Why does God allow evil, pain, and suffering?

Q. Why does God allow evil in the world? Why does God allow people to hurt each other?

A. Because He is love.

We love the idea that God is love – we hate the idea that God is love.  Here’s why.

If I locked up my kids in a padded room – you would think I’m cruel. We recognize that love offers freedom to choose.

We love the idea that God gives us the freedom to choose Him. We love the idea that God is a good Father who loves us no matter what.  We love the idea that God takes the results of our sin and experiences it for us on the cross.  We love the idea that God forgives and restores us when we sin.  We love the idea that God wants us to be like him and walk in love.

But we hate the idea too.  We hate the idea that God gives others the freedom to hurt us. We hate the idea that God doesn’t intervene to protect us from the consequences of our own decisions and the decisions of others.  We hate the idea that God challenges our deeply held beliefs about what love looks like and how it works.  We hate the idea that God’s love is given to others as much as it is to us. Sometimes.

If God is truly the creator – He is the source of life. To experience life you need to align yourself with Him.  The further you move away from God – less and less life you experience – more and more death you experience.  Another way to say this is – as you move away from God’s nature, you experience levels of death.  We don’t like the idea that as we move away from God, He gives us the freedom to experience the ends of our own decision – and He doesn’t intervene to stop us.  We don’t like part of God’s love.

I’m not fatalistic.  I don’t believe that “everything happens for a reason.”  But I am hopeful because God has the ability to “give reason to all that happens.”  God has the ability to create good out of all the mistakes that we and others make.  Because He is love.

In the Bible, in the book of Psalms, we see that David asked God this same question. “God why do you allow evil people to flourish?”

Romans 8:28-39

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