Some wonder why didn’t God destroy the devil when he sinned, and thus ended the sin problem and relieved us from pain and suffering?
The one word answer lies in the freedom of choice. God created angels and humans with the freedom to choose good or evil (Deuteronomy 30:19). Lucifer and his angels chose to rebel against God (Revelation 12:4). If God had destroyed Lucifer immediately, some angels might have worshiped God through fear. But that was not God’s wish.
The only devotion God would accept is a voluntary worship motivated by love (John 14:15). Obedience for any other reason is not accepted. Satan claimed that he had better plans for God’s creatures. So, the Lord allowed the devil to live to demonstrate his principles (1 Corinthians 4:9).
Unfortunately, humans chose to believe the devil (Genesis 3:6) and thus allowed him to demonstrate his rule in our world. And the result is the suffering and destruction we see around in our world today. The Lord could not cancel His creatures’ evil choices. And, we cannot blame the Lord for our suffering which is the direct result of our sin.
But the Lord, in His infinite mercy, took upon Himself the burden of saving us from our sin and its penalty. Jesus the innocent died so we can be set free from the devil. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). All those that accept God’s plan and receive His gift of salvation through Jesus will be saved eternally (John 1:12).
So, the only One that truly suffered is God Himself. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). God’s love for sinners led Him to give all that He had for their salvation (Rom. 5:8). It is the essence of love to sacrifice self for others; selfishness is the antithesis of love.
God does not afflict His children with suffering (James 1:13). Man has brought this condition of affairs upon himself by his disobedience (Gen. 1:27, 31; 3:15–19; Eccl. 7:29; Rom. 6:23). Since this is the case, God uses these trials to purify our human character (1 Peter 4:12, 13). And the Lord “works all things together for good” for those the love Him (Romans 8:28).
In His service,