Q: Why does God allow us to suffer?
A: From The Urantia Book:
The uncertainties of life and the vicissitudes of existence do not in any manner contradict the concept of the universal sovereignty of God. All evolutionary creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. Consider the following:
1. Is courage–strength of character–desirable? Then must man be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments.
2. Is altruism–service of one’s fellows–desirable? Then must life experience provide for encountering situations of social inequality.
3. Is hope–the grandeur of trust–desirable? Then human existence must constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties.
4. Is faith–the supreme assertion of human thought–desirable? Then must the mind of man find itself in that troublesome predicament where it ever knows less than it can believe.
5. Is the love of truth and the willingness to go wherever it leads, desirable? Then must man grow up in a world where error is present and falsehood always possible.
6. Is idealism–the approaching concept of the divine–desirable? Then must man struggle in an environment of relative goodness and beauty, surroundings stimulative of the irrepressible reach for better things.
8. Is unselfishness–the spirit of self-forgetfulness–desirable? Then must mortal man live face to face with the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor. Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast.
9. Is pleasure–the satisfaction of happiness–desirable? Then must man live in a world where the alternative of pain and the likelihood of suffering are ever-present experiential possibilities.”
Jesus’ last visit with Gadiah had to do with a discussion of good and evil. This young Philistine was much troubled by a feeling of injustice because of the presence of evil in the world alongside the good. He said: “How can God, if he is infinitely good, permit us to suffer the sorrows of evil; after all, who creates evil? It was still believed by many in those days that God creates both good and evil, but Jesus never taught such error. In answering this question, Jesus said: “My brother, God is love; therefore he must be good, and his goodness is so great and real that it cannot contain the small and unreal things of evil. God is so positively good that there is absolutely no place in him for negative evil. Evil is the immature choosing and the unthinking misstep of those who are resistant to goodness, rejectful of beauty, and disloyal to truth. Evil is only the misadaptation of immaturity or the disruptive and distorting influence of ignorance. Evil is the inevitable darkness which follows upon the heels of the unwise rejection of light. Evil is that which is dark and untrue, and which, when consciously embraced and willfully endorsed, becomes sin.”
Your Father in heaven, by endowing you with the power to choose between truth and error, created the potential negative of the positive way of light and life; but such errors of evil are really nonexistent until such a time as an intelligent creature wills their existence by mischoosing the way of life. And then are such evils later exalted into sin by the knowing and deliberate choice of such a willful and rebellious creature. This is why our Father in heaven permits the good and the evil to go along together until the end of life, just as nature allows the wheat and the tares to grow side by side until the harvest.” Gadiah was fully satisfied with Jesus’ answer to his question after their subsequent discussion had made clear to his mind the real meaning of these momentous statements. ~ The Urantia Book, (130:1.5)