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How Can There Be a God With So Much Evil in the World?

Emma Tekstra > Faith  > How Can There Be a God With So Much Evil in the World?

I understand how you would doubt the existence of a loving God when you or someone you know has suffered so greatly. But let’s think about love for a minute. True love must be a choice. God chooses to love us even when we are broken and ugly. You choose to love your family and friends even when you may not always get something out of it. The definition of love is to elevate others more than ourselves. But for us to really experience love we must have free will; that choice to love another. But by giving us free will we also have the freedom to hate. By giving us a world in which love is possible God has to allow a world that is dangerous.

While God doesn’t bring the evil, He can use it for our good. Think about character traits that God wants to see in us such as courage or bravery which can only be exhibited in bad and dangerous times. Selflessness and resilience show up only in difficult times. You have the opportunity now to really grow in your character. You might think that seems unloving and why does it matter to God at all? It’s because God has a view of us in eternity. We can get so focused on the here and now, maybe even the next 30 years that you have to live with this pain, but God is trying to mold you into the person He wants you to be for all of eternity. With this view the next 30 years are barely a blip.

God may also be trying to use you in someone else’s life. Perhaps to ease their pain or perhaps to draw you or them to Himself. God wants your heart. He wants you to be relying on Him, trusting that He has your best interests at heart. When I give a consequence to my kids it’s because I love them. I want them to learn something because I know the future will be better for them if they have learned this lesson. I always have their best interests at heart and so does God. These things happen because He is a loving God. He wants you in eternity with Him so He’s pulling you to him.

Sometimes it takes something truly devastating to wake people up to their need for God.

When life is going just great we get busy and forget that this world and the people in it were created by God for His glory. God doesn’t want us living in eternity without him, that place is called hell. If He has chosen us to be in His Kingdom then sometimes He has to shout loudly to get our attention. Your suffering might be a sign that He is calling you.

We also need to think about why we feel such pain and are devastated by situations like this. We call it evil. But unless there is a divine standard of “good” and “right”, evil is simply a matter of opinion. So the very existence of evil actually provides more evidence for a loving God.

God is constantly moving chess pieces around this chessboard we call life. We can’t ever know precisely why the thing you are going through happened. There is likely to be many aspects acting together in terms of your life and the life of the people you will come into contact with now or at any point in your future. But we have to trust that God knows best. There is no point in getting angry at Him. This is His creation and He’s in charge. Any artist has ownership over his creation. If he paints a painting or molds a piece of pottery out of clay he can choose to destroy those items. Only the artist has the rights. So too God has total ownership over all of creation including us. The difference is that He is a loving God and we know it is ultimately for our good.

We can’t judge God based on the actions of individual fallen humans or natural disasters. Embracing God is going to give you a lot more peace and a way to move forward than the alternative, a life of nothingness without God. While we won’t have all the answers for what you have endured, I hope you can see some of the possibilities of why a loving God would allow it. The important choice you have to make now is how you move forward. What are you going to do about it? Knowing God has a purpose for everything that happens, should give you strength to focus on what that purpose might have been and what His plan for the rest of your life might be.

Emma Tekstra
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