The world is full of bad news. Every day we read and hear of the terrible things that people do to each other. We wonder where it will all end. If God truly loves us then why does He continue to permit evil to permeate the earth and our lives?
The Problems Of Evil And Suffering
The problem of human suffering is often an insurmountable mountain of difficulty for some people. If God exists could He allow a child to get cancer or be molested or abused? If God has the power to stop these things and He doesn’t do anything about it, what does that say about Him?
In these cases I have learned that people often have an incorrect view of God and lack knowledge for what the true facts are. People assume that because the child suffers or dies, God doesn’t care. One such critic said that God just waited for people to commit evil so that He can punish them rather than be proactive and stop them from hurting people in the first place.
This planet is not the world that God first created. When the first humans were placed upon the earth there was no evil, sickness, or death. These things came into human life as a result of man’s desire to live without God and do things his own way. As a result, God honored man’s desire and gave us what we asked for.
The world we see today is what earth is like when God is excluded. The suffering and evil that exists in our world is not God’s fault, it is ours. People make decisions to hurt other people. Much of the suffering and death that takes place on the earth is caused by other human beings, not by God. People die in natural disasters because they build their homes in earthquake fault zones, near the coast, and in areas known to flood or have numerous Hurricanes or Tornados. People get cancer and other diseases because our bodies are defective as a result of the presence of sin. God said that the soul who sins will die.
A Majority of those who live today do not want God to interfere in their lives. By our exclusion of God, He allows us to live without Him and this includes His care in healing all our diseases and granting us an endless life.
Sickness and death are the natural results of sin being present in our lives that causes us to acquire cancer and many other diseases. What is seldom understood is that if we all live as moral perfect being, none of us would get sick or die.
One important principle that we must understand in this present world is that God will not force himself upon us. He has given every person the right to choose for themselves and then be responsible for their decision. If you examine the life of Jesus in the New Testament, He never forced Himself on anyone. He told the truth and then let people make up their own mind.
Evil and Suffering As Barriers To God
Because people do not see God preventing evil men from hurting others or stop the suffering of sickness and death, they imagine that God could not exist. If He is the God of love that Christian claim, surely He would stop these things. The fact that every day little children die of cancer or are brutalized by evil men is evidence enough that God is not real.
What is seldom understood is that God has take extreme measures to stop these horrible crimes. He gave the world His Only Son to Die for us.
The presence of Jesus on earth, 2,000 years ago is a vivid example of the great love that God has for people. It was because of the problem of evil that Jesus died. Sin is the reason that evil exists and so Jesus came to destroy the power that sin has which causes sickness, suffering, and death.
It was because children die from cancer and are abused by adults that God sent His Son into the world. It was for the evil that plagues our lives and the suffering that permeates all of human life, that Jesus died. God has done something about the suffering in our world, we have just not understood what He has done. When Jesus died, He was ending the reign of terror that sickness, suffering, evil, and death have covered our planet with.
Jesus’ death paid for all the sins of the whole world. Although He was perfect in every way, He was willing to take our sins upon Himself and bear them in His own body. Every filthy and vile thing that has been done on this earth was placed into Jesus and He took the punishment for these horrors so that none of us would have to ourselves.
Why God Waits
God will judge all those who murder, abuse, take advantage of others and rob them of their lives. He hates evil more than we do because He sees how it ruins our lives. He made us to live in perfection and beauty and He despises what has happened to us.
We must also remember that God loves sinners. It was for this reason that Jesus gave His life. We are all lost and in need of a Savior. Jesus cares for the child molester and murderer just as much as he does the thief who stole a box of paper clips from work. We tend to grade the sins of people based upon our standards. We forget that all moral failures are equal before God.
God is giving time for people to change their minds. He is withholding judgement that will result in an eternity of suffering because He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. He is longsuffering towards evil men who need to come to a realization that their behaviors are wrong and turn to God for salvation. Forgiveness is for everyone. Jesus death on the cross had made it possible for any person to have a new and perfect life.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. —2 Peter 3:9
For this reason, God waits. The child who is murdered or dies from cancer, the Lord picks them up in His arms and carries them home to heaven where they will never be hurt or get sick again. He comforts and strengthens the parents and loved ones who have lost children, friends, or loved ones. He makes good come from evil and loves those who suffer by His heart of compassion.
We should never think that because God has delayed His judgment He doesn’t care. It is because He cares so much, He waits and gives time to people. Soon, all the wrong that has been done on this earth will be reckoned and those who have hurt and destroyed lives will be punished. Until that time we have to trust that God’s delay is because He wants us all to be saved and not one lost.
- Why Does God Permit Evil And Suffering?
- Reconciling Our Suffering With God’s Love
- Reconciling the Love of God and the Wrath of God
- To Change Gun Violence, Change Hearts