What is sicker or more evil than torturing and killing millions of people simply because of their nationality or the family they were born into? There have been many similar horrific evils such as the Holocaust throughout the centuries of humankind. But, one person killed or abused due to evil is tragic. What is more horrible than when an adult sexually abuses a young child for years, threatening them if they tell anyone of their dirty little secret? Evil is evil, regardless of the magnitude. Most of us believe God is powerful enough to stop evil, so why does God permit or not interfere more? The truth is because God or humans don’t measure evil in terms of how many humans are impacted, God would need to interfere constantly with human decisions to do evil than good. C.S. Lewis has suggested that wars, crimes, and injustices – evils that come through bad choices make by cruel and lawless people – account for at least 80% of humankind suffering. Most suffering is either self-inflicted or inflicted by others. I have written elsewhere about natural disasters.
Is it fair to accuse God of not caring because He doesn’t constantly interfere with the natural order of things? No one argues lack of freedom is either authentic or desirable. Freedom cannot be preserved with God’s constant interference. God surely is not responsible for choices His creations make any more than human parents are responsible for the decisions of their offspring. I do not agree with theologians who wish to protect a definition of God’s sovereignty or control that implies God foreordains or controls evil for some greater purpose. It is recorded God caused the Flood to punish, but no one should pretend to know when or if He is doing that in our lifetime. Jesus laid to rest the age-old argument that suffering is always directly because of one’s sin (i.e. John 9:1-3; Lk 13:1-5). God can still be considered sovereign, even though He gives up control for the sake of freedom. Just because God doesn’t control everything doesn’t mean God loses control. Evil is not some grand scheme by God! God certainly works to bring some good out of what was intended for evil, but this does not mean God orchestrated evil to accomplish this. Some may argue this gives no hope to the suffering if God doesn’t control everything. I believe it is very hopeful to know God does not cause evil, that evil is never God’s will, and that God grieves in our suffering and promises life after death. God certainly didn’t avoid evil Himself through the death of His Son.
The Flood proves wiping out evil and starting over, allowing freedom, doesn’t cause evil to go away. It just grows back. The truth is the world often is changed for the better during suffering than prosperity. But, God doesn’t sit around scheming evil plots so we can learn these lessons. Humans don’t need this kind of help from God; humans plot evil just fine on their own. Besides making a mockery of freedom, instant healing or sudden rescue doesn’t always make us the kind of people we need to become. Jesus came as a suffering servant than ruling King because God perhaps knew something about human nature that we do not. I wish it wasn’t so, but the slow, necessary way of God through the Incarnation may be the best course of action God could have taken under the circumstances to change us and the world in the long-run. Jesus’ suffering, not His miracles, changed the world. I wish it wasn’t so, but suffering and not prosperity is what leads to necessary change. Just because God doesn’t stop evil doesn’t mean God isn’t involved and changing the world for the better.
Never give up being used by God this make this a better world. Strive to allow suffering to enable you to become more like God by being totally unselfish. How many people stood by when Hitler was becoming the person he was? Could he have been stopped early on? It may not seem we are making a difference but we never know the impact we may be having by being involved in the lives of others. If someone had befriended Hitler as a young boy and sought to have spiritual influence and he responded, could we have been saved from this evil Dictator?