It has been said that the greatest argument against the existence of God is evil and suffering in our world. The argument goes like this: If God is all-powerful, then why doesn’t He eliminate wickedness and evil? And if God is so good, why does He allow good people to go through pain and suffering? God seems cruel and unloving, IF He even exists.
We must come to grips with the realization that God is not responsible for the evil and pain we currently experience in our world. In Gen. 1:31 (and throughout the whole chapter) we read that after God had created the world and all that is in it, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” In other words, things were in fine working order, and there was no evil present in the human or worldly experience. God did His part. We messed it up.
Freedom of choice allowed for the possibility that evil and all its consequences (pain, suffering, heartache, tragedy and death) could become reality. It did become reality when Adam and Eve rebelled against God through their sin (Gen. 3:6-7). All of a sudden everything changed for us…for the bad. Now creation decays and groans (Rom. 8:20-22), animals develop aggressiveness and fear (see Isa. 65:25 for how animal interaction will be restored), people experience animosity in relationships, pain and death (Gen. 3:11-24). The worst thing of all is that sin in our lives has separated us from God (Gen. 3:8-9; Isa. 59:2) so that we can no longer have fellowship with Him. God is THAT good, THAT holy, and sin ruined our fellowship with him.
Did God just walk away from His creation and us? No. Though we still live in a world that is negatively impacted by sin—and we still experience suffering, natural disasters, and death—God has put into place the steps needed to bring everything back to how it once was before sin entered in the picture…even better. “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). God went beyond meting out the justice we deserved and quite incredibly suffered our pain when He took on flesh through Jesus Christ and went to the cross.
It is through the death of the perfect Jesus and the power of his resurrection that sin is vanquished. Get rid of sin, you get rid of suffering and death. When Jesus returns in all his majesty, Satan and sin will be thrown into hell, never to be experienced again. How could one not love God for going the extra mile to pave the path by which we could get back home to Him? Through our worship and praying, our sacrifices and serving, and with our generosity to support the good we can reflect on what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
Drawing closer to God in this season with you,
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