I live in South Florida and my son-in-law is a teacher a Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. It has been horrifying to watch the news unfold as we have witnessed yet another senseless killing spree in our nation. Our family was very blessed to have our loved one among those that got to come back home that evening. My heart still breaks for those that lost precious loved ones and hold them in my prayers. I also hurt for those who were injured both physically and emotionally and pray for their healing. I truly pray that all those affected, if they don’t know already, will learn that true strength and comfort can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior.
At such times the question always surfaces as to why God would possibly allow such evil to happen. Sadly, the truth is that evil things happen throughout the world everyday. It’s just that when it hits so close to home, the answer to that question takes on greater significance.
I’ve listened to many explanations from fellow believers, but most seem to avoid addressing the key issues in my opinion. I think the problem stems from trying to be as loving and understanding as possible and trying not to alienate their questioners or the listening public. What I am about to say is based on my confidence that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is the ultimate statement of truth in this world.
The key point is a matter of perspective. We try to rationalize the circumstances that God allows and/or brings about to impact mankind from man’s logic and perspective. We need to try and look at the situation through the eyes of God. When God looks down on planet earth, He sees two types of people:
1) men of faith who are looking forward to eternity with Him (John 3:16)
2) men of unbelief who are on their way to eternal condemnation (John 3:18).
God’s Word tells us first of all that He is a God of love, goodness and righteousness (1John 4:8, Nahum 1:7, Psalm 145:17).
God’s Word tells us that God never changes; He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8).
The Word of God tells us that God’s ways are much higher than our ways and far beyond our understanding (Isaiah 55:8-9, Romans 11:33).
The Word of God states that He is not willing that any man should perish; His desire is for all men to be saved (Ezekiel 18:32, 2Peter 3:9). I think it is this truth that is one of the reasons that God allows some things to happen. He truly desires for every person to turn to Him in faith for salvation; and, sadly, sometimes it takes tragedy to cause us to seek Him. I have already heard about two people who have come to saving faith in light of this latest tragedy—and I pray that there are many more.
As to those who are already part of God’s family through faith in Jesus, the scripture tells us that “ALL things work together for good” in the life of those that love Him (Romans 8:28). That’s a hard truth to absorb when tragedy strikes, but it is truth nonetheless. It’s important at those times to fix our minds on God and His word. When we do that we can have peace in spite of the pain and find strength to carry on (Isaiah 26:3-4).
Though I believe the primary purposes of the things He allows and/or brings about on planet earth are those stated above. I believe that we can’t ignore the truth that God also acts to judge sin. Sometimes sin has its own consequences that God allows to follow to their natural conclusion. Sometimes God intervenes personally to bring about that judgment in the lives of individuals (e.g., David’s sin with Bathsheba and the death of their son) or the course of a city/nation (e.g., the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the captivity of the Jewish people) or even the planet as a whole (the flood of Noah’s time).
So why does God allow suffering? God is still trying to get unbelieving men to turn to Him in faith. He is also still working in the lives of believing men/women to bring them to higher levels of spiritual character and maturity to become more like Jesus.
It’s also important to remember that the evil in this world is a consequence of man’s choice to rebel against God. So, why did God allow sin to enter the picture in the first place? If God had not given man the ability to make his own choices, he would simply be a robot without the ability to truly love. God wanted fellowship and love—not toys or robots. Without darkness we would never appreciate the light. Without hate we would never truly understand love. Without evil we would never understand goodness. And the list could go on and on.
The beautiful truth is that one day Jesus will return as King of kings and destroy the forces of evil once for all. The future for every person that has placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior is one of everything wonderful in the presence of God for eternity. Sin and evil will be destroyed forever. This blog was originally established to spread the truth of God’s prophetic word, and I’ve created many posts to share what I have learned. The signs of the times are all around us and I’m convinced His return is very near!
Scriptures listed in order of reference:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
1 John 4:8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
Psalms 145:17 “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”
Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not….”
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Romans 11:33 “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”
Ezekiel 18:32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”
2Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Isaiah 26:3–4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength….”