Suffering is an unavoidable part of life. From losing someone you care for to being betrayed in relationships, suffering is inevitable and its impacts may last a lifetime.
Many people wonder how an all-powerful God could permit suffering. According to them, any god who permits war, poverty, sickness and death is either insensitive or incapable.
God is love
In order to understand God, we must remember that He is love. This core attribute of His person echoes holiness, justice, and righteousness as core characteristics. However, this doesn’t contradict with either his omnipotence or omniscience, or any of His other attributes – such as when children break rules that lead to unpleasant consequences but nonetheless remain loved unconditionally by their parents despite such actions – just as our Father in heaven remains faithful and does not turn a blind eye when dealing with our problems or refuses to intervene when He sees fit!
God’s love for us can be seen clearly in Jesus, who endured so much to demonstrate its depths and demonstrate its power against pain. Jesus demonstrated its depths through His sufferings; these allowed Him to heal others while showing His strength and resilience against it all. When we learn more about this type of love we can more fully reflect it into our own lives while trusting and following Christ as much as we possibly can.
People often misinterpret this characteristic of God as personhood and think He cannot suffer, which can be dangerously misinterpreted; such an interpretation indicates He chooses which creatures to protect over others; this has led some atheists like Flew to reject any notion of Him at all.
Misconceptions exist regarding God’s impassibility as necessary for His power or presence in our world, according to scholars such as Moltmann and Kitamori, among others. Both contend that He can be affected by what He has created but only in ways He allows it.
God’s love for us all was most vividly demonstrated through Jesus’ death on the cross. This sacrifice showed His great care for everyone – including atheists, agnostics and those who rejected Him – while His resurrection from death further demonstrated both power and affection for mankind.
God is omniscient
When we think of God, we typically envision an all-powerful, all-knowing being who can change anything and know everything that will ever occur in time past and future. Furthermore, God seems present everywhere around us at all times – this has been the common understanding for centuries but doesn’t encompass the full biblical picture as there are important limitations on his powers and knowledge such as not lying or engaging in immoral behaviors, as he is holy and pure; also not doing things that go against his nature as truth or that contradict his nature as truthful being.
Many people may question why a good God would allow suffering as part of life, when His power exists to end it? Over the centuries, this question has generated various answers – Freud considered belief in a personal god wishful thinking while Nietzsche held that there was no reason for us to believe when the universe itself can be cruel and capricious.
Christian philosophers have provided numerous answers to this question of suffering. Some contend it’s an inevitable consequence of sin; they argue God knows what’s best for us and has His reasons. Others maintain suffering is necessary part of growth but for those who reject the existence of a god this argument will prove inadequate.
One possible explanation of human suffering is its result of our free choices as individuals. This view is supported by St. Anselm’s Proslogion which states “God is that which can never be exceeded in power or knowledge.” It suggests that God must possess both omnipotence and omniscience for His lordship to exist over this world – while loving gods may permit evil or suffering as part of free will and choice, to which loving gods must respond accordingly.
God is omnipotent
“Omnipotent” is derived from Latin words omnis, meaning all, and potentia or “power.” When applied to God, this term implies He has power over everything – Scripture confirms this by repeatedly calling Him almighty! Christian belief relies heavily on omnipotence as part of its belief system that He reigns supreme. However, this biblical doctrine causes some confusion; one such question involves its justification logically.
One commonly held belief is that an omnipotent agent has unlimited power, only limited by nature and environment. Unfortunately, however, this description of omnipotence fails to take account of all possible states of affairs which might actually occur and therefore it does not provide an accurate depiction.
Another concern is that, as God is all-powerful, He should be able to put an end to suffering; yet He doesn’t. Although this view has been rejected by most philosophers, some find its appeal compelling as an explanation for evil and pain that exist in this world.
Some theologians hold that omnipotence is an essential characteristic of God. According to this view, God must be all-powerful because He is maximally great (or perfect). This approach offers some advantages over competing theories: It is consistent with Scripture and can explain why people suffer. Furthermore, this theory helps explain why certain events happen such as death.
The Biblical doctrine of Omnipotence is consistent with God’s other attributes. Scripture states that He is present everywhere and aware of everything happening around Him, suggesting He possesses immense power and knowledge – after all, He created all things so must have power over them all!
The Bible also teaches us that God, being all-powerful, loves all His creation and doesn’t punish those who suffer; rather He cares deeply for those born into sinful conditions – it would be unfair for any person or their choices to blame Him for their pain and suffering.
God is omnipresent
“Omni” means all, and so God is omnipresent just as He is omnipotent and omniscient. However, grasping its concept may be challenging as it requires an understanding of space’s fundamental principles; hence modern philosophical discussion on omnipresence has been highly technical and challenging. A key question regarding its existence is whether omnipresence is an attribute ascribed only to God through creation or whether it exists more generally within His existence as part of its definition.
Most Christians subscribe to the former view, which holds that God’s presence can be understood in terms of His transcendent essence, rather than physical boundaries. While logically plausible, this view is less popular with philosophers; additionally it doesn’t make God dependent on space and He can still exist without being physically present there.
People often assume that for God to be present everywhere at once, He must be everywhere all at the same time – this belief is known as “ubiquity of God view.” Unfortunately, this misconception stands in stark contrast with biblical teaching: God resides only on His throne in heaven until His return on Earth (Revelation 21:21). Furthermore, evil cannot enter God’s presence without prior authorization – further evidence that His omnipresence transcends both space and time.
Another way of understanding God’s omnipresence is via ubiquitous entension, which asserts that any object in space can be considered part of His body. While technically sound, this view also has major issues: for instance, Hudson seems willing to acknowledge His existence but doesn’t want Him bumping into things. Other scholars such as Ross Inman maintain that His omnipresence does not equal ubiquitous entension.
Some scholars hold the belief that God is incorporeal, meaning He possesses no physical form and must be seen through our understanding of reality. While some theologians may dispute this notion on philosophical grounds, many others support this position such as process theology, Christian Science and post-Holocaust thinkers.