Phoenix, AZ. The problem of evil is widely recognized to be the most challenging and persistent difficulty facing religion and belief in the existence of God. We know that God created us with free will for the sake of love, and so evil is caused, not by God, but by the free choice of us sinners – human beings together with the fallen angels.
But sometimes this explanation does not satisfy. The Phoenix Northwest team set up in front of the downtown library to evangelize recently. We see here pictured Sharon speaking with Shawn, a man who said he believes in God, but can’t understand why God lets the devil wreak so much havoc on earth. He has been disappointed in the answers he’s been given to his question, in particular, why children could be killed “on God’s watch.” Shawn was told God never wants the innocent to suffer but that He lets bad people exercise free will, with sometimes tragic results. The team urged him not to lose heart, that the devil would want him to despair of a God who appears to let evildoers operate unabated.
The interesting thing about Shawn’s complaint is that the same kind of complaint is aired by numerous figures in the Bible. Just read the Book of Psalms, for example, or the Book of Job. Furthermore, Jesus Christ comes as God in our midst, and what does he do? He goes to the Cross, he submits to cruel torture and death at the hands of his own creatures, and all so that their evil might be expiated, that he may wipe every tear from their eyes, and that they may live in eternal joy. This is his mission.
These truths are powerful, and life-transforming! But even knowing them, sometimes even these truths don’t seem enough. In these cases, reason is not enough, and the heart must bridge the gap remaining. Faith in God, and trust in His promises, must prevail when our understanding falls short. This is not surprising, for “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has planned for those who love Him.”
Please pray that Shawn finds peace through trust in God.