It’s one of life’s greatest questions. Why is there evil in the world? At some point in life, most Christians have asked themselves that same question. In fact, many people in the world have likely asked themselves that question at one point or another. When I talk to non-believers, I get the question “if God is as all-powerful, all-loving, all-wise, as you claim, why does He allow evil?” Why does He allow babies to die, children to get cancer, and women to die from starvation and hunger? Why does he allow people to endure horrific events? If He is all-loving then why does He allow hurricanes to destroy cities, tornadoes to rip houses apart, and disease to kill?
For you, it could be more personal. Why did God allow me to lose my job, to not be able to feed my children, or marry a man who would abuse me? Why would God allow me to be assaulted, ridiculed, or homeless.
Job wrestles with this same question in Job 42:3. He confesses that He may not have the answer, but he has trust in the Lord. There are a few things we, as Christians, must understand when faced with the question of the existence of evil. We must evaluate the causes of evil, the role the devil plays in evil, and our cooperation in such actions. It is easy to say evil comes from the devil. Satan is certainly the author and originator of evil. However, he is not solely responsible for the consequences of sin in our life and the choices we make to commit sin.
1.) Evil can be the result of choice: Evil is often a result of sin. Evil originated with Satan, who chose to rebel against God. Rebellion against God results in evil. Rebellion resulted in the devil. Free will gives humans, as well as angels, the choice to serve the Lord or rebel. We choose sin and when we choose sin then the result is evil. Adam and Eve chose sin in the Garden of Evil and, as a result, evil began to consume the world. Death and destruction arose, and the reign of evil was set into motion until the Lord returns.
2.) God is great enough to overcome sin and evil. He is wise enough to bring about an even greater good despite evil.
“Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people. Therefore, have no fear. I will provide for you and for your children.” (Genesis 50:20-21)
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
We must also redefine what we consider “good”. We must assign a heavenly meaning to God as opposed to our limited, finite, and human meaning. Our understanding of how things work together is limited. God is omniscient. We are not. We must have a shift in our view of the future. We must perceive the works around us with the knowledge that, in our lives, God is a catalyst for a heavenly good that rises from the ashes. His definition of “good” is oriented toward eternity rather than the temporal. Our “good” is, more times than not, rooted in our view of the earthly future rather than our eternal destination. What God sees in the future; we are unable to see. What God plans for our life in order to help us reach our goal of eternity with Him is something we do not have a roadmap for nor are we able to see. It certainly is not perceived in the rear-view mirror of life. It is seen only by looking up to Him. It is seen when we take our hands off the wheel and submit, with trust, the destination to the Lord.
We must remind ourselves that God is a faithful God. He keeps His promises and never fails His children. As a result, we stand on His promises that He will bring good out of the destruction. He will cause praise to rise during ashes. He will bring us through that which we believe is impenetrable.
We may not see it. Sometimes we may not even believe it. But He will. Just wait. Just watch.