Imagine it: You’re sitting in class and you start telling someone about what you believe. The person you’re talking to isn’t so sure about the whole God thing. They listen, but don’t truly listen because they just see the whole Christianity thing as confusing and not practical. It’s not that they are totally dismissing God’s existence, they just can’t understand why such bad things happen (or happened) in their life…that if God were really loving, those things wouldn’t have happened.
Most people WANT to believe in a divine power, but due to the perils of this world, just feel like they can’t. People often hear of this loving God and wonder: If God is so great, powerful and loving, then why does He allow bad things and so much evil to occur in the world?
The answer is so much more simple than you may think. It’s a little something I was reminded of in the movie God’s Not Dead (which is AMAZING!). And that is: FREE WILL. If the world were perfect, we would all love God and not know the difference between good and evil. God does not want a bunch of carbon copies who love the same way…He wants to have a relationship with those who CHOOSE to love Him, not because they don’t know any different, but because they honestly SEEK Him. That’s free will—that amid the evils and natural disasters and pain and suffering in this world, we would personally choose in our hearts to follow Him. He is our refuge in this broken world. The light of Jesus is made so much brighter in this darkness. Have you ever thought about that? Light would not exist if darkness didn’t.
See, what’s amazing is that God does not force us to love Him, yet He loves us all so much anyway—even when we don’t feel the same way. In fact, He loves us so much that He gave up His one and only son to be nailed to a cross. All for us.
Just think about this for a minute. I know this statement is repeated a lot, even around nonbelievers. Imagine if you had a son of your own. And out of such ridiculous love, you gave that son up to be killed by the same people you are loving. We are too human to comprehend that. Our minds are too small and self-absorbed, even when we try not to be, to really get this. Be honest: Would you let your family be killed just so a bunch of people who don’t really know you could be saved? We’d like to say we understand it and would do the same…but that’s just not the truth. We are not God. We can’t figure out His love because it is too vast to wrap our minds around.
So yeah, things in this world are messed up. Evil exists. But if it didn’t, you wouldn’t ever realize how big His love for you was because there would be no sins to forgive. You wouldn’t see Him carry you though the trials when you need Him most. You wouldn’t feel a need for Him. If life were perfect for you, you might begin to stray away and become independent and self-sufficient. And sometimes that’s exactly what happens—the devil might let you live a perfectly great life, only to snag you in the end because you felt you didn’t need God’s help.
That’s another thing I learned from the movie God’s Not Dead (and if you haven’t seen it, you should!). If you are still struggling, have you ever considered that when the world wears you down, God is just showing how He can revive and make you strong regardless? Sometimes when you hit rock bottom in a world filled with evil, you find that God is the rock at the bottom holding you up.
One thing many don’t realize is that when you put your trust in God, these bad things—these heartaches, lies, natural disasters and diseases—are made less dark. Why? Because He gives you the strength to get through them. This doesn’t mean you won’t crumble from time to time, but it does mean that God is there in your soul whispering hope and peace amid the trials. A hope and a peace that can’t really be explained…that everything is going to be okay because all of this pain has a purpose—it’s all part of His great plan. And His plan is infinitely better than what mine would be without Him.
Have you ever thought about what life would be like if you—just a weak human lost on earth—were leading your life alone? I am one of 7 billion. If I didn’t have God, I’d just be another random life floating along to nothingness. Never making an impact. Just existing to exist. Existing to please myself…which kinda stinks because then I would never really find life in life. I would be coerced like cattle to conform to whatever trend hit me. If society told me that the best kind of life was one focused on money and looks, well then, I would strive for that. Why? Because that’s all I’d know that there was to the world.
What’s sad is that many people do live like this. Maybe you do, too. In fact, we all have at some point. There’s always a point in everyone’s day, including mine, when you want to focus on pleasing the world and not as much God. Whether it be fantasizing about how an outfit will up your status, or having a fit of self-pity for not being part of a social group or event that would make us look better, it is so easy to fall prey to what the world wants us to think and feel. It weighs us down to look at everything with a blurred perspective, as if our value is limited to what we see with our eyes.
But when you follow Jesus, everything changes. There is clarity. He takes your existence on this dark planet and turns you into something greater than yourself. He turns you into a LIGHT. There are three types of people in this world: those who blend into the dark and can’t find the switch; those who know of the switch, but can’t understand how it would change anything, so they refuse to touch it; and those who recognize the power of the switch and turn it on bright for all to see. The switch is Jesus. When you CHOOSE to welcome Jesus in your heart out of pure free will, He multiplies your influence. He has the power to take one human being out of 7 billion (that’s you) and fuel you so much that it causes a flareup all around you of other switches turning on, including those who never knew the switch existed. Because of you and the light that Jesus puts inside.
So yeah, the world is a mess. It’s quite broken and dark. Just don’t forget to flip on the switch.