Why is there so much suffering in the world, why does God allow it, Children die, wars, famines, diseases etc. happen? Can that be a merciful God, making such things happen? Would he not have to intervene to prevent this or punish the guilty at the same time? Sometimes we would like to have God strike at once and put an end to all misery. But where should he start, where to stop? I mean, it’s good that he does not, because I’m sure none of us (myself included) would get away with it. In Psalm 53: 4, God’s judgment tells us, “But they have all fallen away and all been corrupted; There is no one who does good, not even one. “Nevertheless, the question remains as to why, and many questions remain unanswered, questions that are so often asked. No one leaves them cold, and often comes the statement: “I can not believe in such a god.” It is quite understandable to think so. Especially when you are in such a situation where everything seems to break over you and despair has seized you, it’s hard to avoid it. “God, where are you?”, One then just wants to scream.

I would like to try to find an answer here, although I know that this is a very daring endeavor. Such an answer can never take a position on a particular situation, that would be very presumptuous and would increase the suffering of those affected even further.

In many places in the Bible, Jesus makes it clear that personal suffering does not necessarily have anything to do with one’s own guilt. For example, in Luke 13: 4 There can be many causes, and seldom do we find an answer. Therefore, we must be careful not to give hasty answers to the question of personal suffering. If we look at our siblings persecuted for their faith’s sake, we must also say: There is also suffering that serves to glorify God. I say that with a trembling heart; but it is precisely because of this that countless people have become children of God and where, if not here, the apostle Paul’s statement applies more:

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Rom 8.18

Rich wages await those who suffer because of their faith.

When the friends of Job, the great suffering man in the Old Testament, accused him of being responsible for his misfortune because he had allegedly violated God’s law, they were rebuked by God Himself and had to apologize for their behavior (Job 42: 7).

This is all about the question of where all the suffering basically comes from, and there the Bible gives a very clear answer.


When God created the world, he wanted to create in man a “counterpart” (Genesis 1, 27) with whom he wanted communion. In order to make that possible, he gave them a free will, with which they could decide for or against him, because you can not really exchange with puppets. The visible sign of this freedom was the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” that he had planted in the Garden of Eden. Of all the trees they were allowed to eat except from this tree: “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:17),” he said to you. It was, so to speak, the tree of choice for or against God.

In Genesis 3 we are told how first Eve and then Adam decided to eat from this tree, contrary to the warning of God. With this they had succumbed to spiritual death, illness, hardship, misery and finally physical death were the consequences and they were banished from the garden of Eden. The separation from God was there.

Now, one must know that there are two kinds of death with God: bodily and spiritual death. (1) We all know physical death; Spiritual death means to have died for God, to be separated from Him forever. God lets us go our own ways as we want. This path inevitably leads to eternal damnation “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:48)

If someone is dead, he can no longer bear witness to life. It’s the same here. Adam and Eve can still bear physical life, but no spiritual life. Thus, all of their offspring are without exception spiritually dead and thus separated from God and that brings illness, suffering and pain with them (2). This applies to the present day for the whole of creation (humanity, fauna and flora). We are talking about a “fallen creation”. That’s why Jesus Christ became man as we are. He could not stand it. That’s why he came to bear our own guilt and save us. He shakes our hands. When we seize them, we receive again a new spiritual life from him, and thus come back into communion with God the Father. But more here.

Now God, as our Creator, is at the same time the one who has created our basis of life and wants to take care of us. Of course, as long as we live detached from him, we do not heed his will, we do not know him at all; and so it happens that in our lives many things are different than those planned by our God. We know that from the technical devices. Whenever we have bought one, there is an instruction manual which should protect the device and also us from damage. But it can only do that if you pay attention to it. God’s instruction for us is the Bible. He gave it to us to protect us from harm. But because we do not pay attention to them, so many things get out of hand and both we and our environment suffer damage. Distress, suffering and tears are the result, until today.

Today we live in this “fallen” creation with all that this implies in consequences. This will not change until we live again in direct communion with the Father in heaven. But when we take the hand of Jesus, he is with us in all our needs. He has promised that, and that is the experience of all followers of Jesus until today.

