In Genesis 3, we find the story of how everything went wrong in the world. The first man and woman chose to do their own thing, independent of God. In response, God allowed them to have a world that is largely removed from and independent of His blessing.
It's not a fun story, but there's hope within this story.
First, this "story" rings true to our souls. We know we have each attempted to write our own version of our life story without God in the picture. Adam and Eve are us, and we are them. This is the true story of how our world turned dark. Though we often try to account for the bad stuff in our world without mentioning sin, deep down we know the true story.
"Psychologists help us understand the part our early childhoods have played in creating unnecessary shame or a sense of being unloved. Entertainment distracts us from our discomfort. And doing good helps bolster our identity as a good person. But the Bible locates the root issue as our separation from God" (Pp. 86-87 of Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work by Tim Keller).
Finally, the hope is seen in this true account of our beginnings, because in this story (Genesis 3:15) God promised to provide a future Deliverer, Messiah, Savior who will one day conquer the evil that we have created; nullify its effects; and resurrect or recreate everything as perfect and new.
As you read through the Bible this year, look for stories that ring true (because they explain why the world is as it is) and that bring hope (because they point to God's future resurrection and re-creation) through Jesus. These elements are in every "story" of the Bible.
--Matt Gregory (Lead Pastor of Soul Purpose CommunityChurch)