Why does God allow so much evil and suffering? Part 2 of 2.

This is an excerpt from my current work in progress – a book all about sharing the Gospel. I’m putting the finishing touches on the first draft and am due to submit the manuscript to my editor next week. I’ll have more info soon! In the meantime, please enjoy the excerpt:

Scripture is clear that God has comprehensive power to do everything and anything He wants to do. God is holy, all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and completely sovereign. Still, somehow, the world He created, the world we inhabit, is full of evil. How do we reconcile this? 

Here is the answer: God allows evil agents to work then overrules evil according to His own wise and Holy plan.[1] Ultimately, He is able to make all things- including all the evil of all time- work together for (1) the greater good of His people and (2) His glory.

There is a lot there, so let’s draw out some key points: 

Evil proceeds only from the creature – never from the Creator. All evil is committed in rebellion against our Holy God and his Holy law. God is neither the author of nor the approver of evil. On the contrary, He is “Holy, holy, Holy” – separate from everything that is sinful and evil. God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Evil is not a disruption to God’s eternal plan. He isn’t scrambling around trying to figure out a “Plan B.” 

God has a good and morally sufficient reason for all evil He allows. Evil is allowed for the greater good of His people and for His own glory. 

To illustrate the answer, we will apply it to the single most vile, rebellious, evil event in history: the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Follow me here:

God allowed evil agents to work. Our Holy, sinless Lord was put to death in an act of rebellion against God. However, this evil was no disruption to God’s eternal plan. The crucifixion was always in His plan. As discussed in Chapter 15, God had been forecasting the crucifixion quite literally since the dawn of humanity (Garden of Eden). We can read prophecies about the crucifixion that were recorded centuries before Jesus was even born. And why was this evil allowed? For the greater good of His people and for His glory. The greater good is the Gospel – the salvation of all who put their faith in Jesus Christ. The glory of God is a demonstration of His perfect attributes. As John MacArthur summed it up: “We wouldn’t know God is as righteous as He is if it hadn’t been for unrighteousness, we wouldn’t know God is as loving as He is if it hadn’t been for sin, we wouldn’t know God is as holy as He is if it weren’t for judgment.” 

There it is, friend. The most evil act in history is no disruption to God’s eternal plan and neither is any other evil. In the moment, the crucifixion was an unspeakable tragedy. But God knows the end from the beginning. It’s His eternal plan. Today, we light up at the sight of a cross – we decorate our homes with them, wear them on chains around our neck, get them tattooed on our bodies, and we thank God for the cross. He took what the enemy meant for evil and turned it for great good. 

There is immense peace that can come from understanding this truth. Now- that doesn’t mean that evil isn’t going to hurt in this life. It will. But we’ll conclude this topic with one more reminder: we have a Savior who can sympathize with us. Jesus Christ willingly became a man and experienced evil. He was tempted by the devil, He had friends who betrayed Him, He was assaulted, He was scorned, He was reviled, He was abandoned, He suffered, and He wept. Jesus willingly experienced every pain that you could possibly experience. And why? Why would He do this willingly? 

Because we are His children, and He loves us. We can take any and all of our pain and bring it to Jesus. He invites us to:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28

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