Yet another aspect must be considered in this theme: The apostle John says (1 John 4, 8): “God is love.” Here is meant the divine love (Agape), which enables us to love without return, even to the love of the enemy. But if we are separated from him, we are separated from the source of love. Selfishness to hatred with all its negative effects is the result.
Paul Gerhard (22.03.1607 – 06.06.1676), who had to experience much suffering and grief in the Thirty Years War, wrote a song in 1653, which has since comforted many people in need and suffering:
Paul Gerhard:
1. Entrust your way
and what grieves your heart
to the most faithful care
of him who governs heaven!
He who gives to the clouds, air and winds
their way,course and path
will also find a way
where your feet can go.
2. In the Lord you must trust,
if you are to prosper;
you must look to his work,
if your work is to stand firm.
God undertakes nothing
through the cares, grief and pain
you have for yourself,
he must be entreated in prayer.
3. Your eternal faith and mercy,
O Father, knows and sees
what is good or harmful
for the mortal race;
and what you have chosen
you promote, mighty hero,
and you bring to life and existence
what pleases your wisdom.
4.In all ways you have a way,
you never lack the means;
your action is pure blessing,
your way is pure light,
no one can hinder what you do,
your activity never has to rest,
when you want to do
what is beneficial for your children.
5.And even if all the devils
wanted here to withstand him,
there is still no doubt that
God will not give way.
What he has undertaken
and what he wants to have
must in the end come
to his purpose and goal.
6.Hope, o you poor soul,
hope and be undismayed!
Out of the pit
where anxiety torments you
in his great mercy God will extricate you.
Just wait for the time,
then you will indeed behold
the sun of the most beautiful joy.
7. Up, up, and to your sorrows
and cares bid goodnight !
Let go of what makes your heart
troubled and mournful.
You are certainly not the governor
who has to control everything.
God sits in government
and controls everything well.
8. Let him, let him act and choose,
he is a wise prince
and will act in such a way
that you will be amazed
when he, as is his nature,
with wonderful wisdom
inds a solution to the things
that troubled you.
9. He will indeed for a while
delay with his consolation
and act by himself
as if he intended
to give you up
and you had for ever
to be suspended in anxiety and distress
and he had no concern for you,
10. But if it turns out
that you keep your faith in him,
then he will deliver you
when you least believe he will;
he will set free your heart
from the burden so heavy
that you have borne up till now
to no ill end.
11. What happiness is yours, you faithful child!
With glory and shouts of thanks
you have and bear the victory
and crown of honour.
God himself places the palm
in your right hand
and you sing joyful psalms
to him who ended your suffering
12. Make an end, O Lord, make an end
of all our distress,
strengthen our feet and hands
and until our death
at all times let us feel your
care and faithfulness,
and so go on our way
with confidence to heaven.
English Translation by Francis Browne (January 2006)
Contributed by Francis Browne (January 2006)
1. What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!


2. Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.


3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
To our life belong not only joy, friendship, love and good times. No, often we also suffer from deep suffering, despair, pain and other things that make life difficult for us. Worries want to depress us and rob us of sleep.

The Apostle Peter tells you in the name of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 5: 7):

“All your worries throw at him; because he cares for you. “


Footprints In The Sand

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

“LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me.”

The LORD replied:

“My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

Author: Carolyn Joyce Carty


“Command your ways to the Lord and hope for him, he will make it well.”

This is what King David wrote in Psalm 37: 5. In many distressing and distressing situations he has learned:

“But the LORD helps the righteous, he is their strength in distress” (Psalm 37, 39).

We too can do this experience when we flee to Him in our distress in prayer. He does not always take our trouble straight away, sometimes not at all, but we may know that He is with us and carries us through.

This verse from Psalm 37.5 was taken by the great, long-suffering songwriter Paul Gerhard as an opportunity to write the poem opposite. In the German language, the first words of each verse together form this verse.



Whatever you encounter
In the middle of the abyss of the world:
It is the hand that blesses you,
It’s the arm that holds you.
There is no horror so powerful
There is no fear so afraid.
No costumes so vile:
Live one who overcame it.
Whether your sweetheart evaporates.
Your strongest splinters and disturbs:
Pay for the one who chastises you.
He haunts because he loves you.
In the middle of hell,
Since no one pious:
It’s the father up there,
It is His Kingdom that is coming.
Whatever you encounter
In the middle of the abyss of the world:
It is the hand that blesses you,
It’s the arm that holds you.


1. Jesus Christ is the master of both spiritual and bodily death. Among other things, he has made this clear in the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5: 22-42). When all mourned for the girl, he said to them, “The child did not die, but slept.” (Note the difference to Genesis 2:17.) To him, our bodily death is but a sleep. The Apostle John speaks of spiritual life or spiritual death in 1. John 5: 10-12. A good explanation of the two terms spiritual or physical death also offers the article: Life and death (german language) of Markus Rex.

2. For this reason, the apostle Paul in his chapter on the resurrection of the dead (1 Corinthians 15) also speaks of a new body with which we are to be clothed. There he says (V.53): “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”


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