I was considering some of the questions that many of us have heard:
“If God is loving, how could He send anyone to hell?”
“If God is good, how can He let children suffer from abuse, disease and starvation?”
“If God is righteous, how can He allow so many bad things to happen?”
On the surface, all of these questions sound reasonable to us. We may struggle to answer them, as believers. They may even be our questions.
Well, here is a mind-bender for us all. We are asking the wrong questions.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:8: “God is love.”
And in the 100th Psalm, David says:
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
In Psalm 119:75, the writer has an interesting frame of reference for his afflictions:
I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
Here it is, then: The Bible says God is love, God is good and God is righteous, therefore He is. This means that instead of comparing God to our ideas of what is good and righteous and loving, we should study the actions of God to learn what is truly good and righteous and loving.
Let me illustrate it this way:
If you say that something is “gaudy”, because you think “gaudy” means “big and attractive,” then you may not understand why someone else becomes offended by you calling their wedding ring, “gaudy”. They think “gaudy” means “unnecessarily big and overdone – too showy.” You have two different ideas of what a word means, so where do you go to solve the issue? How do you come to an agreement as to what is “gaudy”?
You would go to the dictionary and find out how the word “gaudy” is defined.
We think we know what “love” means, but God defines “love” for us. If He does it or says it, that is the definition of “love”.
So we can’t say, “If God is loving, how can He do this or that?” We have to say, “Since God has done this, it was the loving thing to do, because God is love.”