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22 July 2009

Why Would a God of Love Allow Pain in His Universe?

A good friend of mine made me a few very important questions that I would like to answer in here.

I start by the final part of his questions:

Are there answers to what I ask?

Sure there are, and I hope I can give some in here. Those won't be complete nor flawless because only God has all the answers. However, I believe that God has revealed enough of Himself for us to have suficient answers.

The first question reads:

What moved me there [agnosticism] is that I've seen a lot of human suffering and I don't... I can't understand why a loving God would allow this

Depending on who asks this question, it can be very profound and almost leave me a bit tearful. When a sincere heart makes this question (and I know that my friend has one of those hearts), it is heart renting because many times it's a question that they themselves have asked in certain sad moments of their life: "Where was God when my little girl died?" "Where was God when my wife was stolen and beaten by a burglair?" "Where was God during Katrina?" "Where was God when I found out that I had cancer?"

Having that in consideration, I am very careful not to say something that can in anyway minimize what people have gone through. God Alone knows how many people in the world today cry for justice and for cure for something that they feel that they don't deserve.

Let me start by telling a story.

In the movie "Superman III", Clark Kent, in his superman costume, says something that I have never forgotten. The background of the incident is that, after superman left Earth, Lois Lane wrote that "the world doesn't need a savior". However, in his night flyings, superman had the habbit of standing away from Earth and listen to the cry of help coming from all over the globe.

Because of that, he then tells Lois something like this (typing from memory):

You said in your article that the world doesn't need a savior, but when I close my eyes and hear what is going on in the world, I hear them crying for a savior.

When I read that, it really touched me deeply because it says a lot about the world we live today. The world is getting more and more secular, more and more sexualized, more and more materialistic, but ... the inner hunger for justice and comfort still cries out inside the hearts of millions of human beings. Why is that? Why hasn't money, technology, sucess, sex and power filled our souls? Man denies needing help from above, but his cries say otherwise.

The short answer to the question as to why there is pain in the world is that, from the beggining of creation, humans have decided to live as if God doesn't matter.

God made a perfect world, with a perfect enviroment, and had a perfect relationship with us humans. When the moment came for us to make a moral decision (trust in what God had said or follow our desires), we made the wrong decision, and disobeyd Him Who had given us everything. Ever since the sin of Adam, all humans have been born with a fallen nature and thus, inclined to do evil. When we look at the world today, we see it. It doesn't matter how rich I am, how powerful I am, how influential I am; when the moment comes, I will reveal the fallen nature that is in me.

Because of the sin of Adam, God placed a curse on the universe. Ever since then, the world has got worse and worse and worse. It is because of the sin of Adam and the curse placed in the universe, that we see the things we do in the world today. That is why people die, have deseases, fell lonely, get despaired and other things. The sin of Adam had the effect of changing everything God had made for our benefit. These are the bad news.

The Good News are those in which God says that, even after what we have done (murder, lying, stealing, adultery, fornication, etc) He has prepared a Way for us to gain accees to His eternal blissfull future. The Way is not made of stone or wood, but is a Person:

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" John 14:6

Heaven is restored by the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on the cross, and by accepting Him into our lives. By telling God that we have done things we knew He would call sin, and that we are willing to turn away from it by accepting the Lord Jesus, we are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Messiah.

God's focus is always in the eternal not in the temporal. God has plans for our eternal future, regardless of what happens in here.

If it hadn't been for that solid foundation, my life would be a total mess. Ever since I was younger, i had a feeling that I was "missing the good things" of life because of my life style. I was never a "party animal" nor a womenizer or something like that. Having been born in conservative catholic family, I had the feeling that life was passing by me, and I wasn't enjoying it.

However, after a few years something begun to happen. The people I thought were having so much fun (party, girls, etc) would return with empty lives, shatered dreams, and spiritual bruises that would take years to heal.

I begun to wonder and search for truth and something that really matter beyond our mear temporal existence. If the best the world could give wasn't making people happy, then what would? I wanted Truth not empty "good feelings" (the kind you get when you go to a disco but then are gone the following morning). After much reading and many online debates, I have found that in the Lord Jesus. I now know that my life has a purpose and value, and that whatever condition I am today, it will be over on day. One day there will be universal peace to all those whose sins have been erased by the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.

Having that in mind, and going back to the original question, we can see thigns from God's perspective: There is pain an suffering in the world, and it is caused by our sin, however God will fix and restored the world to the way it was before Adam sinned.

Now, does this anul the pain we feel? Does it anul the pain we feel when we loose a close member? What about that little girl who, for all her child life, was abused by her dad? Where was God? What about the baby who is born blind? What fault do they have? What sins have they comited? Those are genuine and honest questions that deserve a direct answer.

The answer, once again, is in realizing in what kind of world we are (a fallen world) and taking into consideration that God will undo all the evil we will ever make in this world. God allows certain things to happen because a) those are consequences of the fallen world we live b) those are the consequences of our sin c) He will remove away all the pain and injustice man has ever created.

I know that this answer is not 100% satisfying, but I hope and pray that, a sincere heart can say something like

"Ok, God, the world You have made is in a total mess, but I know that You are Good, and that You have good plans for me. I know that You love me because You have sent Your Son Jesus Christ to pay for my sins. I don't have all the answers, but I have enough answers. I have seen that the best the world can give doesn't make us happy. Our souls cries for something more, and I know You have it."

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