When bad things happen in the world, God is often blamed. Understanding why He allows evil and suffering isn’t easy. Even Billy Graham couldn’t fully explain it. But we can find hope in God’s promise that one day, evil will end.
Why Evil Exists
When God created mankind, He intended for us to live in perfect harmony with Him, without pain, suffering or evil. To maintain this way of life, God instructed the first man (Adam) to avoid doing one thing: eating fruit from a certain tree in the Garden of Eden where he lived.
God warned Adam saying, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17, NKJV).
But Adam and his wife, Eve, decided to disobey God and eat from the tree anyway. It’s this disobedience that caused sin and death to enter the world, and mankind to be separated from God. This is why we have evil today.
God’s Answer to Evil
Though sin puts a barrier between us and God, He provided a solution: His Son, Jesus Christ.
Imagine two cliffs facing each other. On one side is God and on the other is mankind. The gaping hole in between is sin.
When Jesus willingly died on the cross, He filled the gap so that we could be forgiven of our sins and have full access to God again. When you believe in your heart that this actually happened and accept Jesus as your Savior, your life is changed forever; evil and death cannot win. You can look forward to eternal life with Him in heaven.
Understanding God’s Ways
When considering why God allows evil, it’s important to remember what seems unfair to us is not unfair by God’s standard. The Bible says God’s ways are not our ways—and God’s ways are always best.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” —Isaiah 55:8-9
For our own good, God desires for every person to follow His commands. But He did not create robots; He gave us a choice to obey or disobey, to believe or not, to live in sin or to seek forgiveness. Oftentimes, like Adam and Eve, we decide to go our own way—and this is why evil will continue to exist until Jesus returns.
Deliverance From Evil
Yes, God allows evil. But He is still loving, merciful and compassionate. God promises evil will not go unpunished, and He does not overlook sin.
Rejecting God and His way of life causes evil to continue in the world. But accepting God and His Son into your life ensures evil and death will ultimately have no power over you.
Rather than ask, “Why does God allow evil?” try asking God to, “Deliver us from evil.” In other words, ask God to change your heart so that you would do what pleases Him, rather than what’s evil or sinful in His sight.
Romans 12:21 also says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (ESV). A “good” life is one that is centered on faith in Jesus Christ, the only cure for evil and its consequences.