Here is the devotional:
Of all the questions I have ever received about my faith, by far, I hear these the most: Why is evil here to begin with? How can a good God allow such evil to happen throughout our world? If He is all powerful, why doesn’t He just destroy it?
I love what Billy Graham said: “God could have made a world with no evil in it. However, it would have been one of robots and puppets—creatures who could not love Him or anyone else. Love is possible for only free moral creatures; forced love is a contradiction. So, in order for the world to be morally good, it must be morally free. And free creatures are capable of free choices that bring disease, disaster and death.”
God, the Creator, from the beginning gave us (through Adam and Eve) the ability to choose, and because of a bad choice, one that disobeyed His instruction, it opened the door for our eyes to see things, not the way in which they were intended, but the way they ought not to be.
Of course, God knew when He created us that this would happen. He is omniscient. He also knew the solution to the problem of evil before we ever knew what evil was.
But when we did become aware of evil, God had also given us the ability and the convictions to do something about it. For example, if possible, moral human beings stop, or attempt to stop, evil acts all the time. And to that evil over which we have no control, as believers, God gave us a peace to cope with our pain and our fears that passes all understanding, a peace knowing that all of it ultimately happens for good.
In the book of Genesis, I love the words of the Joseph, son of the great patriarch Jacob, when he spoke to his brothers for the first time twenty plus years after they had left him for dead. Joseph had the power as well as every right to punish them for their act, but he forgave them simply because he knew there was a bigger purpose in it all: “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.”
And take it even a step further. Had Joseph not been betrayed by his brothers, the Israelites, in all likelihood, would have never ended up in Egypt. Hence, there would have never been a Moses or a King David… or a Jesus. This is looking at it from man’s point of view. God, of course, knew exactly how it would all play out.
Now, I don’t want to lie, even as a believer, evil is sometimes difficult to accept. I mean, how can one explain the tsunami that kills three-hundred thousand people, or the mass murderer at Sandy Hook Elementary, or Hitler? And the list goes on and on.
Romans 8:28 is a popular verse, and comforting to those who know Christ: “And we know that in all things,” it says, “God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
But what about those who don’t know or love God, or for that matter, believe in Him? Would this be a comforting verse to share when they are burdened by the heartaches of this world that stem from the evil it inevitably distributes to all of us? I’m not so sure they would feel any better about their present situation by hearing it.
“If evil is to be overcome, we need to talk about it being defeated, not destroyed.” Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks
Again, no living soul is immune from the evils and heartaches of this world. That’s why it’s so important to share our hope in Jesus, the one who defeated evil.
In his incredible book, Ultimate Guide to Defend Your Faith, my friend Doug Powell sums it all up:
“If moral evil that you have committed is what plagues you, then Jesus takes the punishment that you deserve and pays for it Himself by His death. If you are a victim of someone else’s moral evil, then either Jesus pays for it with his death, or He sits as judge and punishes the person responsible….He will either judge or justify every person who ever lived….Jesus is also the solution for natural evil…His resurrected body cannot die, get sick, or be corrupted in any way. This indicates a fulfillment of the way things were intended to be, an achievement to the goal to which all things are moving according to God’s good purpose. All things (the earth included) will be not just restored to their state before the fall of man (Genesis 3) but will attain the good purpose for which they were created. Evil is only a problem for those who refuse Him….It is only when we stop viewing the world in a self-centered way and see the world as it really is, centered around God, that we can make sense of evil.”
I pray that all of us live our lives in such a way that we attract others to us like magnets of love, drawing those near to us who are yearning to understand why and how a good God can allow evil in the world.
Lord, help us to express to them to consider just how much beauty and love there is in the world, for there is so much more good than evil. We just need to view the world through different lenses, praising and thanking God for all the moments we are given.
But most of all, I pray that we’re prepared to tell them about Jesus. For when we know Jesus we can, as Powell said, make sense of it all.
Thank you so much for reading this study. I am humbled by it.
FOR A DOWNLOAD OF MY CHRISTIAN ALBUM, IN YOUR SILENCE, PLEASE WATCH THE ONE-MINUTE VIDEO (LOCATED IN THIS STUDY) FOR INSTRUCTIONS.
Here is a link to get to it: http://www.oohyah.com/jeffscottwood
Here are the scriptures referenced:
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Genesis 3:1-24 KJV
And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
Romans 5:16 KJV
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 KJV
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Hebrews 2:14 KJV
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 KJV
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
The why questions always…always come up. And the answer of I don’t know does not go over well.
Yes we could take all back to the garden but does that really do justice to the person’s questions?
No, it does not!
Why did God allow my baby girl to be murdered is a question that even though it is a reaction to a very sinful act does not need the answer of because Adam and Eve sinned that’s why.
There is more at play here than just a daughter being murdered.
Let me share…
Matthew, Angie’s son died in a car wreck that actually almost killed all of them. The vehicle was unrecognizable except for the back passenger side where Matthew sat. There were no broken bones except one…a rib which punctured his heart.
Heading home after being baptized the Lord called Matthew home.
Was Angie mad at God? Umm…yep!!
But she also knew that Matthew was not just her son. He was God’s child and he was on what she calls the loaner program.
God called Matthew home because his work here on Earth was complete. What a legacy that young man has left behind. So many lives touched.
Even today it’s mind boggling to think of the impact Matthew had on so many in his short time on this earth.
Matthew’s purpose could have been just to reach that one child that only he would be able to reach.
But his story lives on with Angie as she shares her story. Which in turn helps other parents who have lost a child.
In every death I know God has a plan to use it to change someone’s life for the better… eventually.
Honestly I use Angie’s story a little when people ask me why God allows young people to die too young.
Most of the evil in this world is due to spiritual forces, that in my opinion, can’t be explained to a non-believer much less a lot of Christians. Cuz a lot of Christians don’t believe in demons but they are everywhere causes mischief.
I know I need to study more of God’s word to truly be able to answer some of the why’s. But I do use live experiences to share the hope and faith I have in Christ.
4 thoughts on “Be Prepared To Give An Answer: Day 7”
This is the question that makes my sister stumble. How can a good God allow evil? My reply is that He didn’t create evil, mankind did with their choices and thus we have to live with the evil that we have created. That answer made her angry and she retorted, “Well, I just don’t believe that!” It’s sad when people are so blinded to truth. God is a good God all the time and He is not the father of sin, death, disease and destruction.
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I would say that is a correct answer Vickie!
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I praise God for, and applaud, your testimonies and conversations that give glory to God. He will use whatever knowledge He has given you for just such purposes.
I think a lot of this has to do with our misunderstanding of death and tribulation. We don’t see as God does; and I don’t think He views death as the tragic occurrence that we do. And, He orchestrates tribulation for our blessing and His glory. As Christians, we can see, understand, and accept that because we have the mind of Christ.
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True Kathy. I see God viewing death as a beautiful thing…a joyful time if you will.
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