Some of us distrust God, because we believe he set up a flawed system.
First, God created a perfect place called heaven and filled it with perfect beings, known as angels, even though he knew that Satan, a high ranking angel, would rebel against him and persuade many of his angelic cohorts to join his revolt.
Then God created a perfect universe, including the earth, which he populated with two perfect people named Adam and Eve, even though he knew they would yield to Satan’s temptation and defy him.
God knew their defiance would allow evil to damage his perfect world, render us innately sinful, and generate suffering for everyone. He knew our native sinfulness would automatically disqualify us from heaven.
God knew this situation would require him, in the person of Jesus, to come to earth and die, so we could have the opportunity to enjoy eternity in heaven, despite our sinfulness.
He knew this effort would not immediately rid the world of evil. He knew our suffering would continue. He knew this suffering would be the major reason we distrust him. He knew this distrust would render many of us indifferent to his salvation plan.
So why did God create a system with these inherent vulnerabilities, when he knew that bad outcomes would result?
The answer is a matter of the will.
God created angels and humans with a will so we could love him, and each other, by choice and carry out our assigned tasks.
Our will gives us the ability to think whatever we want, whenever we want, subject to certain constraints.
It includes the ability to make choices, within limits, and do things we think will advance our perceived self interest.
Advent Of Evil
Suffering is ultimately a manifestation of evil.
Evil emanates from wrong choices made on the basis of moral untruth, which is a lie, deception, distortion, or half truth about something God deems to be true.
God intended the angels, Adam, and Eve to use their will to make right choices based on moral truth. He knew these choices would generate the superior outcomes his perfect system was designed to produce.
Instead, they misused their will to make wrong choices based on moral untruth. The ensuing evil damaged God’s perfect system. Now it produces inferior outcomes that he never intended.
God could have precluded these inferior outcomes by creating the angels, Adam, and Eve without a will. But he discarded this option because of its inherent defects.
Foremost among them, as descendents of Adam and Eve, we would not have a will.
Without a will, our ability to think new thoughts and create new things would be limited. We would be indifferent to discovery, exploration, and invention.
We would be disinterested in actualizing our individual potential. The world would lack art, culture, and humor.
Our moral values would be individually determined by instinctive responses to our current needs and circumstances, without concern for the greater good.
We would be apathetic about building civil, just, and free societies. We would not care about being fair, gracious, or merciful to others.
We would be nonchalant about forming new relationships. We would be unable to truly love anyone.
This brings us to the ultimate reason God gave the angels, Adam, Eve, and us a will.
God wanted to enjoy a personal relationship with us based on mutual unconditional love. This type of love is not a function of instinct or feelings. It is a matter of choice.
Long before he created the world, God decided to love us unconditionally. He had to give us a will so we could love him the same way in return.
God determined that the upside benefit of giving us a will—perfect relationships with those who qualify for heaven—outweighed the downside risk inherent in our volitional freedom—the evil generated by immoral choices.
This is a remarkable risk assessment, considering how much damage evil has caused throughout history. God’s desire for an eternal relationship with us is stronger than we can imagine.
God is omnicient. He is unconstrained by time. He sees the end results of all possibilities at once.
God selected the current system over all other potential variations, because he knew it would produce the best of all possible outcomes.
This outcome will ultimately be heaven on earth, occupied by blissful people who willfully delight in God, his creation, and each other, while individually actualizing their unique potential.