Jesus Christ made this profound statement: For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always (See Matthew 26:11). This statement is sandwiched between the twelve disciples and their frustration over the woman wasting precious olive oil that she had used to anoint Christ. Today, many would like to argue that because there is so much suffering in our world today they wonder how could there ever be a loving G-D that would allow such suffering. What then is the point in believing in a G-D if there is such suffering in our world? The social Darwinian and naturalistic philosophy would want us to believe that a benevolent and loving God could not exist. This is further from the truth, and this therefore this article will explain why.
The question is perplexing and complicated to answer. First, in order to determine the severity of human suffering, one must admit that there is a sense of right and wrong. This sense of right and wrong is measured by an absolute moral justification of law and reason. Since there is a justifiable law of morality that determines and defines what is right and what is wrong, there must be a particular lawgiver that has pronounced/decreed such things as being right and wrong. What this means is that those who argue that G-D does not exist because there is much suffering defeat their own argument because it implies indirectly that there has to be a divine moral law that is in application to determine and constitute human suffering. If there is no divine Lawgiver of an objective moral code in how we can define and determine right from wrong, good from evil, then we are not in a position to distinguish whether or not there is human suffering.
Second, to admit that there is divine moral law that has been decreed from a Lawgiver, one must presume that within the framework of this law, there is a choice to either comply in obedience to the law itself, or to disobey and move contrary to that expressed law. Because of a choice that is presented to each one of us, we determine the consequences of those choices made. If we make the right choices to comply with the moral law and do well as best we know how and understand, the consequences are positive and we reap the blessings of those consequences. Another way of looking at this is through the many parables of Christ where he referred to gardening techniques. When we sow the seed, cultivate the land, and tend to remove the weeds, warding off all things that threaten the potential bounty of the harvest, the end result would be a harvest that helps feed one’s family. If one neglects the garden and refuses to labor with their hands to ensure a bountiful harvest, they reap the consequences of not having any food and therefore must rely on the sustenance and provisions of another person labor and harvest.
This brings up the philosophy of human volition and the drive and desires for us all. We make our choices based on particular perceptions and biased understandings of our environment. Whether these perceptions and biasness is culturally, ethnically, or religiously based (sometimes all three being interdependent of one another), we tend to make those choices either for or against the established edicts of a moral law.
Third, we tend to base our understanding of what we perceive as human suffering from our own prejudicial perspectives. Meaning, one who argues that there could not be a benevolent and loving G-D because of the suffering of people who are dying from starvation, being murdered through political machinations and dictatorship governments, or by the hands of people who claim to have a particular religious perspective do not see the flip side of the coin. What they do not see is that there are those who G-D may move in their own lives to reach out and help alleviate the suffering of the poor. They do not see that wealth of supplies going into third world countries to help alleviate the pandemic of illness, hunger, and suffering – only to be stopped by military regimes that have decided to continue the suffering by their own choices of blind obedience.
Thus, what we must remember is that just because there is a benevolent and loving Heavenly Father that truly does care and love all his children, humanity is a creature that has the divine ability to choose for him or herself how they will conduct their own lives. We read this in the encounter between Cain and G-D when G-D confronts Cain about what had happened to his brother. The interesting statement is not what Cain tried to hide and the lie he perpetuated, but what G-D said to Cain:
And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him (See Genesis 4:6-7).
What does this mean then? Exactly what we must understand and that is because there is suffering in the world is not due to the fact that there is not a benevolent G-D, but that humanity chooses whether they court sin in their lives and then become a slave to that sin, or to choose rightly and finding acceptance in that choice. In other words, just because we choose to live our lives that are contrary to a divine moral law that has been established does not mean G-D does not exist. Think about it this way. Parents love their children, they establish the necessary rules to help the child grow and become a productive member of society. When a child rebels and lives a life contrary to the upbringing of their parents, engage in destructive behaviors, become slaves to particular addictions, and continue to remove themselves from their relationship to their parents, it is not an issue of the parents becoming non-existent or unloving, it is because the child has chosen to become non-existent and unloving toward the parent.
So, why is there much suffering in the world today? It is because of human will and volition that creates the suffering in the world. Either it is through our own choices and design, or it is through the choices of others that have created the suffering that we see in our cultures and societies today. Moreover, the fact that there is suffering in the world proves the reality and necessary need to believe in a benevolent G-D that does love and guide us in all truth and understanding.