Addressing Evil and Suffering
How do we make sense of the great evil in this world? How do we not yield to despair in the face of such evil? I am, like you, a bit overwhelmed with the tragedies in our nation: the murders at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the murders at the Taiwanese Church in California and the murders at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York. The list goes on and on.
Our “world view” is a big deal. It is how we perceive reality. Everyone has a worldview, even children. Their world view may include the tooth fairy, but it is still a world view. The Christian, or Biblical, world view says that in the beginning the world was “very good.” There was a time on earth when evil did not have a foothold. Yet, evil entered and humanity fell for it. Satan, a fallen angel, rebelled against God leading humanity into temptation. Humanity rejected God by turning to their own ways. This resulted in separation from the good and holy God. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Jesus clearly believed in fallen angels and the demonic realm. Evil has a personality.
Of course, there are many skeptics who don't believe this perspective. I would challenge them to explain the source of evil in the world in a way that is coherent and comprehensive. It seems to me that the Christian world view makes more sense than any other world view that I've heard. The demonic realm is real and evil to its core. Evil also has found a foothold in humanity. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn articulates the Biblical worldview well in this statement, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts."
Why does God allow evil in the world? Great question! What does God want most from humans? LOVE! For love to be real it must be freely chosen. A robot cannot love! A puppet cannot love. God could eliminate all evil and suffering. However, this would cancel out our freedom and thus our ability to love. Human freedom is more important than the absence of evil. We do not need to despair in the face of evil. Jesus clearly demonstrated his power over the demonic and gives that power and authority to his followers. Jesus came to give us new hearts, to not only forgive our sin, but to break its power in us, so that we do not live for evil and sin, but for God and for good.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, our calling to make disciples, be peacemakers, reconcile the lost, bring healing and lift up Jesus are urgent. I encourage you each day to draw near to Christ, to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), receive from him and be available throughout your day to be his ambassadors wherever you are. You are called! You are part of God's solution as His Kingdom overcomes the wickedness of this fallen world. Ultimately, the Word declares that the demonic realm will be judged and cast away forever (Revelation 20:10). Then good news follows:
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'” Revelation 21:3-4.
Praying . . . Thy Kingdom come,
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