I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18).
My sister and her family have been suffering a lot lately. She has cancer in several places and other related problems. Her husband, children, grandchildren, sisters, and friends suffer, of course, because they love her and don’t want her to leave this world yet.
Why do people have to suffer? Did God create us to live in a universe of suffering? Was that his plan? Of course not! God is pure love. His heart aches to see humanity suffering. But in order for him to have fellowship with the humans he created, he needed to give them freedom of choice. Otherwise, they’d be like robots, incapable of obeying or disobeying him. Robots can’t love or have fellowship or relationships with anyone. As C.S. Lewis says, “freedom of a creature must mean freedom to choose.” (p. 20, The Problem of Pain).
Therefore, God gave his first people a choice to obey or disobey. The single command was “Don’t eat of the fruit of that one tree.” They had plenty of other trees to eat of, so there was no reason they needed to eat of that tree.
Satan had been an angel, but had become prideful and wanted to take over in God’s place. He gathered some other angels with him, and they made war in heaven. They were defeated, and God cast them out of heaven. Satan came to earth before Adam and Eve were created. Then he turned himself into a serpent and came and lied to Eve, contradicting God.
Now, God had given Adam and Eve the job of caring for the garden and the animals, etc. But when Satan in the form of the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the fruit of the one forbidden tree, she yielded to that temptation, disobeying God. She had made her choice. Then she gave some fruit to Adam and he also disobeyed by eating it. So they both chose to disobey God.
With that disobedience, Satan had his way. Sin came into the world, along with everything evil like sickness, pain, death, and other kinds of evil. Sin passed along to every person, taking us all captive to Satan.
I think God’s heart must have broken over that disobedience by his beloved children and the resultant broken fellowship. He wanted to forgive them and restore the fellowship, but his justice wouldn’t allow glossing over disobedience.
In order to restore fellowship with them, God needed a plan for redemption. He predicted to the serpent that one day that liar would be defeated. The Bible reveals how God put that plan into action, choosing a people group through whom to work, showing his love and power in many ways, with foreshadowing and prophecies, and finally becoming incarnate (human) through that same people group.
God, in the form of sinless man, could die in our place to pay the price of sin and defeat sin, death, and the devil. Jesus Christ was the incarnate God who died, then rose victoriously to live forevermore. We now have a chance to make the right choice. Those of us who believe in God, and receive Jesus and his forgiveness, will live forever with him in Heaven after we die. We also can experience his grace and strength for whatever we have to go through here on earth before our deaths. God’s Holy Spirit will guide us and comfort us.
God bless you
Judith Vander Wege
Look for my published books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble:
Rescued by God’s Mercy,
Songs & Poems From a Yielded Heart
The Runaway, a Parable About How God Feels About His Rebellious Children
Blessed Through the Years, a Compilation of Stories and Articles