Kelly Ladd Bishop

Exploring issues of faith, culture, and spirituality with a focus on women in the church and world

How Can God Be Real If the World is So Broken?

There is a lot of bad news. I often hear people lament, how can you possibly believe in God when bad things happen?

I look at it from the opposite angle. When bad things happen, how can you possibly not believe in God?

The news is just one frustrating story after another, from American politics to world news, it can feel overwhelming. It is overwhelming. Sometimes I think it is more than the human soul can handle.

I believe in God for many reasons. To me, there is enough historical evidence to make a convincing case. To me, there is enough documentary and historical evidence around the Bible and the life of Jesus, that it certainly deserves serious consideration. To me, that serious consideration leads to solid evidence that the scripture is true. But faith is more than just being convinced of facts. Faith is a matter of heart. It comes from experiencing God. For Christians it is a matter of experiencing repentance, knowing our own brokenness, and experiencing forgiveness. We call it salvation. It’s real. I believe in God for all of these reasons, and more.

And I believe in God because the world is a difficult place. Some people say that Christians and people of faith just need to believe in God to make them feel better. The idea of God brings them comfort. It helps them deal with anxiety, and that’s fine. It’s like we are taking some kind of supernatural pill to relax our nerves, or buying into a fairy tale because it makes us feel good. But to those who believe, it’s not just about feeling good. And walking with God is certainly not always relaxing. But it does bring us hope.

God brings hope because nothing makes sense without God.

Without God we live in a difficult world that will just continue to be difficult forever, or until we destroy it, or it destroys us. Without God, the problems are insurmountable, and the struggle is meaningless.

But for Christians there is the promise of redemption. The Bible says, “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Rom 8:21).

God promises us that this is temporary. The world won’t be difficult forever. The world will be “liberated from its bondage to decay.” That’s powerful imagery. And it’s a promise.

Just as we experience redemption in our souls now through salvation, all of creation will one day be redeemed.

In the mean time, we are to live into that promise. We are to make the world better wherever we can, bringing in glimpses of redemption, working with God, loving God’s world and people.

The world is difficult. But God hears our cries. God answers prayers. And God has not forsaken us. God is doing a greater work, and because of God, one day bad things will no longer happen.

Thank God.

“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.” (Rev 21:4).

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