If God exists, why does he let the good suffer, and reward the evil?

We all know the types. They are nowhere near the nicest people you know. Most would call them selfish. Others would say they’re straight-up bad people. Yet for some reason they have so much in life.

The personalities of these people, coupled with their undeserving reward, could almost make a man believe there is no God. They don’t deserve what they have, and they almost certainly don’t appreciate it as much as we would if we had it. It seems unjust.

Then there are those who, despite having nothing, will give you their entire heart and the shirt off their back. They are known for loving and helping others, and we aspire towards their purity. Yet, they either have no money or they suffer in some incredible way. Life seems to torment them unfairly.

If there is a God, and if that God is just, how are we to reconcile such differences? Why are the evil rewarded while the good are left to suffer? We’re told that God loves us, but surely this is not love, for love is compassionate, and love is just.

The answer is fundamental to God’s love, and to our own nature.

God gives all men that which is in their heart.

God (or the World for the secular reader) gives all men that which is in their heart. For those who crave money, they shall have money. For those who crave power, they will find power. For those who crave love, they will find love. And for the religious man longing to be in God’s eternal presence, his life will be shaped accordingly. 

For those who seek God the way to eternity is through suffering and sacrifice. The good are left to suffer for it makes them humble and spiritually learned; both are essential elements for divine qualification. While suffering brings sorrow, it also brings wisdom, enlightenment and joy over our life and our spiritual resilience. In the greatest of ironies, those who suffer learn to find everlasting happiness in their sacrifice, and repentance in their suffering.

For the secularist longing for the material, suffering has no purpose. Suffering strikes at the spirit, and as the secularist is non-spiritual, suffering becomes a purposeless inconvenience, much as it does for a flea-infested dog. The secularist does not long for humility, enlightenment or divinity, and so is left to enjoy this life.

The secular and the religious must ultimately war over the hearts of men. The secularist seeks to spread materialism and to crush the spiritual, and he does so by filling man’s heart with the obscene. The religious seek to soften man’s heart and to encourage self-sacrifice. The essential heart of secularism is therefore selfish, and the heart of religion, selfless.

We, the religious, need never be envious of the secularist’s reward. God knows all hearts, and we have already seen theirs. They however are yet to see ours.

Allow yourself to suffer in life, and have endless patience. You don’t know your own heart better than God does. The mind may want something in life yet never receive it, for the heart longs for something different.

Do not hate God if he does not give you what you want. He sees your heart and you will have what is in it when the time is right. This, is faith.

The story of Lazarus.

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7 Responses to “If God exists, why does he let the good suffer, and reward the evil?”

  1. Nick
    August 5, 2013 at 10:06 AM #

    What I think is really great about this article is that it really speaks to the fundamental difference between religion and secularism.

  2. Arby
    August 8, 2013 at 5:53 AM #

    Toma, I’m was pleased to see you tackle this question. You always give me a lot to think about.

    One question I have though on your particular take on this is, why do you say God gives everyone the desires of their heart? In the Bible it is written “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” It speaks to those that delight in the Lord. However, how are you translating this to the secularist? I think that God allows them to prosper and they give themselves what is in their hearts or it comes from somewhere else (Luke 4:5-6).

    Or are you approaching this by citing the claims used in the book called The Secret? I hope not as I find the premise of that book disturbing on so many levels.

  3. Toma
    August 9, 2013 at 7:06 PM #

    Forgive me Arby, I totally forgot to reply to this. If we delight ourselves to the Lord, he will give us that which is in our heart, and that which is in our heart will be to delight ourselves to him. It is a constantly magnifying love, not unlike that we experience when we love one-another whole-heartedly. Love can grow and die exponentially.

    One could take from this the implication that if we do not delight ourselves to the Lord, he will not give us that which is in our heart. The bible however does not specify this. I read it and see a specific reference to the Lord seeing our heart, and knowing our heart, and giving that which is in our heart. I guess it depends on whether you take the first part to be a proviso.

    • Arby
      August 10, 2013 at 1:43 AM #

      No worries, I am practicing patience. After having worked in a Marketing Dept in Corporate America for five years, where it was pretty much beaten out of me, I find that I am enjoying relearning it now that I am free. And, it is a beautiful thing – both patience and being free.

      I agree that God gives us our desires for Him as you say, and this is an awesome message! For an ordinary example, I wanted to add that when God gives you something earthly that you desire, He always leaves His mark so that you know it was Him. When I was young I had the typical childhood fascination with horses, so I decided to ask God for one. Since I didn’t want to overreach His kindness, I asked for only a colt, not a whole horse (only a child could think this way, eh?). I didn’t get a colt when I was young and it wasn’t until years later that in buying my first car, I bought a Plymouth hatchback (I was poor, what can I say). It wasn’t until years after I had traded in that car that it occurred to me that God did give me a colt, it just happened to be a Plymouth Colt, and it was exactly what I needed at the time (if I could barely afford a car how would I have been able to board a horse or use it to get to work). So that twist right there lets me know that it was God’s doing and I imagine Him smiling when it finally dawned on me that He had answered my prayer.

  4. Cianna
    September 4, 2013 at 1:50 AM #

    I’m not religious but we suffering happens because of our ego. God gave us free will we can do whatever we please. God is love and by spreading love can we make suffering end. But before we know love we must destroy the ego. For many years many of us have used our free will for selfish and unkind gains. Heaven, love, and light is within so is darkness. To truly end suffering we must emulate the light and love within us to all people no matter the race beliefs sexual orientation ect. So why doesn’t God destroy evil? It does not exist only stupidity and ignorance. Love knows the ego is foolish. Love triumps over ego. Love is the purpose of life. The question is not where is God, but where is man. We are the saviors of our world cause this is where we live. Taking this from a spiritual 17 yr old girl. Let us link up, hold hands, and walk out of hell right here right now.

  5. BZR
    October 2, 2013 at 2:06 PM #

    Man I gotta say that picture of the old guy and Ana Nicole Smith is hysterical and gross at the same time!! Yeah sometimes it is easy to blame god for not being there when you need him and ask him why he lets all this horrible crap happen to good people but then if you doubt him he sends you to hell so that is even worse. Why risk it, right? Might as well believ in him and chance going to heaven vs hell!

    • Toma
      October 2, 2013 at 11:24 PM #

      I have a friend who agrees with you, but I’ve always tried to avoid this perspective. If we serve God based on a desire for heaven or a fear of hell then we are not serving him, but ourselves.

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