This above can also be asked in this way: lS SUFFERING, A PUNISHMENT FROM GOD OR HIS WILL FOR MANKIND?
When bad things happen, like this COVID-19 ravaging the whole world now, we hear expressions like: God brings and God takes, it’s God’s will. But the truth is that, it is either our suffering punishment from God or His will for mankind?
Life is like a coin of two sides distinct to each other via: Happiness and Sadness. Every 24 hours, man is either happy or sad.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, says that, there’s time for everything. A time to be born and a time to die; to plant and to pluck; to weep and to laugh; of war and if peace; etc.
James 1:13 says: “If people are tempted by trials, they must not say, “This temptation comes from.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But people are tempted when they are drawn away and trapped by their own evil desires.” This means that even though God hasn’t stopped bad things from happening, He never makes them happen. (Read Job 34:10-12.).
God does not try, or test, anyone by inciting him to behave badly. God neither causes bad things to happen nor incites others to do what is bad. Who or what, then, is to blame when bad things happen?
Some religious leaders sometimes make people believe that God is cruel. When something terrible happens, they say that it’s God’s will, that He wanted it to happen, thereby blaming God. But the Bible teaches that God is never the source of evil. Human beings, most times, inflict evil and bring hardships upon themselves.
I got this story below from a friend and that explains more the sufferings caused by humans themselves 👇
“I run a manufacturing business and a trading business.
The biggest challenge in my manufacturing business is not power, or infrastructure, the biggest challenge is getting honest staff.
Everyone we hire appears to be on a mission to steal as much as possible. Inflated invoices, recording less than the actual number of units produced.
The worst part of it all, is that, all the fraud we’ve uncovered not done by a single person. It’s usually many staff who collude with each other, from production to sales, to finance and even from top management.
There was a year I overhauled management 3 times in a year. But I’ve found a solution, I now use Indian management. So competent, so honest and so straightforward.
At first, I thought they were expensive with all the visa fees, accommodations, Staff Rents, etc. But it wasn’t so, as losses due to staff theft reduced to a minimum, and efficiency increased. The Indian management turned out to be very cheap compared the previous Nigerian management.
Now, all sensitive positions involving money go to Indians, while, Nigerians are only allowed in non-sensitive positions.
I used to criticize companies like Dangote Group that hire so many Indians when there are many unemployed Nigerians, but now, I understand their decision.
My biggest challenge in the trading business is the same, getting honest staff. The form of trading occurs in the open market, and involves staff having access to huge sums of money running into a few millions. I know how much I pay to security companies to provide escorts for the staff, not to prevent robbery, but to ensure that the staff go straight to the bank to deposit the money after the day’s sales and not disappear with my money.
The money spend on securities are enough to be declared as profit. We spend on CCTV, biometric scanners and other things that would not be needed if staff weren’t looking for the slightest opportunity to steal.
It got so bad at a point that my main criteria for employing staff was no longer competency but honesty. At least, competency and skills can be learnt, but once you’re dishonest, you’re dishonest.
We always complain of the economy and how there are no jobs. I know people abroad who would have loved to set up job creating businesses in Nigeria but they can’t because they can’t get any trustworthy person to run it.
I know people in Nigeria with so much money, they want to start factories and other job-creating businesses but they can’t because they are occupied elsewhere and can’t get any trustworthy person to run the business. So instead of investing in the real sector and creating jobs, they’ll just buy treasury bills, while the thieves are shouting no jobs.
Many big businesses would have been born in Nigeria if we could engage in partnerships, but we cant because you can’t trust anyone.
This is one advantage the Indians and Lebanese have over us in Nigeria. They can pull resources together and do mega-business, unlike Nigerians that because only one person must do everything since we can’t partner, end up with small, tiny businesses.
- Start a poultry and they will be stealing your eggs. Some will even go ahead to be killing the chickens so that, they can take them home.
- Start an entertainment/viewing/game center and they’ll be pocketing your money. On the days you’re around, the money realized will be double of the money realized when you’re not around. Because they’re taking your money.
- Lease out a vehicle to a driver to use and watch as he’ll finish you.
- Start a restaurant, the same thing will happen. More than half of the total food ingredients will end up in their personal kitchens.
- Even ordinary provisions shop, they will find a way to steal.
You’ll see them with that their evil, wicked saying “na where person dey work, na there e dey chop, na e make dem dey call am workchop/workshop”…… Just imagine, justifying theft at work”.
Now, when these people involving in theft and running down one’s company are caught, and probably sacked, they start blaming God. Whereas, they caused their problems by themselves.
Many today, are in great troubles because one thing or the other they have committed. And through suffering, they are paying for it.
There are also those that are suffering not as a result of sin, but as a path of life, which will lead to a blissful end.
Yes, most sufferings can be stepping stones to success like Joseph in the Bible (c.f Genesis 37:1-end).
God at times allow us (not inflicts us) to experience the hardships of this world so that we will grow in faith. This isn’t always a fast process, but the results are always worth waiting for.
Along with opposition, however, comes opportunity, but God is always with us, and we have no need to fear.
Some things may seem too great for us, but nothing is impossible with God. He is neither surprised nor frightened by anything. With Him, we can accomplish any challenge that set before us.
May God help us not to falter in the face of opposition. He has great plans for us and great opposition only means a greater opportunity.
Continue to trust in Him knowing that He can take you to new levels. Amen🙏