Why would a Loving God Allow Evil in the World?
How do we get the standard for what's good and what's not? Is anyone really good? Is anything really good? What defines 'good'? What defines 'evil'? Please consider this as you read.
Suppose a boy is born into the family of a legendary king of a great nation. Everything is handed to him- nothing he desires on earth is withheld from him. He grows to be perhaps the wisest and richest person to have ever lived and has thousands of wives. Would you think this man to be happy? His name is Solomon, and here is his testimony-
"I made my works great, I built myself houses and planted myself vineyards. I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure. For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun."Does he sound happy? Did earthly comfort, riches, wisdom, or love satisfy him? He was comfortable physically, but emotionally he was unsatisfied.
The key to life is NOT owning more than your neighbor, or even feeling comfortable. The one thing that all humans seek in one way or another is satisfaction. We all seek permanent happiness and inner peace. This may be sought many different ways, but Solomon presents a testimony that wealth, wisdom, and love in the greatest of excess still do not satisfy- in fact, they seem meaningless to him. What then is bad, what is good? A person in physical pain thinks all he/she needs to be happy is healing. A healthy person may desire a spouse and love. A person with these may desire financial security. A person with financial security may desire fame. The list goes on. We are all somewhere along this progression, but nowhere along this progression is happiness found. There is nothing to be gained from massing riches on earth. Let me say again- there is no satisfaction to be found through earthly means. Test me, if you don't believe me, but you will come to the same conclusion of Solomon. What then is suffering? We are all suffering to one degree or another. There is always more to be had, but we cannot have it. Where then is satisfaction? Where are comfort, peace, joy, and happiness?
What then brings satisfaction- what is the solution to this mess? A loving God would provide one, and it would be fully sufficient to eclipse all the pain and suffering on earth.
We look in the wrong place for evil and in the wrong place for good. There are bad diseases and mutilations that occur, and good health, but neither good health nor riches, nor anything of that sort will bring about the ultimate good- perfect, total, and eternal satisfaction. If there is such a thing, it would eclipse our meaningless search for comfort through physical means. Jesus came to provide this to us, and provide it freely to all who seek. How then can you insult God by saying that His loving sacrifice for us is not sufficient to eclipse all the pain we see around us? It is not a matter of God's love being insufficient, it is a matter of our intelligence being insufficient to fully understand God's plan, love, and provision for us.
If you are seeking this satisfaction, don't look for it in the world. The world cannot satisfy. How much is ever enough? At what point will money, fame, success, or love make you happy? If you have an answer for this, please send it to me- for I would absolutely love to hear it! There is a God-shaped hole in everyone's life. Pouring earthly things into it will not fill it, for it is infinite in depth. Only an infinite God can fill it. Jesus came to pay for all the sins and evil in the world, for we all fall short of perfect goodness, so in turn we all are evil. Being evil, we don't deserve eternal satisfaction or peace, we deserve Hell. Since we were created by a loving God, He sent provision for us, to pay the debt we owed. A crime has been committed, we owe a debt we cannot pay- so Jesus died to pay that debt for all of us. The Bible says that all who seek God shall find Him. If all who turn to God find Him and accept Him into their lives, who is left to suffer? Those who have not turned to God. How can they then blame that God is not fair if they themselves are the ones who have rejected Him? We all deserve to die and live eternal life of suffering apart from God. All have the opportunity to live eternal life with Him in eternal joy. The problem is we focus on the immediate problems and miss the whole picture. God is not the problem, sin is. God came to free us from our sin and bring us eternal life with Him. Life is not fair, for if it was, we would all pay for our sins with eternal suffering. So who are we to say that God cannot exist because evil does? God allows evil to exist, for without it, free will would not exist. God did the only rational thing and allowed us free will and gave us the opportunity to choose Him and eternal satisfaction.