Where is God in the midst of great trouble? Where is He during the storm or when the earth shakes or when senseless violence and evil shatters life? Either He loves us or hates us or He is just indifferent. If we see disaster as an expression of God's feelings, we can only conclude that God hates us or is wrathful or even vengeful. But is that true?
In the Old Testament book of Isaiah we find, “Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” In other words, God and His will are hidden from us. Since we do not have the mind of God, when we seek answers to the “Why?” the answers will be elusive. Chasing after God's hidden will only leads us closer and closer to despair.
So, how can we tell if God loves us or hates us? We know that God loves all humanity when we look back in time to a hill outside of Jerusalem and specifically to the cross of Jesus Christ. Of all places, this is where God has revealed Himself and His will. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16 & 17) Because of this, we can say with confidence that God loves all people through Jesus and His atoning death on the cross.
Holy Scripture informs us that Jesus died for us and for our salvation. He died in our place for a purpose. That purpose was for the remission of all our sins. He did this out of loving obedience to God the Father as a free gift for humanity.
The Gospel is not fair; Jesus who is God in the flesh takes our sins and death and in exchange we get His royal righteousness and eternal life. We do not deserve His grace nor His love. We do not deserve forgiveness and salvation and the sure and certain hope of heaven, but He gives them to us freely. It is at the cross of Jesus that our desire for justice is turned upside-down and yet we find peace that passes all human understanding.
You do not have to be a Rhodes Scholar to appreciate that life is full of pain, suffering, disaster, violence and death. Where then is our hope? Whom can we turn to when no one can make any sense of what we are watching or experiencing? Look to Jesus and his redeeming love. In all our sufferings and sorrows, we look to heaven and the hope that the Lord has for us there, and we cling to the cross more securely, and to the sure promise that He has given us life forever.