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Why does God allow suffering and evil in the world?

     Why do innocent people suffer? Why are babies born with serious handicaps and fatal diseases? Why do parents die and leave their children without a mother or father? Why are there wars, injustice, genocide, natural disasters? And why does God seem to let it all happen?


     People have wrestled with the problem of evil since the beginning of time. While there are no simple answers, the Bible gives us some clues.


      Evil exists because we live in a fallen world. God created human beings with the freedom of choice – without that freedom we would cease to be human. When our first parents rebelled against God, sin and suffering and death invaded our planet. The world as we know it is not the way God originally designed it. Sickness, violence, natural disasters, and death are all evidences of our corrupted planet.    


     Much of the evil in the world can be traced directly to the evil or foolish choices that people make. Certainly God could prevent us from making destructive choices, but then He would rob us of our personhood. He has given us guidelines to make healthy choices, and warns us of the consequences of ignoring His commands, but He will not prevent us from making harmful decisions  


     God has an enemy named Satan who works evil in the world. The Bible tells us that this world lies under the control of the evil one (I John 5:19). There is a force of evil that will continue to plague the world until God’s final judgment.


     God Himself is the great Sufferer. He has fully met the problem of evil head-on by giving His own Son, Jesus Christ, at infinite cost to Himself. He doesn’t stand aloof from our suffering; He has plunged into it. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, sin and evil will ultimately be exterminated.


     In the meantime, God works even in the midst of evil and suffering to bring about good. God doesn’t plan everything that happens in our lives, but His great over-arching plan is that He promises to bring good even out of the worst that life brings (Romans 8:28). If God could bring forgiveness and eternal life out of the unjust execution of His Son, then there is no situation in our lives that He cannot ultimately work for good – if we have put our lives in His hands.

Pastor Dennis