Evil in the World

How can there be an all-powerful, loving God, when there is evil in the world?

This is a question many of us stumble over. You hear it most often from self-professing intellectuals, then repeated by others, too stunned by the apparently flawless logic on the surface, to ask the deeper questions.

If most Christians are honest, they too, would confess experiencing doubt at one time or another because of that question. Many still are. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I counted myself in that crowd. I never spoke up for fear of shaming from those other “well-meaning” evangelically minded Christians. You may know the type.

But God revealed the true answer to me in moments of brokenness.

The answer struck a profound chord. Still, I couldn’t articulate it effectively. I’ve known so many people who’ve suffered, some, out of their suffering, posing that very question to me. My answers in those moments were always clumsy. They left me feeling a failure for my lack of clarity.

Recently, I sat down to listen to Ravi Zacharias while folding laundry. Yes folks, when I do laundry, I do it philosophically.

In all seriousness, I love to listen to him. And in a series he did relating to his book: Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message, he answered that question in the most pointed yet profound way.

This, of course, is a paraphrase of his words, because I can’t remember them exactly. You can read them for yourself in his book, if you choose to invest in it (I know it’s on my to read list):

When you assume there’s such a thing as evil, aren’t you assuming there is such a thing as good? Aren’t you assuming there’s such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil?

If so aren’t you assuming there’s a source of moral law…a being or source in which this moral law is contained? That’s whom you’re trying to disprove and not prove. Because if there is no moral law giver then there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, then there is no good or evil. What then, is your question?

When the skeptic invokes the presence of evil as a reality with which to disprove the existence of God, that skeptic is actually living in contradiction. Because unless this is a moral universe, there cannot be a moral reality. And the only way to posit a moral universe is if there is a moral being as its first cause. So when the skeptic talks about the presence of evil, unwittingly he or she actually smuggles in the presence of God.

He goes on to address the logical responses that follow when the skeptic becomes trapped by this revelation. The first response, of course, was to explain morals away as some fluke of evolution. That’s easily written off, even by evolutionists. But the second response struck a chord…

Couldn’t God create us so that we could only choose good and not even have the possibility of choosing evil? Could we not have a goodness that is constant, and sustained, and uninterrupted? The answer is, you’re asking for the ultimate ethic of love while saying the person has no choice in the process. Can you really sustain a choice of love if the person had no other option but to mechanistically yield to the choice that had been made?

In layman’s terms, is it really love if you’re nothing more than a puppet bending to God’s whims?

I think every common-sense person can answer that question.

So we come right down to the heart of the matter. Why is there all this evil in the world? We’re seeing a lot of tragedy right now, aren’t we? It cuts us to the marrow. Hurricanes, floods, fires, cancer, loss of the innocent.

But through the tragedy we’re also seeing glimpses of God.

God is light. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot comprehend it. In Him there is no darkness.

Do you know why that is?

How many of you know that scientifically speaking, there is no darkness? Darkness really is the absence of light.

“But,” you say, “I can see darkness. So it has to exist.”

No, you see the absence of light. Light illumines all things. It reveals the darkness for what it truly is.

God reveals the evils of this world, the tragedies, the hurts, the deaths, for what they truly are, the pains of a world desperately trying to live separated from Him. But it’s a world suffering and despising the pain because it wasn’t designed to live separate from Him.

We weren’t designed to live separate from Him!

That’s why we hate suffering. Because God hates it. That’s why we hate death. Because God hates it. We are created in His image. All things point to Him.

Even in the tragedies, God is working, revealing Himself through each circumstance. If you’re willing to look, you’ll find Him. And like the heroes working every day through floods, fires, and sickness, He’s holding out His hand, offering rescue.

How many of you will accept?

6 Thoughts

  1. Much truth here. It is through the deeds of evil (both my own and others) that I am discovering the depths of God’s love and grace and my desperate need for God. Learning to lean on God in the darkness, instead of creating my own temporary and passing light.

    It is a hard thing to explain, isn’t it. The answers you’ve shared I remember hearing somewhere before too (not sure from who anymore), but I think for these answers to hold any weight in our hearts, we all need to experience and come to a deeper knowing of who our God is (a lifelong process). I could share this reasoning with my unbelieving husband, but I know that all it would do would either make him angry or lead to several counter arguments. One day God will reveal Himself and then the answers will begin to be revealed (and in their entirety in heaven).


    1. Very true, Anna! And all too often we wish to rush in with that “ready answer”, not relying fully on God’s timing or guidance. Especially when it comes to unbelieving loved ones. I know in my youth I tried, because of pressure from other believers to witness to several unbelieving loved ones. Each attempt done in my own strength, and each one failed. But God’s timing is perfect, and He brings about miraculous transformations in people all the time. Through the years of growing in Him, I’ve come to realize the truth that I am simply the beggar telling others where to find bread. It’s not my job to save them. Only to be a faithful and willing example. If God chooses to use me to bring someone to him, then praise God! If not, and He uses other means, then I praise Him just as much.

      I pray one day you see Him work that wonderful redemption in your husband. In the mean time, may He give you the strength, forbearance, love, and peace needed to continue being the light in your husband’s life. Thank you for stopping by!


  2. First, this is beautifully written and explained. Second, I’ll be looking in to that guys work as his philosophies seem sound. I’m not a religious person partly because I was forced into religion as a child. That said, I do believe in God. I believe in good and evil.

    I struggle with my relationship with God because I don’t understand how he could allow my two year old disabled daughter to get murdered by her babysitter, then let her walk away with out paying for what she did. A lot of bad things have happened in my life but this situation and events stemming from this one thing have made me question all that I thought was real and true about God.

    Anyway, I’m slowly growing my relationship with God and often wonder the same things this post tells about. Just thought I’d say hello, and leave you a comment. Hope you are well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Amanda! Is that right? Your gravatar calls you Zimm, but I see on your website that you go by Amanda. So I hope I have the right name. If not, feel free to correct my error. At any rate, thank you so much for visiting and sharing your story. I am so sorry to hear of the tragedy that’s befallen you. That’s absolutely gut-wrenching. It breaks my heart to hear it. I don’t doubt it’s brought you to question a great many things.

      It’s encouraging to hear that you found this post helpful. I pray God uses it, and Ravi Zacharias’ works to help you find the answers you’re seeking. I do highly recommend him. He first fell on my radar several years back when my husband and I watched Focus on The Family’s Truth Project (another high recommendation). I’ve just begun to watch Ravi’s talks. You might be able to find some of his videos online or on YouTube as well.

      Know that you and your family will be in my prayers. May He give you and your family strength to carry on and justice for your precious daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, so much for your kind words! I really appreciate it. I’ll check out Ravi’s works and the tv show soon. I go by Zimm online but my name is Amanda. Call me either or, doesn’t matter to me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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