IF GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE, THEN WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?

JOHN 3:16: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” CSB

OBSERVATION: If God is a God of love, then why is there so much human suffering in the world? If God is a God of love, then why doesn’t He stop the senseless acts of violence that are proliferating in our land? If God is a God of love, why is there cancer?

These, and similar objections, are made by many. And to be honest, I too have asked these questions. Why doesn’t God simply step in and stop all the madness that is plaguing this world? The answer is – He has. John 3:16 tells us what God did.

  • “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Some will object. This is just a cop out on the part of Christians. It does not really answer the question. Yet, it really does. A perfect and holy God, who gave mankind a free will, had no obligation to step in and help His own creation that had rejected Him.

  • “As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12 CSB

When God created man and woman, He created them with a free will. This was the choice to walk in harmony with God or to walk according to their own wisdom and understanding. When man chose his own wisdom, sin entered into the world. It was man’s choice. He rejected God, he turned his back on God’s provision, he broke his covenant with the Creator. God did not owe man anything.

Yet, God loved His creation. He was not going to abandon them. He chose a special people to whom He would reveal His Word, teach His ways, and become His people of promise. The promise was that through this lineage a savior would come. And in John’s Gospel we read about the fulfillment of this promise. It was the most sacrificial and demonstrative way God could show His love. God Himself came to His creation. He came to live, to empathize, to heal, and to take man’s place in death, the penalty for his sin.

  • “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 CSB

John makes it clear why God the Father did this.

  • “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” John 3:17-21 CSB

God loves mankind so much that He Himself came to save them. Yet, He did not come to take away their choice. Every man and woman still has a choice. It is a choice between light and darkness, sin and salvation. It is a choice between redemption and condemnation. This choice does not remove sin from the world, but it cleanses sin from the heart. It does not stop all evil, but it changes a selfish heart into one that desires to do good. It does not answer all of our questions, but restores us to the One who can. It brings sense to a senseless world. Hope to a hopeless heart. And love to a lost and lonely life.

The irony of it all is that people stumble over this truth because it is so simple. It was 100% God’s love at work. All of us were positioned as sinners. Yet, He still came, He still loved, He still healed, He still died, and He rose victoriously from the dead. Jesus did it all. And all we have to do to enter into this new life is simply surrender our life to Him in faith. Jesus made it very simple – “Repent and believe the Good News!” We must simply turn from our sin, and turn to Him.

  • “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Eternal life doesn’t begin when we die. It begins the minute we turn from our sin and brokenness and place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. When we give our life to Jesus Christ we enter into His love. It enables us to see all of life through God’s perspective. It brings hope, joy, and peace to our troubled hearts. It breaks the strongholds of sin, sorrow, bitterness, and shame. It restores us to our creative purpose. It introduces us to true love. A love that never fails. A love that endures.

  • “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 CSB

So, the next time someone asks you why a God of love doesn’t simply step in and take care of all the human sin and suffering in the world, remember – HE DID!

  • “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

And remember – HE WILL!

  • “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away. Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” Revelation 21:1-5 CSB

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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