Evil in the World

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With all the evil in the world it can become easy to believe there is no justice. Some jump quickly to blaming God. They hold Him responsible for the evil in the world, or even worse, accuse Him of causing it. Many struggle to understand why a supposedly all-powerful God would allow such atrocities to occur. Unfortunately, too many Christians have been exposed to teaching which tries to explain how God causes or at least permits all evil to accomplish His purposes.

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image © Kirsty Pargeter via Fotolia

This is not only harmful teaching, but it is bad theology. God is love and does nothing that isn’t love. He is all good, all the time. Rather than diminishing His power, the fact evil happens in contrast to what He wills only demonstrates how powerful He is.

When Christ created our world, it was created in perfection. There was no sickness and no death. There was no violence and no selfishness. Then we messed up. Humans allowed Satan to deceive them into believing a lie and sinning against God. From that point forward, history has spiraled downward into chaos, violence, and despair. Each generation has grown more wicked than the last as the effects of sin have snowballed across time.

God’s greatest gift to us was (and is) freewill. Without freewill, we could not know what love is; we could not choose to love someone and experience all the beauty that entails. More importantly, without freewill we could not choose to follow Jesus. If not for freewill, our lives would be pre-scripted and there would be nothing we could do to alter their course.

Of course, because of freewill, we’ve allowed our world to become quite a mess. God bestowed great power upon us when He gave us this gift. Along with this power came an immense responsibility. The power to choose meant we could decide to go a way other than what God designed. The creation was permitted to rebel against the Creator. It would appear God took a huge risk, perhaps even an unwise gamble, when He gave freewill to humans. On the contrary, when you are all-powerful, there is no such thing as risk. God knew no matter how far off course we might wander, He had the power to make certain His will would still be done in the end.

A God who allows His creation to dictate some of the course of history doesn’t show a God who isn’t powerful enough to control His creation, but One who is powerful enough to accomplish His will despite the actions of that creation. I’m sure this is inconvenient at times for Him, but He saw this as a minor consequence to the far greater reward of receiving love from those He created in His image.

The next time you hear about some evil in the world, recognize it for what it is: the devastating consequence of generations of people making generations of choices to go some way other than what God had planned for them. There is no blueprint God authored necessitating all the mayhem we see in our world. He laid out a perfect plan and we’ve messed it up. Our mission now is to restore this world as close to what God intended before He returns. To do this, we’ll have to stop blaming God for the evil and begin loving those who are perpetuating the hatred and violence.

Yes, there is plenty of evil in the world. But my God is bigger, and His love overcomes it all. Let’s be His hands and feet. Let’s use the gift of freewill to choose Christ and change or world. Don’t fear the evil in the world. Worship the Creator. Show Him you will use His gift to choose love, to choose life, and to choose Him.