Why does suffering and pain exist?

len Alfred Ajibola - 28th March, 2021 @ 03:04 PM

Topics in CRS

Why does suffering and pain exist? Forgiveness: Jesus' teaching on forgiveness and its importance What is Forgiveness? Jesus' teaching on forgiveness Jesus' teaching on giving The Prodigal Son, Moral lessons learnt The Prodigal Son, Moral lessons learnt Part 2 Scheme of work, CRS, SS1, 1st Term Scheme of work, CRS, SS1, 2nd Term Scheme of work, CRS, SS1, 3rd Term Biblical account of Creation Biblical account of Creation, part 2 Consequences of the disobedience of Adam and Eve Consequences of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, part 2 The early years of Jesus Biblical account of First Human Disobedience Attributes of God explained Leadership qualities of Joseph that can transform your life Suffering - Our Response to Suffering and the Beauty of Suffering Sovereignty of God

Academic Questions in CRS

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Concerning the biblical account of first human disobedience, which of the following statement is false?

  • A. The snake began its temptation by asking the woman: 'Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?'

  • B. The snake lied to the woman that she won't die when she eats the fruit

  • C. The woman ate the fruit because she she saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat

  • D. The woman ate the fruit and gave some to her husband, after which they were given understanding

  • E. The fruit eaten by the woman was an apple and it looked pleasing to the eye

  • F. The snake was the most cunning animal that the Lord God had made

That same evening when Adam and Eve ate the fruit in middle of the garden, What was God's first action?

  • A. God called out to Adam and Eve

  • B. God cursed the serpent, Adam and Eve respectively

  • C. God called out to man and asked him: 'Where are you?'

  • D. God expressed his disappointed to Adam

  • E. God declared his anger to man

  • F. God called out to Adam and Eve and punished them immediately

The snake in the garden of Eden began it's temptation on Eve by _____.

  • A. Telling her she would be wise

  • B. Telling her she won't die when she eats the fruit

  • C. Telling her she will be like God

  • D. Asking her a simple question

  • E. Showing her the beauty of the fruit

  • F. Suggesting that she doesn't know what she's missing

God knows all things, even your secret and deepest thoughts. This attribute of God is termed _____.

  • A. Omniscient

  • B. Self existence

  • C. Omnipotent

  • D. Wisdom

  • E. Omnipresent

  • F. Omniknowledge

The following are attributes of God except _____.

  • A. Jealousy

  • B. Asiety

  • C. Incomprehensibility

  • D. Immutability

  • E. Impeccability

  • F. Options A through E are correct

_____ is the first son of Jacob.

  • A. Benjamin

  • B. Reuben

  • C. Gideon

  • D. Joseph

  • E. Seth

  • F. Absalom

What was Joseph's interpretation of the chief baker's dream?

  • A. He will be restored to his former position

  • B. He will be hung to death and birds will eat his remains

  • C. He will see his family again

  • D. He will remain the chief baker of the prison

  • E. He will die in prison

  • F. He will be shown mercy by the king

Joseph is the _____ son of Jacob.

  • A. 3rd

  • B. 5th

  • C. 7th

  • D. 9th

  • E. 11th

  • F. 12th



Read more on its smart academic features here

Understanding suffering and pain:

We all live on earth and unfortunately, that's where suffering and pains exist.

Our first parents, Adam and Even lived a life of complete happiness in the garden of Eden. Their painless and glorious lives was cut short after they sinned against God. To this end, they were sent away from paradise (garden of Eden) after incurring God's curse.

Please read the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience here.

The sin committed by our first parent is termed original sin. It was this sin that brought forth the labor pains of child birth. Also, this sin made man work the earth in order to eat. Similarly, we also suffer the pains that accompanies our very own sin (called 'actual sin'), including the sins of others in some instances.

Interestingly, the origination of suffering and pain on earth through Adam and Eve's disobedience was massively outweighed through another man's agonizing death on the cross. Yes, Jesus died for our sins but more importantly, he rose up on the third day.

Please read the biblical account of first human disobedience here.

