In my many discussions with people, I get to hear a lot of different opinions on God. I hear a lot of people asking for explanations to answer the question "what was God thinking?" I've also heard a lot of answers to that question. "What is God thinking? Why does he let me hurt? Why did He let that happen?"
I recently heard this statement about God and suffering (this is paraphrased).
Let's assume you take a completely literal view of the bible. If you look at Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, God made a mistake with humanity. He formed us in a way that man has no knowledge and were mindless. Then man ate of the tree of knowledge after being tempted by the serpent. After this God saw his mistake in mankind and threw them out of Eden, and put us into a world where he we have problems and are punished for Adam and Eve's transgressions. We continue to have those punishments today.
Hearing something like this makes me incredibly sad. I actually hurt to hear someone feel so sure that we go through hard times in life now because God is punishing us.
I won't go into the arguments about literal translations of the bible since it seems clear that no one can agree on what the bible means, even when read literally. All I could really think about was that a God who strives to punish us would not have given us his Son and let him die for us.
again and again in the Old Testament, God gives us chances, and we just keep messing up those chances. Oddly, I don't think this is God punishing us. while he may be saddened by our situation, I think he's also rejoicing in what He made.
He made a people who have free choice. He made us to be like him, not as mindless automatons, but as a people who can choose whether to follow his wishes or go our own way. Feels good to be trusted so much.