Bible Questions

Bible Questions

If God controls everything, why are there wars and suffering?

Wars, suffering, and other disturbing events, are permitted by God insofar as they may serve to fulfil His purposes; His final and certain purpose is that they will cease.

God's control does not conflict with human responsibility.

God's control of everything does not involve Him in human sin: human beings remain free agents, morally responsible for their decisions (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

God is unchanging in His holiness, justice and goodness. It is inconceivable that in anything that He does He could do anything other than what is right (Genesis 18:25) - He is eternally selfconsistent (Malachi 3:6).

The blame for evil belongs to the sinner (Luke 22:22; Acts 2:23).

Our Lord Jesus Christ is able to help us in our suffering

God's control in relation to war.

War is assumed to be a necessary human experience in this world (Judges 3:1-2; Matthew 24:6; Luke 21:9).

Wars are the consequence of people forsaking God and pursuing false gods (Judges 5:8).

The Lord allows nations to exhaust themselves for nothing, making their schemes profitless, as it suits His purposes (Habakkuk 2:13).

He permits wars in order to call people to repentance, for wars can be a punishment and a warning to unbelievers (Revelation 9:13-21), although men and women in general refuse to learn the lessons of war, and repent (Revelation 9:18-21).

Wars will cease after the coming of the Day of the Lord and the ushering in of His kingdom (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:1-8).

God's control in relation to suffering.

In the sufferings of the righteous, who have no immunity from suffering (Ecclesiastes 9:2), God's mysterious purposes are worked out (e.g. Job).

Tragedy, accident and suffering are not automatically to be assumed to be the consequences of an individual sufferer's sin (Luke 13:1-5; John 9:1-3).

Suffering of some sort is an indispensable feature of Christian discipleship (Acts 9:16; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 11:32-38; Revelation 1:9).

Suffering has a place in God's loving discipline of His children (Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:5-11).

While impenitent individuals are not sanctified through suffering (Revelation 16:8-9), believers are restored to God by means of it often after straying from Him (Psalms 119:67).

Suffering is to be patiently endured by Christians for very good reasons (2 Corinthians 1:6):

Christians may even rejoice in their sufferings because of their confidence about the benefits that will result (Romans 5:3-5):

God can use suffering so much to people's good that they come to look back upon it with tremendous thanksgiving (Psalms 119:71).

Thus the completeness of God's control is plain.

God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will (Ephesians 1:11).

God's control of everything is really beyond our minds to comprehend (Psalms 92:5-10).

It is so complete that He can laugh at all His enemies may try to do (Psalms 2:4; Malachi 1:4-5).

He does as He pleases, and He does not have to answer to His creatures for what He does (Psalms 115:3; Daniel 4:35; Romans 9:20).

The completeness of God's control will be demonstrated at the Day of Judgment.

The judgment of the wicked is certain: the Lord is exalted forever (Psalms 92:7-9).

God will adequately punish evildoers and vindicate the righteous on the day of judgment (Romans 2:4-11; Romans 12:19; compared with Psalms 37:14-15; Malachi 3:13-18 Malachi 4:1).

Evil is not punished as quickly as we anticipate, only because God is patient and gives many opportunities to individuals for repentance (Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:8-9; Revelation 2:21).

The seeming prosperity of the wicked, therefore, is temporary; they are not to be envied (Psalms 37:1-2, Psalms 37:9-10).

Christians' proper reaction to God's control of all things.

Our response should be to declare, 'Great is the Lord' (Malachi 1:5).

No matter how desperate the circumstances, we should consider God's love and say, 'If God be for us, who can be against us?' (Psalms 107:43; Romans 8:31).

Basic sources of fear are removed (Isaiah 10:24-27; Matthew 10:31).

We may look to God for vindication in His perfect timing (Psalms 40:13-15; compared with 1 Peter 2:23).

We should be submissive to God in all circumstances, ready to learn what He is going to teach us through them (Psalms 39:9), learning at least contentment in them (Philippians 4:11) since we always have Him with us as our perfect Helper (Hebrews 13:6).

We should pray for those in authority, subjecting ourselves to them, recognizing their establishment by God (Romans 13:1; 1 Timothy 2:1-4).

When we do not understand God's seeming delays to remedy wrong, we should say, 'I will wait patiently' (Habakkuk 3:16; James 5:7-8).