Q: How do you justify God being a God of compassion and mercy and love to somebody from an impoverished country who has never heard about the concept of God and has gone through immense suffering?
A: Hi Chad. I am literally writing this response from such a country. I am in Haiti where a group of us are working alongside Haitians to rebuild their country. The Haitians I am working with are joyfully confident in God, so I asked them this question. They wondered how anyone could not see the mercy and compassion of God, especially in the midst of human suffering. They see His provision daily. They recognize, correctly, that suffering is the result of man, not God. It started with the Fall and has been the continuing signature of man throughout the ages. Man’s inhumanity to man, beginning with small seeds of selfishness, culminates generation after generation in what we see today. And the sobering thing for me is that we each add to it.
Have you ever considered that God has already abundantly provided enough for all people? Isn’t there enough food produced, for instance, to feed the world? Aren’t there enough sources of clean water, and the technology to tap it, that no one should have to go without clean water? Doesn’t man have the gifts and resources, provided by God to alleviate much of the suffering you describe, and yet has not? God has provided. It is man who cannot find a way to work together to bring about what is needed to bless all people. And sin is the reason. And Jesus is the answer – eternally, in dealing with sin once for all – and temporally, when His Spirit is at work in His people to work against the forces of sin that overcome the world.
I am working alongside such people. Some are Americans who have put time aside in their lives to make a difference. Some are Haitians who are determined, with the limited resources and education they have, to make a difference. What binds us together is a God of compassion, mercy and justice who we want to serve to that end. How do I justify God being a God of compassion and mercy and love to somebody from an impoverished country who has never heard about the concept of God and has gone through immense suffering? I look around and see Him in action in spite of that very suffering.
Bondye Beni Ou (God bless you in Creole),