If you have been following the news in the Middle East these last couple of weeks, your heart is probably breaking like mine. When I heard that ISIS has been murdering innocent children and women just for being Christians, I nearly lost my lunch. How can there be such evil unchecked on this earth?! I actually asked that same question to God while praying this last week. I raised my voice and my tear-stained face up to the King and begged him to protect his family members overseas. Why?! Why does such evil still happen each day, much of it hidden except to the One Who Sees? Why can’t God grant our wishes and wipe out evil entirely today to keep us safe?
In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Susan asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan the Lion is safe. “Who said anything about safe?” Mr. Beaver answers. “‘Course he isn’t safe. But He’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” Randy Alcorn states, “This is sound theology. God can be good without being safe; he can be loving without bowing to our very wish and desire.” Someday God will indeed remove all suffering and evil, but He will do this only when it accomplishes his greatest glory, which happens to also be our greatest good.
Alcorn suggests, “If we come to see the purpose of the universe as God’s long-term glory rather than our short-term happiness, then we will undergo a critical paradigm shift in tackling the problem of evil and suffering. The world has gone terribly wrong. God is going to fix it. First, for his eternal glory. Second, for our eternal good.” Think of it this way: God’s goodness encompasses much more than just whatever makes us feel safe and happy. He sees what we cannot. He acts where we cannot. He comforts when we cannot. He knows the plan inside and out and every once and a while may grant us the privilege of understanding a tiny part of it.
It’s easy to think that if God were just as good as we are, then suffering and evil wouldn’t exist. But Randy Alcorn argues, “On the contrary, evil and suffering wouldn’t exist if we were as good as God is.” So instead of asking God to remove all the pain and heartache from the world, we should instead be pleading for Him to grow us to be more and more like Him-good, kind, moral, loving, faithful, just, forgiving until the day when he chooses to come back to obliterate evil completely for his greatest glory.
So until that incredible day of redemption arrives, may you and I seek to be more like the Savior each day. May you and I trust the All Knowing One even when everything around us crumbles apart. May you and I comfort the hurting and forgive the hurters in this world. May you and I bring glory to Jesus Christ through his power!
“The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” (Isaiah 60:19)
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11)
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
“When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Psalm 56:3)
“You will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:12)