Recently, a co-worker gave me a wonderful perspective on this dilemma.
Maybe the seemingly unfairness of “bad people” appearing to be blessed while “good people” suffer is evidence of God’s love for those who do not know Him.
MAYBE He is allowing unsaved people to be blessed now because HE truly understands how terrible hell is and knows that their eternal fate will be horrendous.
MAYBE He knows that the only joy they will have will be in this life and so He, in His abounding love, allows them joy and success here on earth.
Likewise, He truly understands how utterly incomprehensibly amazing Heaven will be and MAYBE He allows the saved people to suffer here because He knows that their faith in Him through trials will lead others to faith in Him. He sent Jesus to die so that we could be saved from Hell; it makes sense to believe that He would allow His children to suffer so that others would come to know Him. Besides that, He also knows that they will spend eternity in perfect peace, comfort, and joy, forgetting the troubles of this life in an instant. If we really believe that Heaven, hell and eternity are real, then we must believe that this life is a mere blip in time and neither the blessings nor troubles in this life will compare to what we experience for eternity.
If we, as Christians, truly believe that Heaven, hell, and eternity are real, then we should be wrecked over people not choosing to live for Jesus, rather than lamenting the seeming lack of justice of this life. It is natural to be discouraged by the evil we see in the news each day. There seems to be no end to the escalation of violence in the world.
Rather than be discouraged about all the bad going on, what if it spurred us to tell others about the hope in the promise of Heaven through faith in Jesus Christ? We know that there is no hope in this life apart from Him and that truth is becoming more evident very day.
I am reminded of Jesus’ promise:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NIV)
What a blessing to know that our peace is found in Jesus and we have Heaven to look forward to. I am so thankful for the promise, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.” Yes, things are bad now. Jesus knew they would be. Thankfully, He’s already fought and won this battle for us. We only have to take heart and trust Him with the life He has given us. We have an awesome opportunity to offer hope and encouragement to those who are devastated by the shape our world is in.
Side note for those (like me) who are devastated by the ugliness of this world: God is still here.
As bad as things are today, God IS still here. In the terrorist threats, sex trafficking, abuse, murder, rape, and all manner of evil we see and hear about, GOD IS STILL HERE.
Can you IMAGINE what hell will be like: in the absence of God?
At the same time, evil is present in our most perfectly amazing moments. Mixed in with children’s hugs, spring flowers, fall leaves, friends, love, family, births, marriages, smiles, puppies, sunshine, rainbows, good books, ocean waves and mountain streams are hurt, devastation, loss and brokenness.
Can you imagine what Heaven will be like: with the absence of all evil?
We cannot comprehend how terrible hell is nor how wonderfully perfect Heaven is. Even so, with what we CAN imagine, it is in line with Scripture that the God who loves would, out of His abounding love, allow those bound for hell to experience joy here on earth. Similarly, knowing the gift of Heaven that awaits those who trust Jesus, our Good Father knows that any suffering we experience now will be forgotten once we are in His presence.
I look forward to that day…