Understand that the death of Jesus on the cross (for our sins) does not cancel out our suffering and pains on earth. Infact, it calls us towards sharing in his sufferings (while on earth) so that we may also pertake in his glory of eternal life. To this end, Jesus stated categorically that whoever does not take up his or her cross daily and follow him is not worthy of him (Matthew 10: 38). Therefore, it is ideal to say that Jesus' death cancels out our eternal suffering (not our earthly sufferings), thus giving us a hope of eternal happiness with him in heaven.

God is merciful and just in all his actions. This is why the ultimate justice of God for suffering was laid upon Jesus so you and I can obtain mercy. Infact, it was for this reason (to justify our suffering) that he became flesh (man). However, Jesus freely embraced this excruciating and unexplainable pains of suffering because he understood the glory that comes along with it. This is what the beauty of suffering entails.

Please read more on the beauty of suffering here.

Prophet Isiah spoke of the suffering servant in the old testament and this was fulfilled in the person of Jesus. He said:

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isiah 53:1-6

Jesus pondered and prayed concerning his intense and metaphysical suffering at gethsemane to an extent that his sweat became like drops of blood. Understand that this sweat of blood is not a spiritual event; rather it's a medical condition termed hematidrosis.

According to medical research, hematidrosis may be caused by extreme distress (or fear), such as facing death, torture, great pain or anguish. The human nature of Jesus suffered great anguish just before and during his death on the cross. Eventually, he rose up on the third day and this should be our hopeful motivation.

You can read on the early years of Jesus here.

It is worthy of note to state that we cannot reject the Christ of thorns (suffering) and eventually enjoy the Christ of glory. The bible passages below affirms to this.

  • Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

    Matthew 10: 38

  • Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.

    1st Peter 4:1

  • Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

    Roman 5:3-4

You can read on Joseph's suffering and his leadership qualities here.


What is Pain?

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.

Pain is a sign that something unpleasant is about to happen, is happening or had happened. It creates a memory to avoid facing another (similar) danger in the nearest future. For instance, Jesus questioned his father unto letting the cup of suffering pass him by with a conclusion that 'not his will, but his father's will be done' (Matthew 26: 39). Jesus was able to say this because he had already seen the overwhelming pain he would suffer before his death.

In another instance, think of 'a baby boy and a fire'. The baby touched the fire previously and got hurt. Now when he encounters the fire again, he won’t touch it because even at that age, his nervous system had been sensitized to understand pain.

Note: As we grow, we experience different forms of suffering, including the ones we brought upon ourselves and those we knew nothing about. Consequently, some of these pains and sufferings will define our destiny.

Without suffering and pains, we would not properly understand the true meanings of justice, mercy, love, joy, faith, hope, contentment, perseverance and victory. All of these things happen because of suffering.

Please read on the morals learnt from the sufferings of the prodigal son

It is a generally accepted thought that gold is precious. The truth is, gold passes through fire. In the same way, if we were to become golden (kingly and precious), we must pass through a similar process and that's the fire of pains and suffering.

Please read the interesting facts about gold here

One reality about life is the fact that at the moment, we live on earth and not yet in heaven. Suffering abound on earth and no human can escape it. This reality must be embraced since everyone have got an experience of it. In short, the sooner we accept the reality of suffering and pain on earth, the better our lives will be.

Below are some of the few ways we may suffer:

  • Unjustly sacked from our job

  • Sickness

  • Death of a family member

  • Breakup of a serious relationship

  • Accidents

  • Betrayal

  • Racial discrimination

  • Tribalism

  • Financial oppression

  • Loss of Money

  • False accusations and embarrassment

  • Poverty

  • Unjustly imprisoned

  • Rejection

  • Violation of our fundamental human rights

  • Please read on your fundamental human rights here.

We suffer innocently sometimes. However, we should never lose hope because there's always a glorious reward that accompanies our pains and sufferings. Let's always stay strong and never lose hope.

