Why Doesn't God Do Anything About All The Suffering In The World?

Before we get to what God's view is on the matter, one common misperception needs to be cleared up first. Many people think of Almighty God as the ruler of this world, the one who is in direct control of everything. “Not one atom or molecule of the universe is outside his active rule,” said the president of one theological seminary. Does the Bible really teach that?

Not at all. Many are surprised to learn what the Bible actually says about who rules the world. For example, 1 John 5:19 states: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” Who is this wicked one? Jesus Christ identified him as Satan the Devil, whom he called “the ruler of the world.” (John 14:30) Now, does that not make sense? Satan is cruel, deceptive, and hateful—traits that underlie much of the suffering that people experience. Why, though, does God allow Satan to rule?

How would a loving and capable parent feel if he was publicly accused of lying to his children, abusing his authority over them, and withholding good things from them? Would he disprove those slanderous accusations by physically assaulting his accuser? Of course not! In fact, by reacting in such a manner, he might give credibility to the accusations.

This illustration helps to explain Jehovah God’s way of handling a challenge raised against him at the dawn of human history in a place called Eden. There God announced to the first two humans, Adam and Eve, a wonderful project for his earthly children. They were to fill the earth, subdue it, and turn it into a global paradise. (Genesis 1:28) Moreover, hundreds of millions of spirit sons of God were keenly interested in this exciting project.—Job 38:4, 7; Daniel 7:10.

Being a generous God, Jehovah gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden home with all its delicious fruits. Only one tree was out of bounds for them—“the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” By not eating from this tree, Adam and Eve would demonstrate their full trust in their Father, recognizing that he had the right to decide what was good and bad for his children.—Genesis 2:16, 17.

Sadly, though, one of God’s spirit sons, motivated by the desire to be worshipped, told Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit, she would not die. (Genesis 2:17; 3:1-5) Thus, this wicked angel, Satan, blatantly contradicted God, essentially calling him a liar! Satan also went on to accuse God of withholding vital knowledge from Adam and Eve. Humans, Satan implied, should be able to decide for themselves what is good and what is bad. Simply put, Satan accused God of being an unfit Ruler and Father and implied that he, Satan, could do a better job.

By means of those cunning and malicious lies, the angel made himself Satan the Devil. These names mean “Resister” and “Slanderer.” What did Adam and Eve do? They sided with Satan, turning their backs on God.—Genesis 3:6.

Jehovah could have destroyed the rebels on the spot. But, as mentioned in our illustration, such issues cannot be settled by violent retaliation. Keep in mind too that when Satan challenged God, millions of angels were listening. In fact, a significant, but undisclosed, number later joined Satan in his rebellion, making themselves demons.—Mark 1:34; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.

By seducing Adam and Eve into choosing independence from their Creator, in effect, Satan founded a family that was not truly independent but under his authority. Influenced, knowingly or unknowingly, by their “father,” the Devil, this family would choose its own goals and standards of conduct. (John 8:44) But would that way of life bring them true freedom and lasting happiness? Jehovah knew full well that it would not. Still, he allowed the rebels to pursue their independent course, for only in this way would the issues raised in Eden be fully settled for all time.

For over 6,000 years now, mankind has built a world system of things, trying all kinds of rulership and codes of conduct. Are you delighted with the result? Is the human family truly happy, peaceful, and united? Clearly, the answer is no! Instead, wars, famines, natural disasters, sickness, and death have plagued mankind, causing “futility,” “pain,” and “groaning,” just as the Bible states.—Romans 8:19-22; Ecclesiastes 8:9. In effect, "People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD." -Proverbs 19:3 (NLT)

Still, some may ask, ‘Why has God not prevented tragedies?’ Really, that would be an injustice, and it would cloud the issue by making it seem that rebelling against God is without consequence. Hence, Jehovah has not been behind the scenes preventing all the crimes and tragedies that result, directly or indirectly, from disobedience to him. Jehovah would never be party to the harmful lie that Satan’s system can succeed, that it has found the key to happiness! Nevertheless, Jehovah has not been indifferent to events. In fact, he has been very active, as we shall now see.

“My father has kept working”, Jesus once said. God has not been sitting idly by, watching events unfold. (John 5:17) Rather, since the rebellion in Eden, he has been very busy. For instance, he inspired Bible writers to record his promise that a future “seed” would crush Satan and all who stuck with him. (Genesis 3:15) Additionally, by means of that Seed, God would form a government, a heavenly Kingdom, that would bless obedient humans and end all causes of suffering, even death itself.—Genesis 22:18; Psalm 46:9; 72:16; Isaiah 25:8; 33:24; Daniel 7:13, 14.

As a step in the fulfillment of those wonderful promises, Jehovah sent to the earth the One who would become the primary Ruler of that Kingdom. This one was none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Galatians 3:16) In accord with God’s purpose for him, Jesus focused his teaching on God’s Kingdom. (Luke 4:43) In fact, Christ provided a living preview of what he will accomplish as King of that Kingdom. He fed hungry thousands, healed the sick, resurrected the dead, and even showed his power over the natural elements by calming a violent storm. (Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 4:37-39; John 11:43, 44) Concerning Jesus, the Bible states: “No matter how many the promises of God are, they have become Yes by means of him.”—2 Corinthians 1:20.

Those who listen to Jesus and come “out of the world”—the system of things that is estranged from God and ruled by Satan—are welcomed into Jehovah’s family. (John 15:19) This global family of true Christians is governed by love, committed to peace, and marked by determination to eradicate any trace of bigotry and racism in its midst.—Malachi 3:17, 18; John 13:34, 35.

