Why does God let bad things happen? (The problem of evil).

I got this comment recently from someone  i’m guessing he was in his 20s and he said   why would god allow my six-year-old  sister to die of horrible cancer and then he said and don’t tell me  god’s just gonna make the best of it  

He was being honest and he was devastated and  angry but i could tell he still wanted to believe   and it was causing conflict not an easy one to respond  to and probably one of the   hardest questions our faith is ever going to face

I think all of us are going to get to the point  someday when we’re just going to look around   and see all the war and disease and poverty and  suffering and evil and we’re just gonna say where  

Are you god how could you let these things happen  or maybe how could you let this thing happen to me   and we’re told over and over how this is some god  of love who loves us like we’re his children and  

He’s all good and all powerful and can do all  things and we’ll just wonder then why doesn’t   he do anything about it why doesn’t he intervene  i wouldn’t let these things happen to my children  

If i had the power to stop it and we’re left with  this idea that if there is a god and that’s a very   big if he’s either some cruel and sadistic god  looking down on us like that mean child looks  

Down on the worms roasting on the sidewalk  or else he’s a weak god powerless impotent   unable to do anything about it even if he chose or  probably the worst one of all we think he’s just a   cold and heartless god who really doesn’t  care about you or me or anyone else

And for some of us we just  lock this up and bury it down   and keep jumping through our religious  hoops even though deep beneath the surface   it really bothers us and for others it makes us  angry rebellious even hateful we’ll turn our backs  

And walk away saying i don’t want anything to  do with this god anyway either way faith is lost the truth is there really is  no good answer to what we call   the problem of evil simply because there is no  answer it’s an unanswerable question sure i could  

Illustrate out in very clever ways which all  the greatest minds have said about it but   they knew they were treading into deep waters far  beyond our comprehension and you and i know that   all the clever arguments in the world aren’t  really going to cut it for that family who just  

Buried their six-year-old or the woman brutalized  or the millions starving to death every day   even c.s lewis himself who crafted some of the  most convincing arguments on the problem of   evil when faced with the loss of the love of his  life wrote it all seems like some kind of vile  

Practical joke and when the need is desperate we  go to god and find the door slammed in our face   and the sound of bolting and double bolts from  the inside and then silence i’m sure that probably  

Connects somewhere with all of us but for me the  only satisfactory answer i’ve ever heard on this   question comes from god himself when asked by some  poor soul in the bible who was really suffering

His name was job i’m sure you’ve heard of him  and there was no other like him on the face of   the earth faultless upright innocent and those  are god’s words not mine and he had everything a  

Loving family more wealth and prosperity than any  other man in the east and the love and esteem of   all his people and then one day he lost everything  his family his children his loved ones dead his   herdsmen his wealth his livelihood destroyed and  he himself was struck with a disease so disgusting  

That his friends could not even raise their eyes  to him because they couldn’t even recognize him   and he would just lay there in the ashes   scraping himself with the broken  shards of his life wondering why god my size have become my food he said  my tears pour like flowing streams

I’m filled with restlessness until the dawn   my flesh is clothed with worms and  scabs my skin cracks and festers   my days come to an end with no hope  i shall never see happiness again and sure his friends came by with all the clever  arguments in the world but they didn’t satisfy  

Him and that conflict and rebellion grew inside  him until finally lashed out at god and said   how could you let this happen to me i’m innocent  i did nothing wrong i did everything right   explain yourself to me god’s response came through a storm who is this

Where were you when i laid the foundations of  the earth tell me who determined its measurements   surely you know have you commanded  the morning since the days began   have the gates of death been revealed to you do  you have the wisdom to command the entire universe  

And the power to operate it who is  this who questions without knowledge he never answered the question he only answered  with a series of unanswerable questions   as if to say don’t worry i got this the man could only lay his hand over his  mouth and learn to trust in the one who knows

And so will i evil is not some question to be answered or some  riddle to be solved asking why only leads to   it’s something to be overcome when jesus came down here and placed  himself right in the midst of all our   war and disease and suffering  and evil what did he do

He didn’t just snap his fingers and make it all  go away he didn’t yell and scream in anger and he   certainly wasn’t afraid and god didn’t even spare  his own son for me [Music] he could have instead   he bore it literally all of it he suffered  it patiently and he crushed it permanently  

And he looks at you and me dead in the eyes  and says come on now let’s do this together   i’ll show you he doesn’t give us an answer he gives us himself there’s a scene from dostoyevsky’s  book the brothers karmanov that’s   etched in my brain in it is the grand inquisitor  

Evil incarnate and he’s blaming his prisoner  christ for all the evil in the world you got it wrong he accuses you gave them freedom  but they’re too weak to bear the responsibility   of it too weak to find salvation they  don’t want freedom they want security  

Without it there’d be no suffering  no war no hunger no slavery no death because of you millions are lost  because of you millions will suffer   because of you millions will die the prisoner’s response and  these are his lines not mine

When the inquisitor ceased speaking he waited  some time for his prisoner to answer him   his silence weighed down upon him he saw  that the prisoner had listened intently all   the time looking gently in his face  and evidently not wishing to reply

The old man longed for him to say  something however bitter and terrible but he suddenly approached the old man in silence  and softly kissed him on his bloodless aged lips that was all his answer the old man  shuddered his lips moved he went to  

The door opened it and said to him go  come no more come not at all never never   and he led him out into  the dark alleys of the town what was christ’s response to evil  no words no anger no fear just what was evil’s response

So i don’t think the question is  why does god let bad things happen   we can never know the answer to this but i’m  perfectly okay trusting in the one who does   but i think the better  question is what’s my response how do i respond all the evil i see  

Do i kick and scream cursing the darkness or  do i go out there and light a candle a fire how do i respond to the evil that  touches my friends my family my neighbor   do i blame the entire universe or do i just show up and sit  there gently and bear with them

How do i respond to the evil that  invades my mind and tortures my soul do i fight to overcome the problem of  evil where’s the problem of evil me terrible things are going to  happen we can’t control that  

But we can choose how we respond to it do  i let it overcome me or do i overcome it   do i respond just with more evil  or my love in the midst of the evil is one of the hardest things we’ll ever  do and i don’t think we can do it alone  

But that’s okay because we have a   very powerful friend who’s already gotten  through exactly what it is you’re going through   and he looks at you gently with all  the love and strength in the universe and says okay come on now let’s do this together you

#God #bad #happen #problem #evil

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