You can read on some powerful motivational quotes here.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 10 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in CRS

There are a total of 188 named women in the Bible

Mahershalalhashbaz is the longest word in the Bible

The shortest verse of the Bible is John 11:35. It reads:

Jesus wept


The longest verse in the bible is Esther 8:9. It reads:

Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language

The last word in the Bible is 'Amen'.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen

Revelation 22:21

The shortest verse in the bible is found in John chapter 11 verse 35. It reads:

Jesus wept

If you translate 'Jesus' from Hebrew directly to English, the correct translation will be 'Joshua'. The name Jesus was actually a translation from Hebrew, to Greek, to Latin and finally, English


Joseph (in the old testament of the bible) is the 11th son of Jacob out of 12 brothers. He is so loved by his father because he was born when his father was in his old age. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated the young innocent boy (Joseph). Meanwhile, his dad made a special coat for him.

According to the Bible (Genesis 37), Joseph is a dreamer boy (and also an excellent interpreter of dreams). This gift of his further made him an object of envy and hate among his brothers.

Out of envy, his brothers decided to kill him but God saved his life through one of them named Reuben. Reuben is the firstborn of Jacob's 12 children.

Please read more on Joseph's story here

By looks, Joseph is a handsome young man and Potipher’s wife could not take her seductive eyes off him. She made a series of sexual advances to Joseph but he clearly refused her in all the attempts she had made. Joseph showed discipline and fear of the Lord during this period of temptation.

After failed attempts to seduce Joseph, she finally got hold of a piece of Joseph’s garment when Joseph ran away from her sexual seduction. She became furious, perhaps afraid that Joseph might report her to Potipher, her husband. She therefore lied to Potipher that Joseph attempted to seduce her and she ran away grabbing a piece of Joseph’s clothing. She showed Potipher the cloth as a proof of her lies. For this reason, Potipher imprisoned Joseph.

Joseph had always prospered every where he found himself, and the prison is not an exception. Even in the prison, the warden promoted him by putting him in charge of all the prisoners.

Please read powerful and motivational quotes for students here

Below are some qualities of Joseph that made him a great leader in Egypt:

  • Discipline: Joseph had every chance to commit sin with the King’s wife when he was tempted. However, because he had discipline over his body, he said no and eventually had himself imprisoned.

  • Faithfulness: Joseph is a man of great faith. He believed completely in God and would rather suffer his body than to gratify it in adultery.
    He also proved his faith in Potipher’s business, showing that he can be trusted.
    You can read on the consequences of Adam and Eve's unfaithfulness here

  • Humility: Even though he was the 11th child of his father’s old age, he remained humble to his brothers when they hated him. His humility is one virtue that made him a great leader in Egypt.

  • Gracious: Joseph was gracious to his brothers who betrayed him. He showed compassion and mercy in their time of greatest need. He gave them food and forgave them during the time of severe famine.

  • Selfless: He gave his time to the service of others, interpreting dreams and helping them to successfully manage their affairs. This made him promoted in every situation he found himself, whether as a slave, a prisoner or a free man.

Please read more on the leadership qualities of Joseph here

Our world will change for the better the moment we start accepting suffering; while also practically assisting and praying for those who suffer.

The beauty of Jesus' suffering is the many that will be saved by his blood.

Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.

I don't believe I have special talents, I have persistence. After the first failure, second failure, third failure, I kept trying.

Carlo Rubbia, Nobel price winning physicist

Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophy.

Sumner Redstone

Think about the suffering a woman in labour would pass through but after that comes the bigger joy of seeing her baby.

You can read on various motivational quotes here

Beauty of Suffering - Len AcademyAccording to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP);

Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.

Pain is a sign that something unpleasant is about to happen, is happening or had happened. It creates a memory to avoid facing another future (similar) danger. For instance, think of 'a baby and a fire'. The baby touched the fire previously and got hurt. Now when he encounters the fire, he won’t touch it.

As we grow, we experience different forms of suffering, some of which will define our destiny. Consider this instance of a legendary footballer below:

  • Christiano Ronaldo is a footballer who had achieved greatness because he spent extra hours on trainings, fitness and hard-work. We can see the efforts of his work on the pitch. If he had gone about drinking, trying to avoid the stress and suffering of trainings, he may not have become what he is.

  • Also, students suffer sleepless nights to get good grades.

Without suffering and pains, we would not properly understand the true meanings of love, joy, faith, hope, contentment, perseverance and victory. All of these things happen because of suffering.

Please read more on the beauty of suffering here