I’m sure at some point in your life you have asked the question, “Why would God allow evil into the world? Did God create evil? Why is it here?”
I know I have. I can recollect several occasions throughout my life where I have wrestled with this. One being this very night as I write this post. Evil seems so real and so close. It feels as if it has uprooted the joy of myself and so many others. And to be completely honest, I ask God “Why?”
But then I turn to the Word and I’m reminded of several perspectives that I need to have when staring in the face of evil.
EVIL IS USED BY GOD, BUT SIN IS THE CAUSE
There is a passage in scripture that tends to confuse and contradict our understanding of a loving God. It’s found in Isaiah 45:7 (ESV). “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.” The KJV says “…and create evil.”
That raises your eyebrows doesn’t it?
But this can be taken out of context. The Hebrew word for “evil” or “calamity” is “rah” This word has various meanings and is found numerous times throughout scripture, but we must look at this passage in context. Isaiah is not declaring God’s creation of the evil of sin, but the evil of punishment. We brought sin into the world the results require justice and retribution.
It all roots to the garden and the fall. Yes, the choice to not choose God was there, but it had to be. Love requires a choice; God wasn’t going to make us love him. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit and disobeyed God; the evil of sin entered this world.
PERSEVERANCE IS REQUIRED
If you have spent any time in the book of James, you know what he says about situations caused by evil (or trials). He says “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4 (ESV)
James tells us to let it in, to embrace it to “let steadfastness have its full effect.”
I don’t know who told us that life would be easy, but that’s a lie. I don’t know who told us that suffering would not happen, but that, too, is a lie.
BECAUSE EVIL IS IN THIS WORLD, PAIN AND SUFFERING ARE GOING TO COME.
What’s so important about what James is saying here is that we have to let God draw us closer to Him through the evil in this world. We can ask the question “Why?” We can cast the blame on Him. While, God is a big boy and can handle our wrestling, He also wants us to have faith. Faith is tough. It’s the foundation of our belief. If we don’t have faith, then we don’t have anything. But perseverance will produce a real faith.
The most important thing for us to understand is that God has always been. We often want to wrap Him up in our view of what we expect Him to be, but that limits God to our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Faith doesn’t tell us the answers to why these things happen, but it does give us the hope that there is a reason.
And hope is far more powerful than evil.
HOPE IS FAR MORE POWERFUL THAN EVIL
In the face of evil and times like these, I can honestly only say one name: JESUS.
Through all the evil I see today from physical death, to broken relationships, to lukewarm hearts, I can’t help but find myself begging for Jesus to take me home.
Do you know why? Because I have HOPE.
I believe that Jesus is the Son of God! – 1 John 4:15
I believe that Jesus showed me a life worth living! – 1 Peter 1:3
I believe that Jesus laid down His life for me and bridged the gap of that evil that has separated us! – Romans 5:8
I believe that Jesus rose from the grave! - Luke 24:6a
I believe that no matter what the enemy throws my way, there is a Savior who is bigger, greater and more powerful than the evil I don’t understand in this world. – Jeremiah 37:27
JESUS: The contradiction of evil!