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Bible Study Course Lesson 4: Why Does God Allow Suffering?

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Table of Contents


How do we reconcile anguish and suffering with the Bible's portrayal of a loving God?

Freedom of Choice or Freedom from Suffering?

How can we have true freedom of choice and still gain freedom from suffering?

The Sovereignty of God

Only the Holy Scriptures reveal the true and lasting solutions for people's suffering. It is to God's Word that we must look to solve our problems.

Why Suffering?

Evil and suffering exist because God allows us to have free will.

The Importance of Godly Character

If God can do all things, why didn't He just create us with perfect character?

Jesus Christ's Profound Example of Suffering

Christ did not suffer because He deserved it. He endured suffering for our benefit: to help fulfill God's purpose for us.

Why Must Christians Suffer?

One of the greatest puzzles for many people is why God allows good people to suffer.

Avoiding Unnecessary Suffering

Since sin is the major cause of suffering, much unnecessary suffering can be avoided by faithfully obeying God, by keeping His commandments in the letter and in the spirit.

Help for Sufferers

Do Christ and God the Father have compassion for sufferers? Why doesn't God relieve the suffering of mankind now? What has Jesus Christ already done to relieve suffering? Following are answers to these questions and more.

Time and Chance

The Bible refers to another aspect of human suffering, called time and chance in Ecclesiastes 9:11.

God is Always Fair

Most of the inequities in life are the result of thousands of years of accumulated human customs and traditions, as well as the uncertainties of time and chance. We cannot justly blame them on God.

How God Sees Suffering

The Bible puts our sufferings into proper perspective.

Satan's Role in Causing Suffering

Satan is a major reason for people's suffering.

Cause and Effect: An Often-Overlooked Principle

Many tragedies and much suffering can be traced to their source: our own all-too-human actions and decisions.

Learning from the Suffering of Job

The suffering of a man named Job explains much about why character is more important in God's eyes than the discomfort and pain we experience in this life.

Historical Insights into Human Suffering

Man's existence includes both suffering and the exaltation of life.


A brief summary of definitions for words used in this lesson.

Points to Ponder

These questions are intended as a study aid, to spur further thought on the concepts discussed in this lesson and to help you apply them on a personal level.