How Did We Get So Messed Up
“Then I remember something that fills me with hope. The LORD’s kindness never fails!” (Lamentations 3:21-22a CEV)
It shouldn’t surprise you that not everything in this world is good. Not every person is happy.
Not every place on this planet is beautiful. Evil exists — and its impact is devastating. Just take a look at your favorite news website, and you can see it right away. No rational person can deny the reality of evil.
That means that anyone who takes God seriously has to at some point deal with an important question: How did God let everything get messed up?
It started with Adam. The Bible says, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12 NLT).
But sin didn’t stop with Adam. The Bible also says, “There is not a single person in all the earth who is always good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Adam’s sin became our sin — all of us.
That sin has laid comprehensive and awful consequences upon humanity. For example, it has led to:
• Natural disasters and deformities. Nature doesn’t act like it should. It often acts irrationally, complete with hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and planet-disrupting menaces.
• Decay and death. Our bodies don’t work as they should, and one day they’ll just stop working altogether.
• Emotional distress and disappointment. We’re stressed and disappointed because we live in a fallen world. This world is not all it’s cracked up to be, and that often disappoints us. Plus, you’re not perfect and often disappoint yourself.
• Relational distance and discord. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were not only disconnected from God, but alienated from one another as well. We’ve had to deal with broken relationships ever since.
• Spiritual discontent and darkness. Sin leaves a hole in your heart nothing can fill. Pascal called it the God-shaped hole. We try to fill it with all sorts of things, but only God can truly fill that hole.
Where can you find hope in the midst of all of the terrible results of sin? Do what Jeremiah did. He wrote in Lamentations 3:19-23: “Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable .… Then I remember something that fills me with hope. The LORD’s kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed. The LORD can always be trusted to show mercy each morning” (CEV).
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