Just last week there was a mass shooting in Las Vegas where 59 people were killed and hundreds injured. During such horrific tragedies the question always seems to pop up in my mind (and I’m sure others), “Why doesn’t God stop such evil before it happens if He already knows it is going to happen?”
The answer isn’t so obvious since this question actually is a lot deeper than we realize.
Wouldn’t it be nice if God simply stepped in during such injustice and wrong and made those “evil doers” get what they deserve before they even have a chance to wreak havoc on others? Where is God during such evil times? Why does He allow such suffering?
As I was pondering these questions I started to follow through with my logic… so where do we draw the line? When should God intercede and step in? Is it just for murder? What about bullying? What about unkindness? At what time should God step in and bring justice? Justice can’t just happen during what we think are horrific times… justice in and of itself is just all the time. So that means God would need to intercede even in YOUR OWN life. See, we can’t have it both ways… you can’t just expect justice from God during the times you pick. (I’m saying “you” but this ultimately is a conversation going on in my head too).
So the ironic part is that as people shake their fists at God during such evil times asking God to bring justice and wondering where He is, they are actually in a way condemning themselves because they are asking God to use His justice and judgement in the world and it can’t stop at just that one act of evil. You might think you are “good” but let’s face it… good is just where you draw the line. Maybe you aren’t a murderer (although you might have hate in your heard towards someone) or maybe you haven’t done horrible acts of evil but that doesn’t mean you haven’t done something wrong. And if you have done something wrong, then you are asking God to judge yourself and bring justice as well.
What’s the answer then? Should God condemn us all? Should He bring justice and judgement to all? Should any of us be let off the hook? If He intercedes in one situation, why shouldn’t He intercede in everyone’s situation as you do something wrong?
This is called living under the law. And where does it lead? Where is the hope in that?
God has a different answer… He became one of us, suffered, and died so that He could overcome sin and death. Instead of “losing” the world, He saved the world through His Son. Instead of condemning us all, He condemned His Son and dealt with all evil and death in His Son. And the best part is that He overcame it all. He conquered it all. There is hope in that!
So God isn’t ignoring evil, He isn’t ignoring wrong-doing… He has dealt with it all in His Son. I know you might be thinking, but how does that apply practically? There is still wrong-doing happening in this world. There is still evil. Yes, I know… but God has done something totally new in His Son. The world we are in is temporal… there is something new created that is eternal in His Son. So although you might not “see” what He has done by your physical eyes, that doesn’t mean it isn’t done.
God became a man and experienced death. Just think on that… the very thing that ends us all… God experienced that through Jesus Christ and overcame it for us. So instead of the law, He used Love to overcome. That is why God IS love.
But what about suffering? How has God dealt with suffering?
As long as we are in this world there will be suffering. And there would be absolutely no purpose to our suffering if it wasn’t for Jesus, who also suffered. God suffered as a man. In so doing, He has made our suffering part of Himself. It is a mystery to me, but I can see that He has brought meaning to our suffering. It isn’t all hopeless.
The answer is and always has been Jesus Christ. That has been God’s answer all along. No other religion or philosophy can deal with suffering, evil, and death. It took God becoming a man and doing something out of Love to set us all free.
So the only hope I have as I witness such horrific acts of evil is that somehow, in a mysterious way, God has dealt with this evil and all evil (including death) in His Son. God isn’t ignoring evil or death or suffering… far from it! God just did what nobody expected… instead of judging us all under the law… He acted in Love and found a way to overcome it all through His Son, Jesus Christ.
My hope is in Him.