When He created the world, He created human beings to worship Him and be His loving children. He gave us a perfect place to live, The Garden of Eden, where everything was beautiful and wonderful, with no pain or ugliness of any sort. Just pure joy. But Adam and Eve (remember them?) were deceived by Satan's lies when he appeared to them in the guise of a serpent, telling them that surely their loving Creator didn't really mean for them not to eat of the one tree He told them to avoid. Pride (they didn't believe that God knew what was best for them) led them to eat of the fruit of that tree, and God sadly had to take away their Paradise, thus pain and suffering and problems have plagued mankind ever since.
And there was another problem. Since God cannot exist with sin, all of mankind would be doomed to an eternity apart from Him - suffering in Hell - instead of living with Him in Heaven. This broke His heart, for he loved us all so very much.
But God had a plan! His son Jesus Christ, who was sinless and completely perfect, came to earth to pay our price, to take our sin so we could once again have a relationship with our Heavenly Father, and be saved from a terrible fate. Jesus willingly suffered and died on the cross at the hands of men who scorned and hated Him, so you and I could live! Just because he loves us!!
Can you imagine someone loving you that much? I don't know about you, but I have a hard time imagining giving up my life for someone I cared about, let alone for someone who hated me (when we sin, we show hatred and scorn towards Him, like those who crucified Him). But even while we still hated Him, He loved us so much that He suffered and died, and rose again, to take away our sins, save us from Hell, and allow Him to have fellowship with us, to be our Friend.
How does it work? Well, a lot people think that you get to Heaven by doing good things - kind of the "weigh the good and bad on a scale and hope the good side wins out" kind of thinking. Now, don't get me wrong, doing good things is, well, good! We should all try to be good people and help others, but it doesn't get you into Heaven. Heaven demands perfection (remember, God cannot co-exist with sin). And, if we're honest with ourselves, we'd have to agree with the Bible when it says that none of us is perfect, no, not one. So what can you do?
Absolutely nothing! Salvation is a free gift from God, for Jesus' blood washes away your sins, if you just have faith and accept that gift from Him. That is - acknowledge that you are a sinner hopelessly separated from God, and that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose again to take your punishment, in your place, and ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your life and heart as your Lord and Savior, giving Him the controls of your life. That's it! If you sincerely believe that and ask Him for that gift, you are now a child of God, forever!
So now, you'll never sin again, and life will be perfect right? Hee hee, I wish that were true, but alas, we still are human and we will still sin, but we are forgiven for those sins. Just seek His help to live the way He wants you to, and He will help you grow. Pray (simply talking to God about your life, your worries, thanking Him for all of His blessings, confessing your sins, etc.) and read the Bible. Attend a good church that truly believes in the Bible. Tell others who are lost, apart from God, how much He loves them and how they can find what you've just found. As long as we're still on earth, we will still slip and sin sometimes, and will still have pain and suffering. But as we strive to grow closer to Him, we will learn to cope with everyday struggles, with Him right by our side as our best Friend, always there to listen, comfort and guide us.
And one wonderful day, we will go to live with Him forever in Heaven in the amazing mansions that He is building for us there (did I mention the mansions? *grin*), with no pain or suffering, only an eternity of joy and pure happiness in the presence of God. What could be better than that?
If you have any questions about anything I've said here, please feel free to email me. I'm not perfect by any means (boy is that the understatement of the year!), but the Lord is working on me a little bit every day. He loves you so very much, won't you accept His gift?