The Problem of Evil
A friend recently shared with me how an illness in her life caused her to doubt in God’s goodness, and even doubt His existence.
How could a good God allow bad things to happen? It’s a question that people have been asking for thousands of years. (Just read the Old Testament book of Job.)
This is not a peripheral question. Perhaps this is the ultimate question that plagues humanity. And yet this question drives us toward two very important ideas…
1) We are not in control.
2) God wants us to trust Him.
It’s all about faith. And as much as we want God to answer for Himself, He’s not obligated to give us an answer. After all, He is the Creator. He has an infinitely greater understanding and authority than we do. And it is possible that not letting us understand the “why” question is for our best.
The question we’re really asking is this: “Can I trust a God who allows bad things to happen?” Will we lash out in anger when He doesn’t choose to do things the way we think He should? Or will we respond in faith, trusting that He knows better than we do.
In Acts, chapter 3 we get a brief glimpse of what God will do with our suffering. It’s a momentary foretaste of glory. In Acts 3 we read about a man who was lame from birth. His entire life had been lived without the simple ability to walk. He was crippled, and as a result he was poor and socially outcast. It was not fair! Why would God allow this to happen?!
But then, on an afternoon that started out so very routine, the power of God shattered this man’s expectations. He met the apostles, Peter and John. And he was healed. “With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.”
Perhaps the reason we have a hard time trusting God in the midst of our difficulties is that we’ve forgotten the end of the story. If we’ll trust God, He won’t leave us in our suffering. He will reach down and lift us up. It may not happen right away when we think it should, but God will make all things right. Until then, will you trust Him?