If God really is good, how can there be such pain and evil in the world? For me, this is constantly a struggle and something I have to wrestle with as a Christian. If God is truly sovereign and in control over the events that take place here on earth, why do terrible things happen to good people? I mean why do kids have to die of Leukemia at age 7 or why doesn’t God just stop someone from walking into a school and shooting innocent classmates?
To be honest, I think that ultimately we will never understand in this life why some things happen. And in the times when we don’t understand why evil is taking place all around us, we do need to come to terms with the fact that God is God and we are not. A story found in the Bible can also help to shed light on this topic.
A man named Joseph was a good man and had favor from God and his parents. His brothers out of jealously actually sold him into slavery and left him for dead. Joseph, not really understanding what was happening stayed faithful to God, even when things progressively got worse and worse and was even thrown into prison on inaccurate charges. But God had not forgotten Joseph, and 13 years after being sold into slavery he was made overseer of Egypt and eventually re-united with his family. When looking back at the atrocities in his life Joseph stated, “It was not you who sent me here but God…As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 45.8; 50.20) Even though at the time Joseph did not understand exactly why all this evil was happening to him, behind the scenes God was working for something greater than Joseph would realize and looking back he saw that what God allowed was right.
It is also good to note that the Bible affirms that God never takes pleasure in evil and that he never directly causes evil to happen but does allow it through the moral choices of people. The Bible also states that God is just and that one day, all evil doers will be held accountable for the wrong that they have done if they do not trust in Jesus.
Also, it helps to look at how God originally created the world. The Bible says that in the beginning when God created everything it was very good. There was no war or famine or death and disease, just God having perfect relationship with his people. Soon after being created mankind chose to rebel and sin against God and thus break that perfect relationship bringing death into the world. Immediately, God promised them that one day a Savior would come to ultimately right the wrongs that we brought to bear. That Savior is Jesus Christ who died in our place for everyone who would believe in him. This was the greatest evil that has ever happened, yet brought about the greatest good history has ever seen.
We are now living in the time period after Jesus has resurrected and is seated in heaven, and when he will come back one day to make all things right as they ought to be. When speaking about that day, Revelation 21.4 says, “He [Jesus] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Ultimately, God will once again make everything right for those who believe in him and evil will be no more.
In a world where you cannot even turn the news on for 10 minutes before you see the evil that takes place, imagine what it would be like to live in a place where everything will be made right. The crazy thing is, that day will actually happen.