Monthly Archives: December 2014

Good, Evil and Suffering

“There is no such thing as Good or Evil. Everything is relative.”

I beg to differ. And I will explain, of course.

We often also hear the phrase (and sometimes, surprisingly, it’s from the same people who said the first quote above!): “If God is so good, why does He allow suffering?”

One of life’s great questions, of course. And there are many reasons why He allows suffering, most of which are probably too deep to discuss here. I’m only going to discuss one reason here today. Here’s that reason, and it brings both these quotes together.

God allows suffering in order to expose the brutal fact that evil exists.

If we do not acknowledge that evil exists, then everything remains in the ‘relative’ state held by the statement above that there is no such thing as good or evil.

But suffering shocks us out of that somewhat nebulous, complacent attitude and shows us, usually at first hand, that evil is real and therefore it exists.

Let’s put it more simply. Let’s think of some examples of evil.

Those ISIL creeps, formerly known as ISIS, who go around beheading innocents, murdering helpless children and taking hostages and what have you. What is that sort of behaviour if not evil? This is a dead giveaway.

Let’s bring it closer to home: how about bullying in schools, sometimes leading to the suicide of the bullied person? Let’s not pull our punches, or make excuses for the bully – bullying is pure evil. Another dead giveaway.

Or how about something that has touched most people’s lives at one time or another: Cancer. This brutal disease, in all its forms and whatever its cause, is simply evil. It is a thing of darkness. It instils fear, it causes suffering, dread, death, mutilation. This disease is real and it is evil. Giveaway time again.

So, next time someone tells you that there is no such thing as good or evil, and it’s all relative, remind them of these things. Why? Well, God loves us too much to let us be ignorant of the fact of evil. He wants us to acknowledge its existence, because only then can you fight against it with any meaning. The best way to leave evil undefeated is to leave it hidden. That’s why we get to see it in all its ugliness – to reveal it. The Enemy loves to cause suffering and then blame it on God and at the same time deny that it is evil, and that there’s no such thing when all the time it is staring you in the face. The reason why people will in one breath deny the existence of good or evil, and in the next breath ask why God allows suffering, is because the Enemy blinds people to the contradictions that they believe. So, I hope this piece today opens your eyes to the reality!

For the believer, God also wants us to draw near to Him in times of suffering. He promises to “heal the brokenhearted” and “bind up (bandage) their wounds”. If this is what suffering causes to happen in your life – for you to decide to draw nearer to God – then the Enemy loses the battle right there and then. Remember that the enemy wants you to deny God and blame Him. But if the suffering pushes you right into the arms of Jesus, then you have beaten the Enemy at his own game. This is the path to healing. God does not just leave us in our suffering, He steps in and works in there with us. And do you know that it actually grieves Him too that we have to go through the things we go through. Suffering hurts God too! Again, I have seen this first-hand.

Remember that God is good, all the time. And if that if the case (and it is) then we can be sure that God has our best interests at heart when he allows suffering. Romans 8:28 says that ‘And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”. Believe it.

As to what evil actually is, and where it comes from, and why God allows that, is a matter for discussion later.

But for now, remember that God is in control, no matter what your circumstances. Do you embrace what He’s doing and work with Him, or do you go down under the pressure because you won’t let Him hold you up? That’s your decision….

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