Upon hearing some really hard news recently I started pondering the idea of God’s sovereignty and evil things happening in the world. It’s hard…really hard to reconcile those two things. The number one argument of people who don’t believe in God is that He can’t be both all-powerful and loving at the same time. I think even believers battle with that when tragedy strikes close to home or when we hear news of horrible things happening. But, God is loving and God is all-powerful. So then why do bad things still happen? Because of us.
I’m not saying us in the sense of you and me, even though I’m sure we’ve all contributed to hurt in this world. I’m saying us in terms of all people. God isn’t the reason for pain and suffering, our own brokenness is. After all, He created things perfect and then humanity broke it. We sin, not God. We hurt people, not God. We are the selfish, self-seeking ones, not God. We wonder why we get sick and why illness plagues even the unborn. We are the ones destroying the environment by pouring chemicals into the air and water and producing toxic foods that poison our bodies.
Sure, God allows hurt to happen but it’s always a result from humanity’s sin. The hardest thing is when someone who is innocent is affected by someone else’s sin. Yet that has been the story of human history. Whether it’s Adam and Eve’s selfish choice, Cain killing Abel, to the day to day pain we see inflicted in our world today, sin has been the cause for pain, not God.
This world is fallen and broken, and yet, God stepped down into it by becoming flesh to walk among us. His desire to reach a world so lost and people so wicked (that’s everyone by the way) is the proof of Him being a loving God. Need more proof? He also allowed those wicked people to whip him and nail him to a cross and crucify Him. And all that so He could take the punishment that we all deserve. Where is God when bad things happen? He was hanging on a cross in the most excruciating pain so that we could be healed despite all the suffering this world offers.
So if He’s loving He must not be all powerful. Well God didn’t stay dead! He was popping out of a grave three days later. God creates life. God makes things out of nothing. Everything that is alive owes every breath to Him. There is no greater power than that.
Let me propose then, that we stop asking the wrong question of “how can a sovereign God let bad things happen” and instead ask “how can we be more selfless and be a part of the solution to the pain in the world”?
God made us with the ability to choose. To choose right or wrong, good or evil, light or dark, others or self, Him or the world. That is a loving God. He is a God who goes to the greatest lengths to reach people who far to often choose poorly. Usually the those complaining about God’s lack of intervention are the same one’s screaming for Him to be banished from our schools and removed from our society. Interesting…
So let’s stop blaming God for not intervening and start pointing the finger where it really belongs. Let’s stop shaking our hands at heaven and instead, put them to work helping others. Let’s stop wondering why God doesn’t strike every evil doer down with lightning and remember that He has not dealt us our due punishment for our guilt.