If something terrible happens in your life, do you have the right to blame it on God? If someone you love is taken away from you way too soon, does that give you the right to be angry at God or even to refuse to believe He exists?
Why did God allow for evil, death and suffering when He made up His plan to create our universe and the human race?
Greater minds than mine have pondered these questions. My personal favorite book on this topic is “If God Is Good” by Randy Alcorn. I highly recommend that anyone struggling in this regard read that book.
Briefly, I’d like to take a stab at sharing some of my thoughts on this.
God did not create evil; but He did allow for it in His plan for us. Why did Satan (a created angel who chose to reject and oppose God) become evil in the first place? The Bible does not really answer that question. It simply is a fact that an evil angel who hates God and His people does exist. But Satan is only a created being–He is not greater than God and Satan’s time is limited and will end.
I believe that both the angels and the human race (through Adam and Eve) were given freedom of choice by God. God did not want to create beings who were forced to choose God’s goodness, but instead He wanted us to have the freedom to choose to love and obey God. A good God (and God is ALWAYS GOOD) would not force people to love and obey Him. In allowing for that freedom of choice, so we are not merely “robots” forced to love God, God had to allow for evil, suffering and death. Evil, suffering and death came about because of the Satanic deception of Adam and Eve and because of Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey God. We do not have the right to blame God for evil, death and suffering. If you don’t know the true story of the original sin that caused the fall, please consider reading it at the beginning of Genesis at the beginning of the Bible.
I find it so interesting that some people in my life are so quick to be angry at God or refuse to believe in His existence because of this issue, yet they refuse to be thankful for the good things in their life. I certainly sympathize with anyone who has lost a loved one far too soon or endured any other unthinkable hardships. I have a few hard things in my own life to trust God with. Job in the Bible was an example of a person that God richly blessed, but then He allowed Satan to really mess up his life on many levels. Job as he went through this said, “Though God would slay (kill) me, yet I will trust Him.” The lessons one can learn from the book of Job are worth looking into. Here is a good article on Job that is an easy read. https://www.gotquestions.org/life-Job.html
How would we know what beauty even is if we had never experienced ugliness? Would we have any concept of how great light is, unless we had experienced darkness? I believe the understanding of goodness and the longing for perfection we have is because God has allowed for evil. When believers in Jesus receive their eternal reward and live on the new earth, we will forever remember the injustices, atrocities, suffering, pain, death, hardships, etc. that we experienced in our fallen earthly lives — we will remember it, but not be harmed by it anymore. All suffering, sorrow and sin will be removed in our eternal reward. We will be able to appreciate and enjoy the beauty and goodness of heaven/the new earth because of what evil and suffering have taught us. We will understand and appreciate how great is eternal life because of having to deal with that greatest enemy we all face–death.
Oh, this is just your opinion Beth, this is just your personal interpretation of the Bible, people say to me. I don’t pretend to have all the answers or know and understand everything about the Bible. But having studied it for over 30 years now with the help of the Holy Spirit indwelling me giving me understanding, and having experienced a personal call to my heart from God that is not explainable until it happens to you, I know the Bible is God’s true Word to the human race. I’m also often told how unreliable the Bible is and how full of error it is. This is false. Some parts of the Bible and doctrine are hard to understand and interpret, but any error is on the part of limited, finite humans, not in God. The really important truths are crystal clear and can be understood by children. Have you ever really tried to read it and ask God to help you understand? Have you ever considered what the odds were of all the prophesies given ahead of time about Christ coming true? They did.
Please dear reader, look, really look at our planet, the stars in the sky, sun, moon, trees, flowers, mountains, animals, human beings, etc. All nature is a manifold witness to God’s creative power and to His great faithfulness, mercy and love. Consider why your heart longs for goodness and life, and why death and separation from a beloved loved one is so unthinkable in the first place. God does exist. And He is good. Every good and perfect gift is from Him. Ask God to help you thank Him for all you still have instead of being bitter and angry over any good things He took away from you, for reasons you don’t understand. Also realize, that even the short time you had with a too soon gone loved one was also a gift from God. “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away; blessed be the Name of the Lord” Job also said and so should we.
God is real. God is trustworthy. Your soul will live forever. Forever is a long time to regret not really considering God’s reality and the claim He has on your life as Creator. Are you sure you’re not just using your bitterness and anger against God as an excuse for not having to turn from your sin and acknowledge Jesus as Savior, Lord and Master of your life? Romans 1:18-20:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them: for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
I know it isn’t popular, but I must share the gospel. Like Paul, I want to be “innocent of the blood of all people” because I was faithful to point to Christ for the forgiveness of sins. I know many of my loved ones think I am overbearing in this regard, but if anything I am negligent in not being more bold and compelling. Please don’t miss out on how wonderful eternal life “heaven” will be, and don’t let Satan fool you into thinking he doesn’t exist or that the eternal suffering and isolation of eternal “hell” does not exist. God is good; will you trust Him? Will you at least give an honest try to studying the Protestant Bible, visiting a good Bible church, and honestly seek to know the truth about Jesus Christ before it is too late? Oh how I pray God helps you know Him personally. I am praying God will call to you and enable your heart to understand as He has done for me.