Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psalm 73:1-3)
Have you ever asked the question, “If God is good, why does He allow evil and suffering to happen in the world?” It’s a question many have asked, and sadly, many don’t know how to answer it. But today I want us to consider the story of a man named Asaph as we try to find a way to answer this question that haunts humankind, Christian or not. Asaph was playing by the rules, doing life by the numbers, went to church, paid his taxes, didn’t cheat on his business deals, was a good dad and husband, and always tried to do the right thing and yet he said, he was “Afflicted, and every morning brought new punishments.”
We don’t know whether he struggled with physical disease, financial ruin, or family problems. His thinking was, “What is the use of living right if God is not going to do right and I’m going in the wrong direction?” When we find ourselves in a similar situation, wondering the same things, we must start by understanding the dynamic between good and evil.
People who want to eliminate a good God run into a brick wall for this reason. Once you admit the existence of evil, you have to admit the existence of good. We say someone is “immoral, unjust, unfair, dishonest” and simply put we would all admit there is not only evil in the world, but there is good in the world. We see both evil and good. More to the point, you have to introduce God.
However, many people don’t want to take that step. They want to throw God out instead. But when you throw out the idea of God, you throw out the meaning of good and then you throw out the meaning of evil. In an atheistic world, there can really be no actual good or evil, because there is no absolute standard by which to judge anything as being good or evil, right or wrong. The problem of evil is rather than being an argument against God, it actually becomes an argument for God.
In other words, there can’t be a good God if there’s no evil in the world. As tough of a pill as that is to swallow, we must continue to ask the Lord to give us wisdom and discernment to understand this truth so that we might learn to trust Him, even in the midst of the evil we face in this world every single day.
Dear Lord, thank you that you are always good, even when I’m surrounded by evil. Give me eyes to see your goodness and remind me that you always have my best interest at heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Topics: Trials and Tribulations