Is God truly good? This simple question lies at the root of many foundational issues each of us face in our relationship to the Almighty. Our ability to trust God, to have a positive outlook on life and to believe in his sovereignty all rely upon the goodness of God’s nature. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13) If God truly is good, why would He permit bad things, even evil things, to happen to people that He says He loves? To answer this question, we need to evaluate God’s design and purpose in Creation.
God created a world that reflects his glory. (Psalm 19:1) When God finished creating the universe He was very pleased with the way things turned out. He looked upon his creation – the earth, the sun, the moon, the skies, the ocean, the trees, the birds, the lions and tigers and the first man – and said, “It’s all very good!” (see Genesis 1:31)
Mankind was the pinnacle of God’s masterpiece being created in His own image and likeness. God gave mankind the ability to choose so that we could enjoy the beauty and freedom of His creation and the fulfillment of a relationship with Himself. This is ability to choose is commonly referred to as “free will”. With that free will, humans were given the choice of agreeing with God and following His plans or living by their own standards ignoring God’s decrees. God’s first creatures, Adam and Eve, chose plan B. Not only did Adam and Eve choose the way of rebellion, so have each and every human being since them, with one exception - God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The consequences of our choices have changed the course of history and the world we live in today.
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:19-23)
Can you hear the groaning? It can be heard in the earth as a tsunami unfolds. It can be heard as a doctor informs an expectant mother that her baby is no longer moving. It can be heard with every senseless murder, every heinous sexual crime, every life ended early and even those lives that seem to go on in spite of debilitating diseases. Life hurts.
All of creation aches from the pain that is so effortlessly produced each day around the world. Suffering is not only painful, it is also perplexing. We look at unjust situations and atrocities that take place around us and our hearts cry out, “It’s just not fair!” And in the midst of all the pain, we look to heavens with a clenched fist and yell out, “Where are you now, God?”
If we could tune into heaven we would hear sobbing, yes tears, that stream from the throne of Almighty God. God’s heart is broken over the condition of His creation.
“And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” (Genesis 5:6)
“For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. Therefore turn and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32)
“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)
Somehow we’ve been fooled to believe that God doesn’t care, that He’s distant, uninvolved and disinterested. Yet the fall of mankind and the suffering in the world is heavier on God’s heart than it has ever been on our own. God is not only sorrowful over the degradation of His creation, He decide to do something about it.