05 Mar Why is There Evil and Suffering?: 6 Answers to the Problem of Evil
The world is fundamentally broken. Something has gone tragically wrong. We cannot live with it and are constantly longing for the relief, refreshing, and renewal of everyone and everything. The reason we long for more is because we were made for more. When God was done creating the world everything was “good”, and when He finished making our first parents Adam and Eve everyone was “very good”.
Philosophers and theologians refer to the pains, problems, and perils in our broken world as the problem of evil. There are:
- There is no God to change the world – Atheism
- God is not all-powerful and cannot change the world – Finite Godism
- God is not all-knowing and does not know or control the future – Evolutionary Godism, Open Theism
- God is not all-good and the world is a reflection of God being both good and evil – Pantheism, Panentheism
- God does not need to change the world because what we consider suffering and evil are our misperceptions – Subjectivism, Pluralism
- God is not done yet, so patiently live by faith, not sight until He changes the world – Christianity
During the middle of a sporting event, the pundits like to predict the outcome. The problem is, there is always the possibility of an epic turnaround and surprise ending. The same is true of human history. This is precisely how the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, deals with the problem of evil:
Romans 8:18-21 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
God is better than we think, and our sin is worse than we think. Human sin has infected, affected, and devastated everyone and everything. The easiest thing would be for God to eliminate all sin by erasing all sinners. But, because of His great loving mercy, God has chosen to save sinners and redeem creation, remaking it into a glorious new world for believers to dwell together with God as a loving and healed family forever.
How have you already seen God take suffering and evil in your life and use it for good?
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