Page updated 22 September 2018
Could God Have Created a World Without Suffering?
Writer: Billy Graham | 1991 | billygraham.org
Yes, He could, and He did.
In millenniums past there was a time when the universe and its undiscovered galaxies were in a state of complete harmony with their Maker. It was an existence beyond the comprehension of our finite minds; we cannot imagine a world that is older than we can even think and which existed without a hint of the suffering to come. However, into this Paradise came Satan, probably the most misunderstood person in the universe. Before Satan there was no sin, and before sin there was no pain.
Who is Satan?
He is underestimated and frequently caricatured. Some think he is only a spiritual force, others have imagined him as a goblin or dismissed him as a myth. Today, however, when Satan worship is increasing at an alarming rate, we had better be aware of him, his origin, his aims, his abilities, and his LIMITATIONS.
Satan entered the Garden of Eden in the form of a serpent. He cast doubt on what God had said. He worked on Eve first when he said "Did God really say . . . . ?" (Genesis 3:1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?Genesis 3 verse 1). The next strategy Satan used was an appeal to the ego. He told Eve she wouldn't die when she ate of that certain tree, she would simply be like God. So Eve took the fatal bite and passed some over to Adam, and he ate. This is called the Fall of man, and it has been a long way down ever since. God said to Adam, "Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" (Genesis 3:11And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?Genesis 3 verse 11). Adam answered by saying, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it" (Genesis 3:12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.Genesis 3 verse 12).
Ever since, man has been passing the blame....man keeps asking, How can a just and loving God allow so much suffering in the world - natural disasters - man's inhumanity to man? Somehow, like Adam, man tries to blame God.
Excerpt from HOPE for the Troubled Heart, pages 49, 52-53.
Source: http://propheciesofrevelation.wordpress.com/2006/09/15/take-heart/ Writer: Billy Graham | 1991 | billygraham.org
...we are blessed only when men speak evil against us falsely for Christ's sake.
Christians should be a foreign influence, a minority group in a pagan world. We are the "light of the world," and light exposes evil. We are the salt, and it adds flavor. If we are at peace with this world, it may be because we have sold out to it and compromised with it.
Dwight L. Moody once said, "If the world has nothing to say against you, beware lest Jesus Christ has nothing to say for you."
Jesus knew His disciples were worried about the future, and when He talked to them at the end of His ministry, on that very eve of His death, He said,
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NIV)These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.John 16 (KJV) verse 33
Trouble is different for all of us - translate it as you will: money, marital, health, social, loneliness. Jesus said His followers would have trouble. But He also promises His presence with us, not to deliver us from our problems, but to be with us in the midst of them and give us the power to overcome whatever circumstances come our way.
When the Apostle John recorded Christ's message to the church of Smyrna, he wrote,
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution. . . . Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10 (NIV)Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast [some] of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.Revelation 2 (KJV) verse 10
Mysterious as it appears to be, true faith and suffering frequently go hand-in-hand.
Excerpt from HOPE for Troubled Heart, pages 43-44.