If God exists and put us on the Earth why do we have so much suffering? There are epidemics, wars, Illnesses and natural disasters. How could a loving God let all this happen to us? People are afflicted with all kinds of physical and mental illness causing them and others great harm. Nations rise up against other nations in great wars inflicting pain and sorrow. After a period of peace, more wars follow. Why?
The answer is simple but difficult to grasp. It is a mystery. God’s ways are not known to us. It is beyond our human understanding, although if we are to believe God’s word as passed down to us by prophets and messengers of God, sometime in the future we will understand.
We were given two gifts, freedom and a human nature. It is up to us to decide what to do with these gifts. Each day we have many choices on how we want to live our lives.
One sign of God’s love is that He gave us guidelines on how we were to live. If we followed the guidelines, our lives would be easier and we would find happiness.
From our Judeo Christian heritage, those guidelines are known as the Ten Commandments. They were not handed down to punish us, but to help us lead better lives. We would benefit and get along with each other much better if we followed these commandments.
We must understand, that our very human nature which can be loving, kind, generous and righteous, can also be very selfish, self centered, greedy and mean.
The Commandments remind us not to follow our own desires, but what God desires, for if we don’t kill when we are angry or steal from each other when we want something, our lives will be far happier and we will have peace. We will enjoy our families if we honor our parents. Our marriages will be joyful if we respect our spouses and do not commit adultery. God gave us these laws to help us, not to hinder us.
God wants us to acknowledge His existence.
In reading the Bible we are told:
-God is a God of love, – God is slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, -God has unfailing love toward us, -we have a merciful God who does not reject our prayers or withhold his love from us, -He will take great delight in us and will quiet us with his love, -we will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.
But we must be aware that there is another force on earth that we must contend with. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the Heavens” (Ephesians 6:12) We face the wiles of the devil who sends fiery darts against us. It is this supernatural battle that we must be on guard against, that can cause so much of the pain and suffering we must bear.
How can we fight such a mighty enemy? Again, through the love of God we are told to “…take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand”. (Eph 6:13) The letter of Paul to the Ephesians tells us to gird our waist with truth, put on the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness, to shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace and to use the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God) to defeat the evil one. We must pray at all times in the power of the Holy Spirit to protect ourselves and to be at peace.
Christians believe the greatest sign of God’s love is that he sent Jesus to us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will nor perish but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16)
Jesus told his followers, “In my father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you”.