In the previous two blog posts, I have tried to share my understanding of why there is evil in the world and why bad things happen to good people. In this post, I will try to explain, what is perhaps the most difficult area of the topic, which is, “Why God allows bad things to happen”.
Perhaps you have asked the same thing; I know that I sure have. I have also been asked that question by people who don’t believe in God or who believe in God but not a loving, merciful God. They ask, “If God is loving and all-powerful, then why doesn’t He do something to stop the evil, suffering, pain and death?”
The truth is that God has done and is doing something; the difficult part is that we must wait for His work to be completed. The Bible tells us the story of what God has done, is doing and will do. The outcome of the story is known and has already been told, but the working out of that story has yet to reach it’s completion.
At it’s most basic, the story is about God’s way vs. the devil’s way, good vs. evil. You see, once upon a time, God made everything, including angels. Neh 9:6 “You, even You, are Jehovah alone. You have made the heavens, heaven of the heavens, with all their host…”
Then an angel of light (Lucifer) decided that he wanted to be “numero uno”:
Isa 14:12 How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!
Isa 14:13 For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.
Isa 14:14 I will go up above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
and he started a heavenly rebellion against God:
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going out to the fight with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels made war…
So he and the other mutinous angels were cast out of Heaven:
Rev 12:8 And they were overcome, and there was no more place for them in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was forced down, the old snake, who is named the Evil One and Satan, by whom all the earth is turned from the right way; he was forced down to the earth, and his angels were forced down with him.
This really ticked off the devil so he began to attack God’s special creation – mankind, God’s people:
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was enraged over the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev. 12:12 But there is trouble for the earth and the sea: because the Evil One has come down to you, being very angry, having the knowledge that he has but a short time. (BBE)
This is a battle of epic proportions – a battle that encompasses all of creation. It is a battle over whose way is best – God’s or Satan’s? It is a battle over who mankind chooses to worship, serve and obey – God or the devil? There are only two choices; and yes, even if we choose not to choose – that is still a choice. God created humans with free will and so He has given mankind the right to choose whom to serve:
Jos 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve…
I suppose that you could compare this conflict with a court case of cosmic proportions wherein it is God vs. Satan and we, and all Creation, are the jury. God has presented His case; through His written word and the example of the life of Christ, we see who God is and what He stands for. Since God is righteous and just, “Deu 32:4 He is the Rock; His work is perfect. For all His ways are just, a God of faithfulness, and without evil; just and upright is He“, then He must allow us to witness for ourselves, the evidence that the devil’s way is the wrong way. Then He gives us the right to choose.
Because God, The Creator, knows the beginning from the end:
Rev 21:6 And He said to me, It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
then God knows how long the court case must last before all the evidence has been given and we (Creation), the jury, have weighed that evidence and come up with a verdict.
In the meantime, “Rom 8:22 And we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now”
Things may be difficult during this time, but for those who have faith in Jesus Christ, there is a hope of a better world to come.
Rom 8:21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
So when life gets tough, remember these promises:
Joh 16:33 I (Jesus) have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world. (BBE)
Rev 21:4 And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away.
P.S.: My husband just read this post and he said that although I may have answered the question, he does not think that the answer would give comfort to someone who is suffering. I must confess to having felt that way myself at times, especially when I have been very ill or someone I love is suffering. However, as much as I may want Jesus to come soon, so that my suffering would end, I do not want him to come before every last possible person has been saved. I may pray “come, Jesus, come” but I also pray “thy will be done”.