Reconciling God’s Love With Suffering in the World

If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why doesn't He do something about the mess on earth? I used to consider myself a person of faith, but the hopeless and sad state of our suffering world has left me questioning whether God cares or even exists. Can you say anything to change my mind?

As a matter of fact, God has done something: when the world was spinning out of control and the people in it were lost and dying because of their own sins and misguided choices, He sent His only Son to redeem creation by suffering and dying in our place. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).

The real question is not “Why doesn’t God do something?” It’s “How did the world get into such a mess in the first place?” The answer is that creation has fallen from its original pristine state through the influence of human sin. The world as we see it today is not the world as God intended it in the beginning. In Genesis Chapter 3, the Bible tells us that everything changed when mankind turned away from God. At that moment thorns and thistles sprang up in the garden. Sorrow, pain, suffering, weariness, and burdensome toil entered into the human experience. Ever since that time, the world has existed in an abnormal state. That’s why we have disease and disasters and hatred and war and birth defects and broken relationships and all the many other problems that have plagued the human race since time began. It’s also the reason God had to send His Son into the world to save and redeem it. He has a better plan, and He is in the process of working it out.

But why does the process have to be so slow? Why doesn’t God put a stop to all these problems now? The answer is that God is love and love craves relationship. Relationship is the guiding principle in all of His dealings with us. Genuine relationship is impossible unless both parties enter into it freely and willingly. This implies an element of risk and the possibility of brokenness and pain. As in any romantic relationship, so in our relationship with the Creator: love that is compulsory or automatic is not really love at all.

If you don’t know what it means to have a personal relationship with God, you can find out today simply by turning to Jesus Christ in honesty and humility and telling Him that you desperately need His love. Admit your failings and shortcomings. Own up to your brokenness and pain. Confess that you, like the rest of the world, need to be redeemed and saved. If you need help sorting all this out, call us. One of our pastoral counselors would be happy to discuss your questions with you over the phone.


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