“[God] will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:4.
CAN this heartwarming promise be trusted? Reflect on one of the earliest warnings given to man. God said to Adam that if he disobeyed, he would “positively die.” (Genesis 2:17) And he did, exactly as God said he would. This and the death and suffering inherited by the human race are evidence that God can be trusted. Is there any reason to doubt that God’s promise to restore perfect conditions to the earth will not likewise come true?
Recall, too, God’s qualities, which were discussed in the previous article. Our desire to end suffering is merely a reflection of God’s own compassion, love, and justice. Furthermore, world events and attitudes prevalent today prove that the time for God to act is fast approaching.—See the box “When Will These Things Be?”
Why is Jehovah God supremely qualified to end human suffering? Contemplate how he—using his Son Jesus—is able to and has arranged to correct the root causes of suffering.
Our forefather Adam made a choice that brought severe consequences to all of his offspring. The apostle Paul wrote: “All creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together.” (Romans 8:22) God’s remedy is profoundly just, supremely merciful, and elegantly simple. Romans 6:23 explains: “The wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The perfect man Jesus lived a sinless life. His death on a torture stake provided the grounds for the release of obedient mankind from the curse of sin and death. We now have the prospect of everlasting life in a world where our sinful tendency to make unwise choices will be gone. People who deliberately make others suffer will also be gone, for “evildoers themselves will be cut off.”—Psalm 37:9.
Random events and imperfection.
God’s appointed King, Jesus Christ, has the power to control earth’s natural forces. In the first century C.E., Jesus and his apostles found themselves aboard a fishing boat when “a great violent windstorm broke out, and the waves kept dashing into the boat, so that the boat was close to being swamped.” When called on to assist, Jesus “roused himself and rebuked the wind and said to the sea: ‘Hush! Be quiet!’ And the wind abated, and a great calm set in.” His apostles were astonished. “Even the wind and the sea obey him,” they said.—Mark 4:37-41.
Under Jesus’ rulership, obedient humans “will reside in security and be undisturbed from dread of calamity.” (Proverbs 1:33) That includes the calamity of natural disasters. Furthermore, mismanagement of the earth, unsafe building practices, and ignorance regarding the earth’s natural forces, as well as other human error, will be gone. No one will again suffer from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
While on earth, Jesus identified another feature of his rule that can undo any present suffering resulting from random, unforeseen events. “I am the resurrection and the life,” he said. (John 11:25) Yes, Jesus has the power and the desire to bring back to life millions who died tragically as a result of natural disasters. An empty promise? Jesus bolstered our basis for confidence in him by performing resurrections while he lived on earth. Three of these are recorded in the Bible.—Mark 5:38-43; Luke 7:11-15; John 11:38-44.
“The ruler of this world.”
Christ Jesus has been appointed by God to “bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil.” (Hebrews 2:14) Jesus proclaimed: “There is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” (John 12:31) He will “break up the works of the Devil” by removing the Devil’s influence from world affairs. (1 John 3:8) Imagine how different human society will be when the Devil’s spirit of greed, corruption, and selfishness is eliminated!