March 13 – Hard Questions 2.0 – “How can a good God allow evil, pain and suffering? Doesn’t He care?”

Read Romans 1:18-32, 6:23

If we’re all honest with ourselves, pain and suffering amongst God’s people is one of the most difficult concepts to reconcile with a just and loving God. On one hand, we hear that God promises to wipe every tear from our eye, and mend every broken heart. 


Ok; turn on the news. Hear about a bad medical diagnosis. How can a loving God allow all of this? If God is good, and God is love, then how is there so much evil and brokenness?  

Our passage today answers the question very succinctly.  SPOILER; it’s because SIN is not God’s way, and time and again, mankind has chosen OUR way over GOD’S way.  Here are a few highlights from Romans;

“God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…”

“(We) worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator”

“God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done”.

The beginning of understanding evil, pain and suffering begins with our SIN.  When God gives us directives, it is for OUR GOOD.  When we miss God’s mark, when we choose our own way over HIS way, there are natural consequences.  When looking at a broken, hurting world, remember that all of that brokenness is the result of people’s sin; choosing something opposite of God’s way. 

This still doesn’t explain why God allows sin. Think back to the garden with Adam and Eve.  They knew they weren’t supposed to eat the fruit, and ate it anyway. 

Did God allow them that choice?

God has many attributes; one is that He is JUST; and that means that God is RIGHT when he makes a judgment. God’s perfect justice implies that there is right and wrong to choose from. We also know that God desires relationship; what God desires most from us is our heart; our devotion. His desire to relate to us is part of the reason that we pray, part of the reason He sent His son to dwell amongst us, part of the reason He gave us His creation to enjoy. God allows sin as a means of teaching us that His way is BETTER.  The Holy Spirit uses sin to orient us towards Jesus…a broken, fallen world is part of what points to a BETTER WAY.

If you are struggling with this concept; start by acknowledging that you are NOT God, and, thus, need His wisdom and grace. Remember that He planned for evil, pain and suffering…His promises to walk through it WITH us are proof of that! If you are enduring something horrific, remember God has promised to “work all things for the good of those who love Him.” Evil and suffering isn’t proof that God is non-existent; rather, the good that flows out of the horrible circumstances shows the true character of an all-powerful, gracious God who wants us to trust Him. 

Stop looking at the pain, and start looking for what God is doing with it! 

Craig French

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s