What About Sickness, Death, & Suffering?
Sin, sickness, death and suffering were never a part of God’s desire for His human creation. In the beginning, He created a beautiful garden that was completely free from all of those horrific evils. Indeed, it was very good (Gen. 1). It was so good, so perfect, and so pristine in fact, that the pure and sinless, eternal God and Creator of the entire universe walked freely therein, along with His beloved creation (Gen. 3:8).
But although God so loved and provided them with every possible blessing they would ever need in order for them to remain eternally joyful, fulfilled, and sin, sickness, death and sorrow free, true love is always a choice. Thus God, in His great and infinite wisdom, knew He must allow His beloved and much-blessed creation to make their own choice, as to whether or not they wanted to truly love Him in return. Did they truly love Him enough to trust Him, and hence trust Him enough to obey and remain loyal to Him, or not? That was the test, the choice, the decision and the question, which He knew He must allow them to fully and freely make and answer for themselves. So; God stood back, allowed the devil to make his play, and Adam and Eve to make their choice (Gen. 3). As we know, it was an epic fail. They chose to love, trust, listen to and obey Satan, instead of their Lord God and Creator. Hence, sin, sickness, death and suffering entered the world as a result, driving a deep wedge of division between their pure and sinless Creator, and His now unholy and sin-stained creation (Gen. 3:22-24; Isa. 59:1-2).
But even then – despite their lack of love for, trust in, and obedience to their almighty and all-loving God and Creator – He did not stop loving them… not for one moment. Despite the fact that due to their own chosen disobedience they would now have to live in a world far less wonderful and much more painful than He had ever planned, purposed, or wanted for them in the first place, He promised His now-fallen and sin-stained creation that He had a plan in place to give them yet another chance to be with Him forever (Gen. 3:15), if they would but simply choose to love, listen to, and trust and obey Him this time.
Each and every day, we are given the same exact choice as Adam and Eve were. God still loves and provides for us more than we can ever imagine (Jn. 3:16; Ro. 8:28-32). And so, the question is not does God love us, but do we love God – according to His definition? Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments” (Jn. 14:15; see verses 21-24). Do you love Him, enough to listen to and obey, only Him (Matt. 4:10)? Have you obeyed the gospel – God’s commandment to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (2 Thess. 1:7-9; Acts 2:38)? Are you daily listening to, learning of, and walking in, obedience to and with the Lord your God? Or, are you choosing to love, trust, listen to and live for someone else, resulting in eternally more death and suffering?