In the beginning, God made everything good. Mankind was morally perfect. There was no such thing as suffering, sickness, disease or death. When our first parents rebelled against God, sin entered the world – and death through sin. Suffering, sickness, disease and death in a general sense are a result of original sin, committed by our greatest grandparents.
Sometimes we suffer because of the sins that we ourselves have committed. An example of this could be if a person slept around, and picked up a sexually transmitted disease. Or, if a person verbally abused their friend, they may suffer relational disunity, or even the destruction of a lifelong friendship.
The Sins of Others
Sometimes we suffer because of the sins that others commit. If someone physically assaulted another, they may not be able to work, walk or function properly. If someone’s spouse committed adultery, and left with another, it could destroy a family. We also can be affected by the sins of others in past generations.
Nature of Sin
Sins can be committed, or omitted. Either a person can do something wrong, or they can fail to do what they ought to do. As human beings, we’ve all, to varying degrees sinned. We’ve all told lies, we’ve stolen things, we’ve carried hatred in our hearts etc. These things are what cause suffering, sickness, disease, and even death. But some forms of suffering are because of original sin, not everything can be directly correlated to something you did, or to something someone you know did.
Before our first parents sinned, we were perfect, which means that accidents didn’t take place. But now, because of sin, our bodies are subject to genetic deterioration, leading ultimately to death. Our brains don’t always function as they should, and so we can lose our concentration at times resulting in devastating accidents, like car crashes or otherwise preventable fires. Even simple things like miscalculations when it comes to engineering are a result of minds that haven’t taken into account all the variables. If our minds functioned as they did before the fall, these things wouldn’t take place.
It wasn’t just humanity that fell when we sinned, but creation did as well. Mankind was given dominion or authority over the earth, and so the earth was placed under a curse as well. Natural disasters, floods, pestilences, disease outbreaks didn’t exist before sin, but came into existence as a result of sin.
Why Doesn’t God Deal With It Now?
It’s imperative to understand that the root cause for all suffering is sin. God is a good God, a loving God, but he is also a just God. Because God is so good, if he were to permanently deal with the murders and rapists, he would also deal with the liars and the thieves, the adulterers and the fornicators. The problem is – we’re all criminals to varying degrees. If we’ve told one lie, we’re guilty of sin. If we’ve illegally download music, if we’ve looked at another, besides our spouse – to lust after them, we’re guilty of adultery in our hearts. If we’ve hated, Jesus says we’re guilty of murder in our heart.
God has declared to us that he is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance. He has set aside a day of justice, where all sin will be permanently dealt with. But until that day, there will be suffering, sickness, disease and death.
God has a plan to redeem humanity. God became a man – Jesus, who lived a sinless life and died on a cross, exchanging his perfect life, for our sinful life. This was a legal transaction. He was then buried in a tomb, and 3 days later, rose from death. He made a way for our sins to be forgiven and for us to be able to have a relationship with him. Jesus said that if you apologize to God, and turn away from your sins, putting your faith in him – you will be forgiven, and God will send his Holy Spirit to live within you. Turn away from sin, and cry out to God today! If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.