Pastor Rick Warren, author of the book, Purpose Driven Life, once asked: “Why is there so much evil in the world?” This echoes the question posed in the book by Rabbi Gabriel Friedman who inquired: “Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People? This question is not new. The writer of Psalm 73 tells how he was envious because the arrogant and wicked prospered while he and other righteous people were trying to keep their hearts pure and prevent their hands from doing wrong.
If there were an easy answer, surely someone would have found it by now. We know that our loving God exists in heaven, so why is there so much evil in the world? We might have a paradigm shift if we look at it another way. Why does a caterpillar go through so much of a struggle trying to become a butterfly? Why do Olympians have to train so hard under adverse conditions in order to compete for the gold medal? Why are young men and women pushed to the limits in their training just to see if they can survive just to become a Navy Seal? It’s all because you must find your weakness and strengths in order to learn how to keep going when things get tough. As the old saying goes, “No pain, no gain.”
As Pastor Warren says, “God could have made us like robots who do nothing more than say, ‘I love you. I love you. I love you.’ But we’d be forced to do that, and that wouldn’t be real love. Love is a choice. And if you have a choice you have to be able to choose not to love, and that in itself is the nature of evil. Evil is choosing not to love. So when God gave us the freedom to choose, he gave us not only our greatest blessing, but he also gave us our greatest curse because we can choose to do right or choose to do wrong.”
Some people may find this hard to believe, but one reason God may allow so much pain and discomfort in our marriages that lead to heated arguments and sharp disagreements as a way of testing whether or not we really love one another as we said we did. Or will we find out that it was just infatuation, or “puppy love,” as we used to call it. The same is true of our love for God. How would He really know if we love Him if everything went our way, no problems, easy sledding through the snowstorms of life? Jesus could not have made it plainer than when said that if we really loved Him, we’d pick up our cross and follow Him. I don’t know what the word “cross” means to you, but to Him, it involved pain, suffering, and even death so that we could be spared everlasting separation from God. How could we ever doubt that He loved us?
God is not getting this present world ready for a transformation into Paradise until first all the evil it has spawned is destroyed, along with the devil who is its chief sponsor. Satan knows it, the demons know it, that’s why their rebellious spirit grows stronger every day. But our Lord gives us all the hope we need by telling us that those who endure until the end will be saved. So the next time you are disheartened by the evil in this world just say to yourself, “That’s why I’m a believer, a Christian to the core because I know when this is all over I’ll be among the saved forever.” – Dr. Robert R Seyda