If God is all loving, why is there so much pain in world?
If God is all powerful, why doesnt He stop the worlds suffering?
If God created everything, isnt He responsible for creating evil?
In this new message series, Pastor Miles tackles these difficult questions by looking to Scripture to reveal the truth of who God is in the midst of trial, pain, and evil. He challenges us to put aside our preconceived notions about Gods responsibility with regard to these bad things, and to shape our response to them appropriately.
Evil: moral intent to rebel against God
Trials: things that happen that we dont like (such as not getting the raise you think you deserve)
1. God created everything good.
You may not agree with the concept of creation, but at least we can all agree that the things in Genesis 1 do exist and are good as the Bible says they are.
Light is good, as it helps us to see our way and makes things grow. The ocean is beautiful and provides food and oxygen. The trees and plants convert nutrients from the soil to sustain our bodies. Whether you believe in creation or not, we can see that nature is good and coordinated, interdependent and synergistic, not corrupt and evil.
2. God created man with the freedom to choose good or evil.
In Genesis 2, God makes woman to give Adam love and appropriate companionship. He has made a beautiful world for Adam and Eve to enjoy and populate. He only warns them to stay away from one tree, but they may roam and enjoy the rest of the world to their hearts content for all time. Is that a good deal? Adam and Eve have everything they need to thrive and be happy.
God has blessed you, too, more than you can imagine and given you many opportunities to enjoy your life. But just like Adam and Eve, we arent just happy with what we have. Somehow amid Gods glorious provision, we still find a way to get into trouble!
In Genesis 3, the devil comes along to deny the truth God has spoken to Adam and Eve, and in their freedom, they choose to believe the devil over God. Thus, sin enters the world.
Doing things on our own and rejecting God are the foundation for evil. God has provided abundant opportunities for us to be blessed, but people choose greed and evil over and over again. If theres so much food in world, why are people starving? Because there are corrupt governments! God didnt create starvation. He provided the earth and the food, not the oppression.
3. Man rebelled against God and chose evil, which leads to death.
Every one of us will experience evil around us, but we shouldnt blame God for the evil of man. The pain that we receive on earth is less than we deserve. In fact, He can bring about good from evil. If you cling to God, in His goodness He can carry you through anything and even bring glory and sanctification through it.
No, God is not fair, but actually more merciful and generous than you can imagine, as evidenced by the fact that you are alive today. Have you ever told a lie? Gossiped? Fallen prey to pride? Lust? Cheating? Jealousy? All of us have, of course, as a result of our fallen condition. And the penalty for even one of these sins is death eternal separation from our holy and perfect God.
Therefore, you dont want God to be fair. You may be hurting and suffering terrible trials. But just like as a pregnant woman endures a painful labor to reap the joyful reward of holding her new baby, we can suffer the pain of this life knowing that in the end, we will have joy and glory in eternal connection with God if we choose relationship with Him.
4. Man has the freedom to trust God to guide us through our pain.
Just as you have the freedom to reject God, you have the freedom to trust Him.
You wouldnt want others to love you because they have to, but because they want to, right? God is the same way; He made love and relationships! God presents to us Himself and his creation and all He wants is a relationship with us, but He will never force Himself upon us. Love is only love if given freely.
When you reject God, you have darkness, but when you accept Him, you have light, completion, and joy.
As Pastor Miles said earlier, we are living on borrowed time; we are all sinners deserving while we complain about our pain and shake our fists at God, He goes on loving us, having mercy on us, and giving us life. Therefore, use the freedom God has given you before He returns and the freedom is taken away. Surrender your burdens and pain to Him and embrace the relationship He offers, knowing that you are blessed beyond what you deserve!