April 30, 2021
When You Struggle with Why
By Skip Heitzig
As believers, we know that we live in a fallen world, which is not what God intended when He originally created it. As the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8, "The whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now" (v. 22). Yet we also believe God is in absolute, unequivocal control of it all. Nothing escapes His purview, and nothing happens by accident.
So why does God allow evil to exist at all? And how should we as Christians live in this fallen world?
I'll tell you one thing: none of us can fully answer the question of why God allows evil in the world. Even Job, after going through intense suffering, didn't have his why answered by the Lord. But that doesn't mean we should skirt the issue. Jesus didn't in Luke 13 when the people brought up a recent tragic event (see vv. 1-5). Now, Jesus didn't explain why it happened, but He leaned into their questioning and used it as a platform to talk about a deeper issue: how our sin separates us from God.
So even though I can't explain why certain things happen, I can answer the question of how we are to live in the meantime. In short, we should be content. Paul wrote in Philippians 4, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (vv. 11-13). This tells us contentment is a learned quality that's directly proportional to how closely we cling to Christ and abide in Him.
And as we learn to grow in contentment, we also need to reach out to those around us who are suffering and asking why. When Jesus' friend Lazarus died and Jesus showed up to the funeral, Mary and Martha basically asked Him, "Why didn't You come sooner?" And Jesus didn't give them an explanation; He wept (see John 11:35). He entered into the pain they were suffering in that moment instead of trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe for them. We as believers need to do the same.
The church needs to be the church. You and I need to be the body of Christ—the hands, feet, mouth, and heart of our Savior. We need to continue to work harder and more creatively than ever to reach out and minister to those in our communities. And I believe we'll emerge better than ever because of it.
Asking why when it comes to evil is understandable. And I'm not pretending to know why. But I do pray that God would use everything that happens in this world for His glory to move nations and individuals toward Him, including you. God holds every breath you take in His hand (see Daniel 5:23). If you haven't yet, submit to Him today as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one who's in absolute control of it all.
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