The Problem of Evil and a God of Love

The Problem of Evil and a God of Love

By Wayne Stiles

We live in a world where it seems God turns a deaf ear to pain and evil.Children hunger, immorality runs rampant, injustice occurs in the courts, and our loved ones die of cancer.All under the nose of an all-powerful God of love.

noevil The Problem of Evil and a God of Love

It feels as if He were a God of love and justice and power, He would and could remove all evil. As it is, evil remains. So do our feelings of confusion.

In a forgotten corner of the Hebrew Scriptures we catch a glimpse of this seeming contradiction with the problem of evil as well as its resolution.

Nahum’s Promise  Still Speaks

The Prophet Nahum’s little book offers a rare glimpse at the balance of the Lord’s character:

“The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” —Nahum 1:3

We see two truths in this verse that offer insight into the tension we feel.

  • The Lord’s patience and power reflect complementary attributes. The Creator’s character as “slow to anger” describes His patience, not His impotence. He is a God of love. In addition to being “slow to anger,” Nahum also explains the Lord as “great in power.” Ask any mother who exercises patience with a disobedient and strong-willed child. She will admit it requires great power of self-control to exercise patience.

The world points to the presence of evil as proof of the Lord’s weakness. The Bible points to evil as proof of God’s patience.

Why does God allow evil? In short, so that we may choose good. Without the possibility of evil, we would have no freedom of choice. The Lord permits evil for a time so that people will believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins (2 Peter 3:9). We have a similar struggle in a society where a madman has the freedom to gun down the innocent.

  • The Lord’s justice will one day satisfy all. In addition to being a God of love, He is also just. Nahum tells us: “the LORD will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” When the time comes, the Almighty will offer no more second chances. Only the Lord has the ability to perfectly balance patience, power, and punishment—and the timing of each.

“The wheels of God’s justice grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine.” — A. W. Tozer

Nahum’s promise offers a balance of comfort and warning. The Lord is a God of love and of justice. The Lord’s present patience will in no way sway the severity of His coming justice.

Living in the Mean Time

In a time of unprecedented evil and the Lord’s seeming apathy to it all, we can still take comfort in the face of the unknown pain of our lives. We know one day it will all end.

Here are four resources that go further than a brief blog post can about this issue:

  1. Hard Questions, Real Answers, by William Lane Craig. Deals well with the problem of evil as well as other hard questions.
  2. “What Good is Evil?” My podcast on the problem of evil from a biblical perspective.
  3. “Why is God’s Justice so Slow?” My podcast that expands on Nahum’s verse we examined.
  4. Christian Apologetics Resources — A page of resources for the tough questions of Christianity.

There is always hope, because there is always heaven. What’s more, we know how it will end. The problem of evil won’t always be a problem.

God wins, evil loses.

How do you deal with the seeming contradiction that a good God allows evil? Please leave a comment.

About ptl2010

Jesus Christ is coming soon
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8 Responses to The Problem of Evil and a God of Love

  1. With the abundance of ‘natural disasters’ and terrorist-type shootings adding to the problems so many people endure, the question of God’s love and goodness is constantly brought into question. “Why doesn’t God stop the evil? Why does He allow it?” is heard almost every day – even from people who never acknowledge His presence in any other way.

    Thanks for a good answer to this question. The love of God cannot be denied, but neither can His justice. One day, these will be seen in harmony, but until then we can and must show the love of God in our own lives.

    I am reminded of a quotation (I think by Tozer)
    If you do not YIELD to the LOVE of God
    and be CHANGED by the GRACE of God
    there will be NO WAY to ESCAPE the WRATH of God.

  2. ptl2010 says:

    Praise the Lord He is worthy of praise. Thank you Lyn for sharing your testimony. He Is good despite the pain. He is our Healer and by His stripes we are healed. We are healed! Only the timing when it will be revealed fully. Now we see in part so hang in with the joy of the Lord as our strength and let us not be weary in well-doing. Amen.

  3. loopyloo305 says:

    Sister E, I wanted to thank you and show you that you are truly appreciated for all your work in advancing the work of Christ, my friend. You are tireless and are always finding something and someone new who can help to do God’s work. I know it is not much but I wanted to award you the Reader’s Appreciation Award. If you would like to pass it on, the instructions are on my site. But I know you are truly busy and even if you do not decide to pass it on, please do accept the award my friend. God bless you, yours Patricia

    • ptl2010 says:

      Thank you Patricia for your kind words and nomination for the award. It is truly the Lord who has drawn the Contrbutors and I have just been His channel to bring to pass for His glory and no one else’s. Join me and the others to daily pray that at least 4 persons daily in our third year of operations, who read ChristianBlessings blogs, will be touched with the love of God, accept Him as Savior or be encouraged to continue living and serving the Lord. By ” touched” I mean impacted not as someone who reads and walks away ( with so what, just news?) but there is effectively a life or mind change towards our loving and righteous God full of mercy and grace and to this end for each one :

      Philippians 3:10-14
      10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
      11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
      12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
      13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
      14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

      God bless you my sister in Christ for your expressed appreciation today. To God be the glory forevermore.

  4. Lyn Leahz says:

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder! When we’re suffering, whether it be an illness or the loss of a special person in our lives, it is sometimes hard to remember that God knows all about it and we have peace in Him.

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