Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's Get Real...Why Does God Allow Suffering, Starvation and Poverty?

This is what I like to call....LET'S GET REAL!! A lot of what we focus on around here are the poor, needy, suffering, broken people in this world and how we can help. I found myself caught up in listening to a radio program yesterday. Way FM posed the question " Why would a merciful God allow suffering, starvation and poverty?"...or something like that.

The answers were interesting. I know that this is the ultimate question for a lot of non believers.
Believers and non believers alike struggle with this question. I think we all experience the "WHY" question from time to time.

I have a close family member who claims there is no God and continually brings up this point.

I know what God has proven in my own life and I have my own opinions on this subject based on my personal experience of what I have experienced and seen.

I might touch on some of my own opinions later but first I want to hear from some of you.

Especially if you, like me, have an unbelieving family member or friend.

How do you stand up for your faith in the face of unspeakable circumstances and suffering? It is around us everyday. How do you answer your own "WHY" question? It is something we all should think about and be prepared to answer.
" Why would a merciful God allow suffering, starvation and poverty?" How do you answer that question? Please leave your comment and share. I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Wow! This is a thought provoking question for sure, and definitely one that a lot of unbelievers ask. I read a quote on another friend's blog and my husband and I loved the quote so much that we are in the process( with her permission :) of having our adoption t shirts printed with this on it. "Sometimes I would like to as God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, but I'm afraid He might ask me the same question." We are excited...they should be ready soon! I would love to send you one:)

    You don't have to post this comment. I just wanted to share with you.....Still a very hard question to answer for sure, but we should be asking ourselves the same question. If everyone in America would do something, then we could more than likely wipe out poverty for sure. That was probably God's plan from the beginning. He blesses us so that we can bless others. We are too caught up in what is "mine" instead of realizing that what we have is all His anyway. If every person in America would impact 1 life, the world would be a different place. I'm sure this is God's heart for have His be Him! When people ask that question, they need to ask themselves the same question.

  2. Because God allows for choice. He could have MADE us love him when he created us...without the ability to choose. I mean he is God after all. But what kind of love is it if it is forced?? Not real true love. God desires for us to choose Him above everything else thereby making it a pure true love. But because God allows us to choose, some people do not choose God.

    Sin brought into the world death and people have continued to sin. Suffering, poverty, starvation, etc are a direct result of sin. Not personal sin of the individual struggling with it but sin of a global proportion. Unfortunately sometimes the struggling for some is a direct result of others heinous actions and nothing they have brought on themselves. It isn't isn't right.

    I believe that God has allowed this because Jesus commanded all believers to go into all the world caring for the less fortunate, the oppressed, the starving. He has told us to be His hands and feet. God has made a way to take care of the suffering in the world...he made us. We are the tool to bring relief. But what's sad is that most believing people don't see that this is their responsibility. They want to leave that to a select few.

    Jesus even said you will always have the poor among you. Until Christ's return the world will not be perfect because it is corrupted with sin and unfortunately not enough Christians are living the gospel. :(

    That's my take anyway.

  3. I totally agree with Stacy's comment and her quote. That is one of my very favorite quotes ever! It is so true! I fully believe that we have been given the tools, resources, love, and power to go out and fix many of these problems, but we choose not to. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this. I really look up to you so much because you are one of those who is going out there and making a difference!!

  4. WE allow it....not God. Adam and Eve allowed sin to enter. We have allowed it to continue..... God allows us to see it for what it is and have compassion enough to change it!

  5. Suffering, I believe, is a result of the fall. Sin is nasty; I often refer to it as "sticky"....once it gets on you, it's hard to get off and it gets on everyone and everything else you touch after that. That's what that first sin has done. God did not create sin....we did. In addition, I think a lot of non-believers want to only refer to "our God" as a kind, loving God. (For instance, "if your God is so loving and good, why doesn't he......?) And he is. But that's not ALL that he is. He is also just and jealous; He is merciful and mighty and, just as with our own children, there is a price to pay for our actions.

    I love the quote above......always makes me gasp a bit (convicting).

    Lastly, I always try to remind myself that if I (we) understood everything about God, he wouldn't be God.

  6. I believe our Awesome, Amazing, All powerful Father puts these people and these devestating events in this WORLD for OUR benefit! He can change any of these things in an instant. He is GOD! He wants to see US do something! He is giving us a choice to ACT or Ignore, to make a difference! I don't know how how you can see any of the above pictures, hear what is happening in this world, listen to the statistics and NOT do anything. He wants us to be selfless and help, Give graciously of our time and our resources and perhaps be called to more... missions, adopting, Serving SOMEHOW! WE need to be obedient and obey Him and ACT not be an Ordinary Hero! ...and Glorify Him!

  7. great post and great question...kj

  8. Today, I wish I had the answer to your thoughtful question. I am a believer, but today am struggling with the "WHY" of this very thing. My husband and I are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, and can't wait for our little one to become part of our forever family. We don't live under a rock, we know that poverty and suffering are very real in this world, and our hearts break over it. Our hearts are broken in a different way right now. Last week, we welcomed 2 new nieces into our family. They were born at 24 weeks. After 2 days of fighting valiantly, one of our nieces died. We are grappling with why our hopes and dreams for our niece didn't match his plan. Don't get me wrong, we are able to see much of the beauty in her 2 days of life. I think she has had the ability to draw some people to HIM. That is something that I'm not sure my life has done in all of my years, but I can see people around me, turning to HIM for possibly the first time in their lives as they look for strength and peace in this tough time. Do I think, HIS plan is to bring innocent children HOME to HIM just to make believers out of them? ABSOLUTELY NOT. This is the type of situation that could just as easily turn people from HIM. I am working to see the beauty and miracles in the time we had with our niece, and those things are aplenty, but it doesn't mean the difficulty and suffering through saying good-bye (for now) any easier. I think HE is all powerful, but as 2 above commentees put much more aptly, it is about choice. WE allow these things to happen. We choose to seek HIS will in our lives or not. We choose to turn a blind eye. While we have choices, there will always be things that are out of our control in this world. The key to faith is trust. While it is difficult to trust when difficult things happen, it is just as important to continue to see HIM in those situations (which we are trying to do tonight).

    The grief is preventing me from expressing all of this in the way that I want to, but at the heart of making the choices to reach out and undo or circumvent some of that suffering in this world, also comes an overwhelming feeling that I am only 1 person, so "what kind of difference can I make?" I think your organization speaks to the heart of that. One of my favorite quotes: "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

    Thanks for the outlet of sharing my grief and fear tonight. May God continue to bless the work that you all do.

  9. After attending a series of funerals in college, I sought advice from a dear friend/mentor of mine who told me, "Life on Earth wasn't meant to be perfect. It's a place where our faith is tested and our hearts are made evident. If Earth were perfect, what would be the point of Heaven?"

    Exactly one year later, she slipped and fell on the stairs of the church where we worked and suffered a head injury that took her life. Her words were what allowed me to accept her death without begrudging God. I still miss her and wish she were here, but the advice she gave me has changed my perspective and life for the better.

  10. This is a wonderful post and great comments. I am linking to it from my H2 Helper blog. Perhaps you will get some more responses:

  11. God is a God of abundance. His laws are designed to give us everything we need and desire. The problem is, not many take His Words seriously. People are only reading the Bible versus DOING what is says. It is through doing that unleashes God's infinite abundance. Get Educated...