Why does suffering and pain exist?

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

Topics in CRS

Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Modesty and Continency Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Goodness, Longanimity and Mildness Characteristics of the new life in Christ New Life in Christ Concept of justification by faith The Supremacy of God Supremacy of God Lessons learnt from God's supremacy Jesus as the Living Bread explained Lessons learnt from Jesus' teaching as the Living Bread 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 Moral lessons learnt from the parable of the prodigal son 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

Academic Questions in CRS

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

The feeding of five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fishes paved way for Jesus' teaching on _____.

  • A. The sermon on the mount

  • B. The living bread

  • C. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving

  • D. The prodigal son

  • E. The good samaritan

  • F. Giving

According to Christianity, Jesus Christ suffered for us all. As a result, Christians do not have to suffer on earth.

  • A. True

  • B. False

In the gospel of Matthew chapter 18 verse 21-35, Jesus tells what story?

  • A. The story of the prodigal son

  • B. The story of the good Samaritan

  • C. The story of the fig tree

  • D. The beatitudes

  • E. The story of the vineyard

  • F. The story of the unforgiving servant

What is Jesus' last word on the cross?

  • A. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing

  • B. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me

  • C. I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise

  • D. I am thirsty

  • E. It is finished

  • F. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit

With regards to giving, Jesus made the statement below:

Do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do this, you will have a reward from your Father in heaven.

  • A. True

  • B. False

At last, he came to his senses and said, 'All my father’s hired workers have more than they can eat, and here am I about to starve! I will get up and go back to my father and say, Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers'. So he got up and started back to his father.

The above statement was made by the prodigal son when he took up a job in a distant country. What job was that?

  • A. Care of cattle

  • B. Care of sheep

  • C. Care of goats

  • D. Care of pigs

  • E. Care of cattle and sheep

  • F. Care of cattle and sheep and goats

The parable of the prodigal son is found in which of the following bible passages?

  • A. Matthew 15: 11-32

  • B. Mark 15: 11-32

  • C. Luke 15: 11-32

  • D. John 15: 11-32

  • E. None of the above

  • F. All of the above

Jesus was born specifically in _____.

  • A. Jerusalem

  • B. Bethlehem

  • C. Nazareth

  • D. Israel

  • E. Capernaum

  • F. Calvary

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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Amazing facts in CRS

Salvator Mundi - Len Academy

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci is the most expensive painting in the world. It is valued at 450.3 Million Dollars.

This painting depict Jesus Christ with his right hand raised in blessing, and his left hand holding an orb

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

Notable points in CRS

The parable of the prodigal son as narrated by Jesus himself is one that shows God's incomprehensible mercy and love. This parable is present in the gospel of Luke 15: 11-32.

Jesus began by saying:

There was once a man who had two sons. The younger one said to him, 'Father, give me my share of the property now'. So the man divided his properties between his two sons.

Luke 15: 11-12

From the above passage, it is quite clear that the younger brother had lost interest in the family's affairs. He must have pondered in his heart the sweetness of complete independence on a life of financial abundance.

To actualize his thoughts, he had the effrontery to go to his father to request for his inheritance even though his father is fully alive and active.

Please read a detailed explanation of the parable of the prodigal son and its moral lessons here

Adam and Eve disobeyed God while in the Garden of Eden. Below are the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience:

  • All God's creature became guilty of original sin.

  • Human perfection was lost.

  • God's judgement was pronounced on the snake, woman and man.

  • Chaos and disorderliness came upon earth.

  • Suffering, pain and death was introduced into the world.

  • The first prophesy was made. 

  • Clothing was made.

  • Paradise was temporarily lost.

  • Their disobedience brought about the relevation of Jesus Christ.

  • Please read a detailed explanation on the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience here

Wise men from the east came to visit the infant king. Upon their arrival, they saw the child with his mother Mary. They knelt down and worshiped the infant (Jesus).

Notice that the bible recorded that the wise men knelt down and worshipped the infant (Jesus), according to Matthew 2:11.

Only God can be worshiped. Jesus is always God, even as a baby.

It is important to state that Jesus remained God at every point in his physical existence, even when he was in the womb of the virgin; throughout his life on earth, death on the cross and eventual resurrection.

The wise men from the east opened their treasures and presented the infant Jesus with three significant gifts. These are gold, frankincense and myrrh.

  • Gold represents a symbol of Jesus' kingship. Jesus is the King of kings, even at birth and throughout eternity.

  • Frankincense represents a symbol of Jesus' divinity and a sign of worship. Only God can be worshipped; and as such, Jesus is fully God.

  • Myrrh represents a symbol of Jesus' death. Jesus is truly man, and this is why he was able to suffer and die on the cross.

Please read on the early years of Jesus here.

God created human beings for the following reasons:

  1. To know Him

  2. To love Him

  3. To serve Him

  4. To be happy with Him forever

Our first parent, Adam and Eve enjoyed a life of complete happiness before they committed sin. They never knew what pain nor sorrow was until they disobeyed God. In short, both were perfect beings until they committed the sin of disobedience against God.

Disobedience may simple be defined as the failure to obey rules, command or someone in authority.

Adam and Eve were the first human beings to disobey God.

Please read more on the biblical account of first human disobedience here