People world-wide wonder why God allows evil to exist.
I am somewhat amazed and slightly amused at this question; but mostly I am perplexed that, on the one hand, people think that God should allow you and me to live as we please, but on the other hand, he should keep other people from doing whatever they feel like doing. Does that sound about right?
The Charlie Brown Syndrome
The comic strip "Peanuts," was quite popular in its time. This was because many people could relate to the main character of the strip, Charlie Brown. You see, Charlie was often quire fickle, as many of us tend to be.
FOR EXAMPLE: If God were to disallow us complete freedom of choice to be and do as we please, then we would complain that we are merely his puppets. I know darn good and well that if such were the case, people would cry "Foul!" and claim that it isn't right or fair. But God does give us complete freedom of choice, and what happens? People still cry "Foul!" and say that it isn't right or fair for him to judge us. Do you understand why people think this way?
Mainly it is because nobody wants to be held accountable (i.e. responsible) for doing wrong, or failing to do what is right, good, and just. Instead, they tend to blame others for their bad behavior. And when that excuse wears thin, they blame God for allowing other people to influence them to make bad, improper, and immoral decisions.
It is natural that we should desire to live in a "perfect world," for we are created in the image of our Creator. God wants us to live with him in His perfect world (kingdom) and everyone has that opportunity.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” --Isaiah 1:18-20 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. --2 Peter 3:9
Let me ask you, are you one of those who wonder why God allows bad things to happen to good people? Do you think it is wrong that bad things should happen at all? If so, then what are YOU doing about it? Are you simply sitting back, wringing your hands and saying, "This should not be!" or are you proactively seeking ways that YOU can make the world a better, more perfect place to live?
Do you understand WHY the world is full of evil? Have you looked in the mirror recently? Do you lie, cheat, steal, curse, etc.? Do you rationalize, minimize, and justify your actions? Do you console yourself by thinking that at least you are not as bad as some other people? Do you realize that as long as you are self-centered instead of God-centered that YOU are practicing evil? Do you know where that evil comes from?
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? --Jeremiah 17:9
"For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." --Mark 7:21-23
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. --Luke 6:45
But take heart! All is not lost!
The heart can be healed and we can live in a perfect world. But in order to do so, we must seek God and His desire (will) for us. Then we must seek to live according to His will instead of our own (God-centered instead of self-centered). And what is His will for us? To LOVE HIM above all else and to love others as much as we love ourselves. (See Mark 12:28-34 and Matthew 10:37-39).
Many people would prefer to find fault with God rather than take a look at their own life and their own heart. They fear being held accountable for their actions and/or inaction, so they try and hold God accountable for all that they see wrong in the world. It is not the heart of God that is the source of life's troubles; it is the heart of man. Mankind could (and should) be taking proactive and preemptive action to alleviate the injustices man perpetrates on man. But it is much easier to sit back and blame God for everything under the sun that doesn't accord with how and what we think God should and should not be involved in.
“What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’Isaiah 45:9 (NLT)
No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?”Romans 9:20 (NLT)
In closing, let me share with you something Sy Rogers, an international communicator, recording artist and pastor, has to say on the topic...
Trust Before UnderstandingAt the end of the day, the real issue for those who follow Christ is will we trust God even if we don't understand or appreciate the decisions He makes and the things He allows? The issue is so important an entire book in the Bible -- the book of Job -- is devoted to this concept. Is God good only when things are going well for you, or is He good all the time, even if your blessings are stolen or destroyed by some disaster?
That famous survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, Corrie ten Boom, once said that "faith is simply trusting God's character, even when life gives you reasons not to." Considering that Corrie's Christian family perished in the death camps, she understood the reality of evil and what it means to remain loyal to God in a season of great suffering.
Frankly, I find that words fail -- there is nothing anyone can say to lift the burden of pain in times of suffering. But I have known the comfort of a God who has been victimized by evil Himself -- He has firsthand experience with emotional and physical pain. He sees and He knows and He cares about our suffering.
We have His promise that one day evil and pain will be permanently and absolutely behind us (Revelation 21:4). And we who have suffered because of it will be compensated forever if we are in relationship with him. Let's follow Him faithfully then, in spite of difficulties and injustices -- not because we know or understand everything, but because we know Him and believe He is good.
Sy Rogers was an international communicator, recording artist and pastor. He died of kidney cancer on April 19, 2020. His dramatic story of sexual and emotional abuse, gender confusion, and finally redemption and recovery inspired audiences around the world. To learn more about Sy's ministry and his urban electronica music, check out his web site