If God is good, Why is Life So Hard?
We read of horrific happenings in the news. We hear stories from loved ones of the latest tragedies they are facing. We remember vividly the trauma of our childhoods and we fear an uncertain future. So, this begs the question, if God is good, why is life so hard?
The problem with this question is that it assumes that pain and suffering are somehow outside of the realm of a loving God. The Bible tells us For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9.
Jesus as God’s only begotten son suffered a horrific death on the cross. And not only Him, but many of His disciples died horrifically as well. So painful and lonely was Jesus’ death that he dreaded it in the days leading up to it, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” – Luke 22:42
God undoubtedly loves Jesus, He made that strikingly clear, (And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”) – Matthew 3:17, yet Christ lived a life of rejection, pain, suffering and loneliness. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)
So clearly, we see that God’s love does not equal absence of pain. But what it does equal is HOPE. Hope for a certain future in Christ. At His bosom, where there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more death. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4.
Hope in our present society is often synonymous with making a wish. But biblical hope is much, much different. Biblical hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
Jesus is the antidote to our pain. Not drugs, not sex, or clothes, not food, not money, not people, not social media fame – Jesus. God gave us Christ because of the pain He knew was awaiting us in this fallen world. The Gospel is called good news precisely for this reason. So, I’ll leave you with this, one of my favorite scriptures that validated me at my lowest point:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33