Instead of upholding the present world, true Christians support and proclaim God’s Kingdom in obedience to Jesus’ command recorded at Matthew 24:14. Think: Who preach the “good news of the kingdom” worldwide? Who have refused, as a worldwide spiritual family, to engage in warfare and divisive national and tribal disputes? And who let God’s Word guide their conduct, whether its lofty standards are popular or not? (1 John 5:3) Many have observed these traits in Jehovah’s Witnesses. Please examine the evidence for yourself.

Mankind, alienated from God and misled by Satan, has built a world system that breeds more and more misery and hopelessness. Even the earth itself is being ruined! Jehovah, on the other hand, has set up a heavenly government that has changed the lives of millions for the better and that has given each one a sure hope. (1 Timothy 4:10) Which will you choose?

Now is the time to decide, for God will not allow Satan and his wicked world to go on indefinitely. God’s original purpose to make this earth a paradise has never altered. To that end, his Kingdom and its supporters will go from strength to strength, while the world under Satan’s control will experience increasing “pangs of distress” until God brings it to an end. (Matthew 24:3, 7, 8) So if you have sincerely cried out, “Why?” to God, listen to him by taking to heart the Bible’s message of comfort and hope. Even now, your tears of sorrow can become tears of joy.—Matthew 5:4; Revelation 21:3, 4.
maxximiliann maxximiliann 36-40, M 4 Responses Mar 12, 2012

Your Response


why should he we can do all the things that need to be done. The hungry we spend billions on weapons that will never be used that money could feed all of Africa

If any of this were true, I'd almost certainly be on Satan's side. He seems pretty cool.

You too are a mendacious, sadistic, mass murdering, despicable monster?

Ha! Mass-murdering indeed!

He's just had some very bad press.

Because of the lies he told Adam and Eve, Satan the Devil is responsible for the death of every single person who's ever died because of illness or old age. In effect, he's murdered billions, no matter how desperately you try to spin it.

Jehovah God, on the other hand, has never murdered anyone.

I agree with a lot you have said and your comment below to

Thanks! :)

your welcome

thought you might like a copy of what you wrote to me; it is MUCH more appropriate on your story and this topic.

written by maxximiliann

I sympathize wholeheartedly with your struggle. Warfare, terrorism, corruption and the sexual abuse of innocents are perpetrated by those who claim to serve God and offend our sense of justice. Why does Christianity seem to be at the root of so many problems?

The fault lies, not with Christianity or with the Bible, but with false Christianity. Its "false apostles [] transform themselves into apostles of Christ” deceiving, corrupting, defrauding, abusing and killing millions upon millions the world over. Their ability to successfully mislead so many should come as no surprise since “Satan himself” has had great success in misleading many for thousands of years, “transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness. But their end shall be according to their works" - 2 Corinthians 11:13,14. Jesus Christ indicated that false Christianity produces bad works, just as a “rotten tree produces worthless fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17) What fruit does false Christianity yield?

False Christianity . . .

MEDDLES IN WAR AND POLITICS: “Across Asia and beyond,” says the journal Asiaweek, “power-hungry leaders are cynically manipulating people’s religious sentiments for their own needs.” As a result, the journal warns: “The world threatens to sink into madness.” A prominent religious leader in the United States declared: “You’ve got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops.” His solution? “Blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” By contrast, the Bible says: “If anyone makes the statement: ‘I love God,’ and yet is hating his brother, he is a liar.” (1 John 4:20) Jesus even said: “Continue to love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44) How many religions can you think of whose members engage in war?

SPREADS FALSE DOCTRINE: Most religions teach that the soul or spirit is some invisible part of a human that survives the death of the physical body. By means of this teaching, many of these religions exploit their members, charging money to pray for departed souls. However, the Bible teaches a different doctrine. “The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) Jesus taught that the dead will be resurrected—an unnecessary action if humans had an immortal soul. (John 11:11-25) Does your religion teach that the soul does not die?

TOLERATES IMMORAL SEX: In Western lands, church groups ordain gay and lesbian members of the clergy and urge governments to recognize same-sex marriages. Even churches that condemn immorality have tolerated religious leaders who have sexually abused children. What, though, does the Bible teach? It plainly states: “Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men . . . will inherit God’s kingdom.” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) Do you know of religions that condone immoral sex?

All of this “worthless fruit” is the reason so many millions have turned their backs on God and embraced Atheism, Witchcraft and Islam (Matthew 7:15-17) .

What does the future hold for religions that produce rotten fruit? Jesus warned: “Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 7:19) Yes, false Christianity will be chopped down and destroyed!

What good fruit should true Christianity produce?—Matthew 7:17.

True Christianity . . .

PRACTICES LOVE: Of the very first Christians many were forced to acknowledge, "See, said they, how they love one another, and are ready to lay down their lives for each other." (Tertulian, Apology c. 39) History shows that the same can be said of Jehovah's Witnesses.

True worshippers are “no part of the world,” are not divided by race or culture, and display ‘love among themselves.’ (John 13:35; 17:16; Acts 10:34, 35) Rather than killing one another, they are willing to die for one another.—1 John 3:16.

Instead of being "intolerant and divisive," true Christianity, based on the Bible, is "broadly inclusive." The apostle Peter said: "God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him."—Acts 10:34, 35.

TRUSTS GOD’S WORD: Instead of teaching “tradition” and “commands of men as doctrines,” true Christianity bases its doctrine on God’s Word, the Bible. (Matthew 15:6-9) Why? Because “all scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight.”—2 Timothy 3:16.

STRENGTHENS FAMILIES AND UPHOLDS HIGH MORAL STANDARDS: True Christianity trains husbands to ‘love their wives as their own bodies,’ helps wives to develop ‘deep respect for their husbands,’ and teaches children to ‘be obedient to their parents.’ (Ephesians 5:28, 33; 6:1) In addition, those entrusted with positions of authority must have exemplary morals.—1 Timothy 3:1-10.