their character. But when we see managers step into the work they expect from their workers, we have the utmost respect for them. God stepped into the work. He deserves the utmost respect.

7. God could morally create an almost limitless number of possible worlds, this is just one of them

As I pointed out in my last post, God has created other realms of existence and he probably will create many more. The dynamics of each of these worlds could be very different. There is an almost limitless number of possible worlds that God could morally create. Even with its suffering, this world is not an immoral world to create for all the reasons listed (and more unlisted). God has probably chosen to not create many possible worlds because they would not represent his desires.

Conclusion

Suffering is not fun. But it can lead to many rewarding experiences. Suffering is not evil in itself and can actually be a means of great gain. God did not act immorally by creating a world without suffering. Instead of only looking negatively at the suffering we experience, we should ask ourselves what we can learn from the suffering. God can redeem all the suffering we endure if we only humble ourselves under his will.

9 comments

    • Club,

      Thank you for reading and asking. Always appreciate you giving me an opportunity to clarify.

      Notice that I said “… a life that includes suffering MAY BE more preferred than a life without suffering.” Which means that it is possible that certain existences without suffering may not be as preferable as those with suffering. It does not mean that all possible existences without suffering are not as preferred as those with suffering. So the new heaven and earth of this existence that God has yet to fully create can be more preferable than the one we are currently experiencing.

      I could say more, but I will wait to see your follow up.

      Like

      • Yep, you hedge your bets as usual, curt. Your argument is that suffering *is* to be preferred if your argument is to stand; you went to the effort of claiming there are 7 reasons why this is true. If it is not, then you have a problem on *why* there is suffering.

        Heaven makes your claim false, so you must claim that in “some circumstances” one doesn’t need to suffer at all. So which is it, is it needed or not?

        I’ll be taking your 7 reasons and how they fail as a blog post for myself.

        Like

      • Club,

        I am sorry, but you are misunderstanding and misrepresenting my arguments. I never argued that suffering is to be preferred. I gave 7 reasons why a world with suffering would not be immoral to create. I never gave 7 reasons why suffering is preferred.

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      • And unsurprisingly, Curt, you can’t give one instance of your accusation that I am supposedly “misunderstanding and misrepresenting” your arguments. IF this is the case, please do comment on my blog to show how I’m wrong.

        If you will not, there is no reason to think that your accusations are true.

        You have indeed claimed that suffering is to be preferred and is required by your god. Do check your own claims before insisting I’m wrong. Your own words “Suffering allows for testing and stretching and this testing and stretching can be more preferable than a life in which everything is handed to you on a silver platter.”

        Yes, i know you used “may” but we know you don’t mean that at all. You are sure that suffering is required. and I’ll ask you that directly: Does your god require suffering? Is suffering to be preferred?

        Your entire argument depends on that it is.

        Like

      • Club,

        I can’t give one instance? I listed one in the very next sentence after I said that you misrepresented me. I am sorry, but I am going to have to end the conversation here since it seems as if you are not bothering to read what I say.

        Like

      • Unsurprisingly, I did not misrepresent you, and you have yet to show that I have, Curt. If I’m wrong, do come to my blog and show it.

        You claimed this ” I never argued that suffering is to be preferred.”

        and you have done exactly that, with your claims that suffering is required, and thus preferred, by your god. Your god is omnipotent, so anything is by its preference. By definition, it doesn’t have to do anything.

        So, you have a choice: is your god omnipotent, or not?

        Like

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