Let me take you back in time. More than 6,000 years. The Bible tells us how heaven was like before God created humans. In Ezekiel 28, we read about the king of Tyrus. This prophecy about an earthly king transitions into a powerful message about a created being in heaven (called Lucifer), who was perfect until “iniquity” was found in him. Lucifer, an angel of God, was perfect, until unrighteousness was found in his heart. He decided to distrust God.
Maybe you’ve been wondering why God allows so much suffering in this world today? Why we are still here, in this painful world? Why you & I experience pain almost on a daily basis?
The answer, although complex as it may seem, can be traced down to a single train of thought. I want to share that train of thought with you today.
1. God is love.
The Bible says He IS love (1 John 4:8).
His character, the basis of His being — it’s all love. That’s how and why He created us, that’s who we are in His image. Love is at the basis of everything. And even though today’s world seems to have lost love’s true meaning, many are still looking for real love out there and acknowledge that God’s love, manifested to us through His Son Jesus, is the most powerful evidence of His character.
2. Love requires freedom of choice.
I just got married recently. My wife and I are super happy, and although we do have some difficulties here and there, we are tremendously grateful to do life together. We promised at the altar that we would love each other. I can never force my wife to love me. The reason why love is so beautiful, why we’re happily married, is because we both decided to get married. No one forced us. A wise man once told me that “love is a decision”, and God also decided to love us. To love his angels. To love Lucifer. In fact, there is freedom of choice in heaven (as well as here on earth). Everyone in heaven is there by choice. There was just one being (Lucifer) who decided not to love God anymore. And God didn’t stop him. WHY didn’t He stop him? Why didn’t God destroy what later became the devil? Let me explain.
3. Freedom of choice gives you responsibility.
The second you have freedom, you have power. Everyone here on earth, and everyone in heaven, has the power to do good things and bad things. I can run outside now and hurt another person (and I might get arrested but I can still decide to do it again). I can also decide to help others instead of hurting them. And now, this concept becomes powerful. Because the more freedom we have, the more responsibilities we enjoy. We can eat ourselves to death, or we can take care of our bodies. We can smoke a cigarette every day or eat an apple instead. We can say words of encouragement to each other, or words of hatred and bitterness. God created humans (and angels), and with that freedom of choice, He gave them powerful responsibilities. We can start wars and kill each other, or love and help one another. Why would God allow that?
4. Responsibility enables growth & character development.
So why would God allow us to have so much freedom that we could hurt Him and each other? Here’s why: because He knows that this freedom and the responsibility that comes with it enables us to grow. He didn’t want robots in heaven. Or robots here on earth. He is love, and He wants relationships. REAL relationships. Real character development. That cannot be forced, it cannot be dictated, it can only be exemplified. Lucifer’s charge at the very beginning was that God’s way of doing things in heaven is not fair, that God is not love, that He doesn’t deserve to be praised (Isaiah 14). And God let him live so that the entire universe could see that this “alternative option” is only leading to death and misery (Ezekiel 28:17, 19). By creating humans with freedom of choice, by making us intelligent beings and not robots, God proved that He is not arbitrary, that Lucifer’s accusations were not true and that everyone, in heaven and also on earth, has a choice to live with God or not.
The sad part about this is that many of us don’t choose to live with Him. Like Lucifer, we don’t want to live according to His perfect rules. We, in our foolishness, think (like Lucifer) that we have a better option. But at the end of that option we only find suffering and death, and the world today is a living testimony of how this “alternative option” of doing life failed.
I don’t know if you grasp the magnitude of this. Let me repeat the sequence to you. Love — Free Will — Responsibility — Growth. Growth is at the very end of this. In other words, God designed us with a free will and He gave us huge responsibilities, all of that just to grant us the opportunity to grow. To develop our unique and beautiful characters. In fact, God placed character development so high that He was even willing to allow pain, suffering, sin and death in our lives — as long as we can still decide to say “no” to sin and “yes” to Him. As long as we can decide, day by day, to surrender our lives and let Him live in us.
What now, you ask?
Can we end the suffering today? No.
Do pain & death disappear when we live with God? No, not yet. But very soon it will. God already started the process of restoration, and you and I can become a part of it.
Revelation 21:4 tells us: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
God knew that this world wasn’t going to be a perfect world (the second we chose to sin). But He knew that it was the only way to a perfect world. Because when that day comes, when He puts an end to ALL the suffering and misery out there (and trust me, we’re moving towards the finish line!), you and I, and all who have made the decision to live with Him will never ever see one glimpse of death, shame, pain, sin or suffering again.
“Affliction will not rise up a second time” — Nahum 1:9
So… let me close the loop and assure you again: you’re beautiful. Your character is beautiful. Unique. Special. In fact, your beautiful character means so much to God that He allows pain and suffering to come into your personal life, just so that you can grow. 1 Corinthians 13:10 tells us that He will never ever let something happen to you that you cannot bear. Although He allows the pain, He’s in there, with you. He wants you to grow, with Him.
No one in heaven can ever replace you. You are the most beautiful person in the universe and God wants to spend eternity with you.
The question is… will you choose Him today?
About the Author
Hi, I’m Vince, and I’m passionate about the Bible and devotions.
I’m an entrepreneur, ministry leader, happy husband & I love surfing and hiking.
If you want to empower your spiritual life, come closer to God and meet new people, check out my devotional resources & join our awesome community at morningdevos.com!