So let's continue. How can I trust a God that allows us to suffer? I've always wrestled with the idea that God allows (basically condones) evil for a greater purpose. That line of thought, although it keeps intact the idea of an all-knowing all-powerful God, leaves me cold and resistant to Him. I don't deny scripture clearly states that God disciplines those He loves and that discipline is meant to teach us. But I can't wrap my mind around the idea that God would willfully, and wantonly condone the death of innocents to serve a greater purpose. What lesson could possibly be learned from something so horrendous like the death of a child? The common Christian statement during those times when something awful happens is "everything happens for a reason". I agree with the statement, just not the sterile Christian implications of that statement.
Yes, everything happens for a reason. It's called love. God created us with the capacity to love and with this capacity for love comes the capacity for hate. It's true with us and the angels. God is also bound by His words, which say he gives man choices. These choice may be influenced by God but He doesn't coerce us into seeing things His way. Gregory Boyd said it best when he states :Can God create two mountains with out creating a valley?
God risks everything in creating a world where love is possible. For love to be possible so must hate. Why doesn't God just do away with evil? Becuase He himself limits His power over us, to allow us to freely choose Him. If He gives us the free will to choice or not to choose, then becuase He isnt happy with us, takes that freedom from us, then did we ever truly have freedom?
I read through the bible and see a God who loves, and suffers with His creation in the name of love. "Jesus wept", the shortest verse in the bible, shows us a God coming to reconcile a world to Himself, but realizing many would not. God doesn't remove Himself from our suffering,He entered it on the cross and endures generations of people for whom He died, freely rejecting Him.