Have you ever wondered why a loving God would allow such suffering and evil on earth?
Scripture tells us that God is all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing - and yet, evil, tragedy, and suffering exist in the world.
At times, this can be hard to reconcile, so seeking answers to why God allows evil is integral to spiritual growth.
In exploring this subject, we must consider what scripture says about why God allows evil and how our response to it can bring us closer to understanding His great love for us.
The Problem of Evil is an ancient, challenging question for everyone.
Why does a loving and good God allow evil and suffering to exist in the world?
It is a complicated concept for those who don't hold a Christian worldview.
Despite the challenge it poses for non-Christian thinkers, for Christians, Scripture offers a clear path forward when attempting to make sense of this problem.
By looking at how the Bible informs us about the origin of evil and its purpose in God's sovereign plan, we can gain insight into what can ultimately be a perplexing theological conundrum.
God's sovereignty is a pervasive teaching of the Old Testament.
No matter what happens - good or bad, beneficial or harmful - God is ultimately in control.
In Isaiah 45:7, we see God declaring himself as the one who creates light and darkness, which forms well-being and calamity.
Similarly, in Amos 3:6, God chooses to bring a catastrophe against his people.
God's ultimate power is also described in Job 42:2 when Job exclaims, "I know You can do all things; nothing is too hard for You." He acknowledges God's supreme authority over all things, including suffering.
Even on earth, God has given humanity dominion over all creatures (Psalm 8:8), yet ultimately, our Father still rules over all things.
He picks up rulers and puts them down, establishes nations, and removes them (Daniel 2:21). Such is God's sovereign power; nothing lies outside his control.
Thus, when evil and suffering come into this world, we must remember that God is still in charge.
God has predetermined our lives and given us the freedom to choose how we respond to our circumstances.
As Scripture tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This passage shows us that God foreordained our lives – He has plans for us even before birth.
However, He does not take away our responsibility or free will.
In Deuteronomy 30:19, it is written that “Today I have given you a choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life!” God allows us to accept His plan or ignore it – to live in His ways or go against them.
It is up to us to decide how we want to take action and navigate our predestined paths.
God is omniscient, which means He knows all things. This includes the evil or sin in the world.
Despite knowing of this evil, God still allows it. But why?
Scripture gives us insight into why God allows it. In Romans 8:28, we learn that everything works together for good, even the evil present in our world.
Even though we often can't understand how God can use it to bring about something good.
We also see in Isaiah 55:8 that God's ways are higher than ours and His thoughts higher than ours.
With this in mind, we can trust that He knows what He is doing even though we don't understand why God allows certain things.
We might not be able to comprehend how God could allow such evil and still be just and right. But because Scripture reveals Him to be both loving and powerful, we can have faith that He's using it for some greater good – something only He can see.
And because God ultimately triumphs over evil, we take solace in the assurance that He will eventually prevail when it's all said and done.
God's omniscience means that He knows all things—past, present, and future.
As Psalm 139:17-18 states, "How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand."
God is aware of every action we take and has the power to intervene if He wants to.
However, He often allows evil to exist to further His perfect plans.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Although God may allow people to do evil, He is still perfect, and; He disciplines us for our sin but still offers us redemption for those who accept Jesus as their savior (Romans 6:23).
The sovereignty of God doesn't depend on man's actions; no matter what we do or say, God will always be in control.
God allows evil because of his desire to give humans free will.
He created us as rational, responsible agents capable of making decisions that affect our lives and those around us (Genesis 1:27-28).
As such, we must accept the consequences of our choices. This includes suffering due to our wrongdoing and the wrongdoings of others (Deuteronomy 28:15).
God desires us to choose righteousness but also respects our freedom to choose sin (Jeremiah 18:7-8).
In addition, when faced with evil, we can turn to God for comfort and hope (Psalm 23:4).
He will uphold justice (Jeremiah 50:34) by punishing wrongdoers and rewarding faithful servants (Psalm 19:11).
Ultimately, God will make everything right and perfect in His timing (Philippians 2:10-11).
God's covenants with His people give us insights into how He interacts with us and how we should interact with Him.
From the stories of Abraham, Moses, and David in the Old Testament to the New Covenant established by Jesus Christ, God has repeatedly demonstrated that relationship is vital.
In Scripture, He tells us to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5).
True faith is about living according to God's commands. His covenants establish a framework for understanding how He will judge us when we choose not to obey.
This framework helps us recognize our need for spiritual transformation and our dependency on grace, which comes only through Jesus (John 3:16).
Moreover, covenants affirm God's remarkable capacity for mercy and forgiveness; even after Israel broke hers, God was still willing to renew it (Ezekiel 36:25-29).
Our relationship with God is built upon the foundation of His covenants—so we must understand them if we want to draw closer to Him.
Though the mystery of why God allows evil may never get fully understood, it is essential to remember that He will never forsake us.
Through faith and prayer, we can understand God's love for us, even amid suffering and evil in the world.
As we turn our hearts to Him, He gives us hope and peace in the assurance that He ultimately desires nothing but good for us all.