One of the issues atheists like to hoist as evidence against God's existence is theodicy, or the problem of evil. If there is a god who is both great and good, than why is there genocide and starvation? Why are there earthquakes and tsunamis which can kill thousands upon thousands of people?
Of course theologians and philosophers have grappled over this, but no one can give a satisfactory answer which pleases all. Even though some good work has been done on it.
Scripture takes the problem of evil quite seriously. Humankind was created to be in fellowship with God. This is not coercive/forced, but free in that God wants love returned freely. Humans are meant to be in a fellowship of love with each other. Of course sin is a power in the world in this existence. And with that comes grave consequences.
In the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) we see the story of Job. One gets glimpses of evil at work from those doing evil and from nature itself. Add to that an opposer to God and humankind, Satan, and you have a profound story of human suffering, which though having a happy ending, does not resolve the loss of Job's children.
Fastforward to the New Testament and we find the story of Jesus, God becoming flesh, one of us as a human. Jesus lives a life in our shoes, so that we can live a life in his shoes, so to speak. A life of love in giving one's self for the world. Of course Jesus is unique in this; he is the Savior. But in that salvation is opened up the new way in Jesus, for those in him to help humans in this world physically and spiritually. In Jesus a kingdom comes which is not about "navel gazing", but is meant to be lived out for others. Of course at the heart of this is "the Jesus Creed" of loving God and loving our neighbor.
Scripture does not promise followers of Jesus an easy life. Quite the contrary, starvation may even be a part of our existence, while living in and seeking to live out the love we have in Jesus. It's a love that will not pass the sufferer by in the name of religion. But recognizes that this is what true religion is all about.
Of course there's more to this. Jesus took on himself the full brunt of the world's evil and sin, so that the world could be given the gift of the kingdom of God in him. Christianity should major on mission and not on our own salvation and holiness. The latter is essential, but not complete. We must seek to follow Jesus by the Spirit in mission, starting in our own neighborhoods, or with some needs we see around us. Getting our hands dirty to do what we can, in the name of Jesus. And in that seeking to both live out and proclaim the good news of Jesus and God's kingdom come in him. A gospel that proclaims the forgivness of sins and eternal life, in Jesus.
In the end, God does intervene, righting all wrongs and making all things new. There is coming both judgment and grace. That is the hope we have in Jesus. We can rest assured in that, in God's promise to us through Jesus. But in the meantime we need to keep praying this prayer, and do our part in seeing it being answered here and now.
What would you like to add to these few thoughts?