Why do bad things happen if God is good?

i got this comment recently from someone i’m guessing he was in his s 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


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