If God is not good, he’s bad

Even the most faithful Christian can find herself succumbing to waves of doubt when trials multiply and weigh her down. One tragedy or affliction follows another in a seemingly never-ending pattern of suffering, recovery or acceptance, then more suffering, till she starts to feel unfairly and disproportionately targeted and then abandoned by the God she has been faithfully serving. And she starts to wonder if her faith has indeed been well-placed, giving way to fear, which only her now wavering faith can overcome.

When doubts sprout from the seeds of suffering as they will for most of us at one time or another, and we begin to question God’s goodness and love, or his very existence, we need to STOP. And before answering that question ask another one: What must I believe to be true instead?

Rejecting one belief necessarily implies accepting another. If God is not good then he is bad. If he doesn’t really love me then he is not the God of the Bible. If I reject his existence then I necessarily believe the universe and everything in it came into being from nothing and no one.

We choose what to believe but we have to believe something. Even if we deny all belief we demonstrate by how we live that we do ascribe to a set of beliefs about reality. It’s our worldview and we act in line with it, deliberately or unconsciously. It’s been said that, “nature abhors a vacuum.” The same can be said about our worldview. Take out belief in a good and loving God and something else will fill the space.

So when trials or challenges tempt you to discard a belief about God, first consider what contrary belief you must accept if you do. And ask yourself if that belief is in fact acceptable. Make yourself say it out loud. 

God does not care about, much less love me. Therefore he is indifferent or cruel and the Bible is not an accurate revelation of him. Or, he is a mere fabrication of man’s own making and the universe exists apart from any cause or explanation.

When pain and suffering tempt us to doubt God, remember that any belief we jettison is immediately replaced by an opposing one. Rejecting one belief necessarily implies accepting another. We must make sure we understand and are willing to accept what that other belief is before making the trade.