Pain and Suffering Do Not Disprove God

Pain and Suffering Do Not Disprove God
Somali Refugee Camp

Despite statements by atheists and skeptics, pain and suffering do not disprove God. Skeptics question how a person can believe in God when there is so much pain and suffering in the world. Several atheists have said that this is the best argument against the existence of God. This challenge is very weak, but many people use it as a tool to support their rejection of God. However, they are overlooking several vital facts:

1-Atheism offers no real alternative to the question of pain and suffering. If you have no purpose in existing, how do you deal with pain and suffering? All atheism can suggest is when pain is too severe, kill yourself. The massive increase in suicides, especially in older people, is because they see no purpose in their existence. Those of us who believe in God know that evil and good do exist, and we are part of the war between them. Chapters 1 and 2 of Job make that clear.

2-Pain and suffering do not disprove God because they are caused mainly by humans who reject God’s plan for life. War, murder, abuse, most diseases, and all socially caused pain are produced by humans. Do we really expect God to straighten out every mess we create? Blaming God for most of the pain in the world cannot be justified.

3-Atheism does nothing to relieve the pain in the world. Atheism calls for no sacrifice to battle pain and suffering because of its dogma of “survival of the fittest” and believing that humans are just animals. Ask yourself how many atheist organizations around the world are fighting disease, social problems, and the results of war and crime. Atheist groups don’t build hospitals and schools or operate shelters and offer food, water, and clothing to those in need. Read Matthew 25:34-40 and see what Jesus calls His followers to be and do.

4-Atheists and skeptics see nothing positive in pain and suffering. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul talks about his “thorn in the flesh” and its benefits to him. He says, “My strength is made complete in weakness” and “I am content in infirmities, ill-treatment, for when I am weak, I am strong.”

I have had a lot of pain in my life, including the death of a child and a wife and personal abuse from a wide range of sources. All of this has reinforced my life’s purpose and direction. I have seen the promise of God working in my life. “No trial will come your way but that which all mankind endures. But you can trust God not to allow you to suffer beyond your powers of endurance, but when you are tested, He will make a way out so that you will be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Pain and suffering do not disprove God. Nobody likes pain of any kind, but rejecting God because of it is allowing a false message to destroy our purpose for existing.

— John N. Clayton © 2023