God created the world perfect (Genesis 1:31). There was no trace of evil in it. And He made man a moral being with the freedom of choice (Joshua 24:15). Humans were enabled to make their own decisions concerning their ultimate destiny (Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). God did not want to create robots. For the only devotion God would accept is a voluntary worship motivated by love (John 14:15). God wanted a love relationship with His creatures. Such a relationship can’t exist without the freedom of choice.
Unfortunately, we chose to believe the devil (Genesis 3:6) and thus allowed him to demonstrate his rule in our world. And the result of that wrong choice is the suffering, pain, natural disasters, and death that we see in our world. We cannot blame the Lord for our suffering for it is the consequence of our sin (Romans 6:23; James 1:15).
But the Lord, in His infinite mercy, took upon Himself the burden of saving us from our sin and its penalty. Jesus the innocent died to set us free from the devil. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). All those that accept God’s plan and receive His free gift of salvation through Jesus will be saved eternally (John 1:12).
So, the only One that truly suffered is the Lord Himself. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Because the Lord loved us greatly, He was willing to see His only Son suffer and die rather than be separated from us for eternity. It is the essence of love to sacrifice for others; selfishness is the antithesis of love.
God does not cause pain, disasters and death (James 1:13). We have brought this condition of affairs upon ourselves by our disobedience (Gen. 1:27, 31; 3:15–19; Eccl. 7:29; Rom. 6:23). Since this is the case, God uses these trials to purify our character (1 Peter 4:12, 13). The Lord “works all things together for good” for those the love Him (Romans 8:28). During the hardships, we can be assured of His love for He promised, “I will be with him in trouble” (Psalm 91:15).
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In His service,
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