If God is “good” then why do people suffer? Why doesn’t God bless everyone, and protect everyone? Why do bad things happen to good people, even “God fearing people?” These are the questions I’m hearing from some of the young adults here. What this tells me is that first they don’t have much faith, and second, they don’t understand the forces at work in the world. If God can do anything, then why does he allow Satan to continue horrible things on Earth? God must not be a very loving God if these things are allowed to happen; I would never allow these things to happen to my children.
The reason we have suffering in the world is because God created humans and angels with free will. God wants to have such intimate relationships with his creation that he gives us free will so we make the choice to have a relationship with him. Without free will we can not genuinely love God or anything else for that matter. God created Satan, as a beautiful creation, but Satan decided he wanted everything which belonged to God, including the relationships. When God created humans he gave us the choice to follow him, he even told us not to do certain things (just as any good parent would do), he didn’t just put us here without any boundaries and expected us to do what was right, he told us what was right and wrong. But we have free will, so we did as we wanted (as most children will do, until they learn their lesson). Satan came and offered something which sounded better than the boundaries God had setup. And because of our selfish nature we did as God told us not to do.
Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins. You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God's anger just like everyone else.Everyday we have the choice to follow God, as his ways are written, we have the choice. The wrong choices come with consequences, sometimes it means innocent people will be hurt, sometimes even killed. But because God came as Jesus to experience all our same temptations, and to experience the suffering for all of us, and he took on the pain of sin (the pain of all the consequences of sin) of every human soul we can live in freedom that all this suffering is for a greater life ahead of us. This life is only temporary, Satan is the prince of this world, we are in enemy-occupied territory. Satan does not want us to experience the goodness of God, and he uses us for his own pleasure, which creates suffering for us. Yes God could come and stop it all, but then we wouldn’t need him, just as in the Old Testament we would soon forget all that he does for us, and then turn to our selfish desires, and more suffering would continue. We make the choice to be happy, by following God, just as Carly pointed out, it is our choice, and always will be. I have experienced many different things to be depressed about, but I have discovered living for Jesus has a much better consequence! That is why Jesus came, to forever rescue us, as individuals to be Holy people who have a direct relationship with God, but we must choose to follow him, and allow his Spirit to live in us, and work through us, this is joy, this is happiness, and this is true relationship with our creator.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms--all because we are one with Christ Jesus. And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus. [Ephesians 2:1-7]