The question that captures many of our doubts and misgivings about the goodness or existance of God sounds something like this:
If God really loves us, why is there so much suffering in the world?
It’s a question asked by faithful Christian, insecure Christians, Atheists, insecure Atheists – a question sooner or later that’s asked by nearly everyone. The answer – from a human point of view – is hard to swallow. God is not to blame…we are.
We don’t like being held accountable for our actions – especially when there are heavy consequences. We don’t wake up in the morning looking for more trouble or to add to our burdens, so it’s easier to shift the blame…to pass the buck. And that’s why we point the finger at God. When good things happen, we take the credit. But when bad things happen, God gets the blame.
Let’s just assume that this is all true for the sake of discussion. Here’s what the Bible says:
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—Romans 5:12
Its the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God put Adam and Eve into a perfect world where they had everything they could possibly need – and they said NO THANKS. God set boundaries on Adam and Eve for their well-being and safety – and they said WE WANT TO DO IT OUR WAY.
As a result of their choices we’re not in the Garden of Eden anymore and the world has become a place of suffering and death – it’s in our spiritual DNA. After they abused their freedom by disobeying God, there were consequences. Creation was disrupted and humanity was wounded. When man and woman chose against God their free world was forever spoiled. We now live on a groaning planet.
If we can accept that God was justified in banishing them from the garden – that they got what they chose – then the question of God’s love and goodness has to be answered by what he did next.
WHAT DID GOD DO TO THESE ARROGANT, IRRESPONSIBLE, UNGRATEFUL SPOILERS OF HIS CREATION? What would you do?
As the creator it was within his rights to destroy Adam and Eve and start over. What he did instead was to provide for them in their new life outside the garden, and promised a Savior who would come and bring restoration. Is this the action of an unfair, cruel, unloving God?
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous – Romans 5:18–19
God sent his son into the world to be the Fall Guy for our folly and ignorance. Even though we deserved punishment, Jesus took that punishment upon himself. His resurrection from the dead swallowed up death forever. This gift is ours through faith.
The fact that we live in a broken world is not evidence that God has failed to be loving. The evidence of his love is that he restores broken people through a Second Adam: Jesus Christ. Believe in him and you shall be saved.
What a God!