If God loves us ...

If God loves everyone, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."  (John 3:16 NLT)

The bible tells us that when God created the world, there were no such things as death, pain, famine, war, suffering etc.  God made everything that we could possibly require - and left a man and his wife to look after His world - and to populate the planet!

"... Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day."  (Genesis 1:31 NLT)

After some time, the man and woman defied God, because the woman "... wanted wisdom..." - and envy or greed came into the perfect world.  Recognising that they had done wrong, the man and his wife were ashamed, and so guilt and shame became part of everyday life.  Now they were afraid - of God - and fear was introduced into this previously perfect kingdom.  When God asked what they had done, Adam (the man) replied; "it wasn't me - it was the woman that you gave me ..." ... and blame came into the world. Subsequently, as a direct result, death became the outcome of life.  Not only were the man, the woman and their offspring fatally damaged, but the human family were banished from God's garden before they corrupted it further.  From now on mankind will struggle and work hard to make a living from the ground instead of enjoying the fruits that God had prepared for us.

 "... And to the man God said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it."  (Genesis 3:17 NLT)

Step forward a few generations of greed, shame, fear, blame, hard work and death and you can see that the world was nothing like the way that God intended it to be - and those characteristics of mankind today account for most of the evil and wrongdoing in society - even in countries where famine or conflict wreak havoc.  God never intended for them to even exist - had mankind simply chosen to love Him and obey His simple rules.

You might ask; "Why did God allow all of that to happen? Couldn't He have prevented it?  The answer is simply that God wanted mankind to be free to love Him willingly - or not to love Him.  He wanted then, and still wants today, that we should follow Him from choice, not from force, which would have made us no better than robots.  Of course, He could force us to comply and do whatever He wants, but that would take away the major feature that makes mankind what we are - freedom of choice.

So, you might ask; "If God really loves people, why couldn't He make a way for them to put those things right?".  Well, that's exactly what He did - and that Way is known to us as Jesus Christ.  Through faith in Jesus Christ, and by agreeing to follow Him, God has offered us a way back to the original relationship which had been lost by Adam and Eve - by doing what they refused to do and asking God's forgiveness for all our errors.  

That way back begins by asking for His forgiveness, turning from our sin and following His Son, Jesus Christ.  It's so simple and it's the way to start to get over all those characteristics of envy, fear, shame and blame which cause us so much pain in our lives - and to realise that death is no longer final, as Jesus demonstrated when He died and rose again.  We can't solve the problems of the world in one go, but we can ensure that God's Holy Spirit will gently lead us back towards the original plan.

... the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

Read the other pages in "Q&A", contact us or your nearest church to find out exactly how to "repent" and "Follow Me" - as Jesus taught.