The problem of evil is one that is difficult for any Chaplain, Pastor, Elder, or Christian to respond to. If God is all-powerful, and all-loving, then why does he allow evil? Why DOES he allow kids to be shot while they are at school? It is not an easy question to answer, because literally every response raises a host of questions. It is also hard to answer, because everyone, even the Chaplains, Pastors, Elders, and other leaders have the same question as well.
The answer no one likes is that it is entirely possible that, with our limited minds, and our limited fields of view, mere humans are not able to understand the reason God allows evil. While that certainly sounds like a cop-out, we are reminded that His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), and believers are called to live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4).
But we need to realize that WE are to blame for the evil, not God. God’s creation was all good, until sin – our sin – damaged it. God granted Adam the choice to do what was right – and what was wrong. He chose the wrong, unfortunately, and that wrong choice stained all of creation with sin. While it might seem sinister to a lot of people, it is possible that God allows evil things to happen to show in no uncertain terms that anything contrary to God’s will is bad, causes harm and ends in death (Romans 6:23, Genesis 2:17). God created a perfect world, and Adam’s sin had consequences that we feel to this day. The paradise that was creation was modified with the change made to mankind. Humanity received a sinful nature (Romans 5:22; Ephesians 2:3), and creation received thorns, disease, and death (Genesis 3:17-18; Romans 8:22). As our society grows more and more sinful, evil becomes more pronounced (Romans 3:9-12).
God, at times, uses evil for His purpose. Paul tells us that trials produce patience (Romans 5:3). Joseph was sold into slavery, which for him was a very bad situation that was wrapped in a variety of evil, but it enabled the Hebrew people to survive a widespread famine (Gen 37-50). Jesus, also, suffered at the hands of evil men, and all of humanity is spared certain doom as a result. We need to remember that we only get to see about 100 years of the big picture, while God sees it all. I truly believe that in the end, we will look back into our histories, and say “of course it had to happen that way.”
Ultimately, God gave humanity a choice, and that choice includes rejecting Him, rejecting good, and embracing evil. Without the opportunity to choose to do evil, one could not have the choice to turn from it and to God’s goodness. I think that a significant reason evil is allowed is so that no one will have the right to say their sentence is unjust on Judgement Day.
Our sin brings evil to the world, and God’s grace allows us to escape it. Knowing that a sin-damaged humanity could never approach Him on their own, God stepped into our world to suffer and die on the cross in order to pave a way out of the evil. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, we have a way to escape the chains of sin, and return to the paradise in the end.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away,” (Rev. 21:4).
In His Grip,