• Hamilton Howard

Problem of Evil

In Islam the idea of God suffering is scheer nonsense.

In Buddism the idea to reach divinity is the thought to move beyond the realm of suffering.

In atheism we are purely material and suffering is just a relative, as ‘we are all just dancing to our DNA’.

Only in Christ, only in the biblical worldview do we have a God, who albeit transcendent above all things, who is loving enough to suffer with us.

I have a friend named Vince Vitale, he tells a story of his cousin Charles, who suffered from autism, and he uses the term suffered very loosely as he says Charles was the most beautiful picture of grace, joy, and love he had ever seen. Charles one day, bitterly healthy, went to dinner with his mom, began to choke on a piece of chicken, and died, right there, in front of his mother, who had cared for him so tenderly for so many years. That was it.

Without God to turn to, what could be more senseless. Without God to turn to everyone on planet earth is headed towards death and injustice. "But as a believer, I cannot tell you how grateful I am, that I get to tell my sweet Aunt Regina, with utter confidence that Charles is, in fact, with the one who created him before the foundations of the world, and who chose to love him in his mothers womb. He’s with the one who was willing to suffer alongside him, and she will, yes indeed, she will see him again.” Says Vince.

Remember earlier, when I said that there is no answer to this problem of evil, that no man could provide a response that could ever satisfy the anguish of a hurting soul, well, in Revelation 4:11, the LORD God proclaims what the end result of this problem will be, truthfully, he boldly answers the problem of evil. He describes a place where, ‘he will wipe away every tear from our eyes, where there will be no more death, no more pain, no more suffering or mourning, for the former things have passed away.’ Behold, the new, has come.

We will always come up short when we stay on this small snip of eternity and try to answer this issue. Imagine a rope that went around the entire equator around the earth, and you went in and spray painted 1 inch of that rope red, to signify your life on this earth. Our lives on this earth are literally nothing, when you look at the bigger picture, the vantage point God is watching from right now. If we trust Christ, the vast, vast, overwhelmingly vast majority of our lives will be spent without death, or mourning or suffering or pain.

Before time, God chose us out of his desire to love. In time, God loved us enough to suffer with us. At the end of time, God will set things right again.

Some think the problem should push us away from God, for me it is precisely the opposite. For me, I am so deeply burdened by this problem, not necessarily in my own life, but rather in my travels, seeing the pain, the poverty, and the poor all over this world, that I am led to believe what is consistent, coherent, comprehensive, and uncompromising. For me, the problem of evil leads me to trust fully in a God who makes sense of suffering, and who can actually do something about, hear, he promises he will.

Each of us, will inevitably deal with this problem, with death. Whether that be from old age, or at dinner tomorrow, let me ask of you, the reader, when this moment comes, who will bear it with us? Who will bear it with us? Who will see us through it. Jesus will, if we invite him in. We will know, with full assurance that we will spend eternity in a place, where suffering will be no more.


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