The question of evil is possibly one of the most common barriers to people coming into a relationship with God.
Questions like; “How can God let that happen?”, “How can a good God allow evil?” or, “If God cared, wouldn’t He stop evil from happening?”
I used to try and defend God. However, the more I got to know God, the more I realised He doesn’t need me to defend Him.
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God doesn’t need you to defend Him either. All God asks is that you be a living advocate to His truth. I like to take a practical approach when it comes to sharing my faith. When someone asks a question or makes a comment, before answering I take time to find out why they asked it.
3 Things to Consider Before Forming Your Answer
So, before answering the “How can a good God allow evil?” questions, take some time to ask some questions of your own. Here are 3 tips:
1. Take time to understand
Why do they feel this way? You can be much better equipped to give an answer or have a conversation if you can understand where the person is coming from. For example (put yourself in the situation): if you genuinely felt God was responsible for killing your mother, and that He was happy about doing that, would you want to follow a God like that? I know I wouldn’t.
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2. Establish where the pain-point is
What has happened? This means digging a little deeper to find out more of the story. What is the greater context? Has there been a recent death in the family? Did something bad happen?
3. Talk about what their solution is
Rather than you coming up with the answers, help them come up with a possible solution. Through conversation, ask them if they have considered how the problem of evil could be answered. Often when people start talking through issues, they begin to unravel their thoughts and find an answer themselves.
“Don’t feel as if you need to have all the answers…you can only answer as far as the truth that you know.”
Once you’ve asked a few questions, you can then filter what you’ve heard, and draw on God’s truth for a response. Don’t feel as if you need to have all the answers, and take care not to give responses that you don’t know for yourself. You can only answer as far as the truth that you know. It’s okay if you’re still having questions about God’s goodness, but be careful not to reflect your doubts onto the person or the situation.
When providing any answers, ensure you keep calm, happy and kind. Be sensitive to each situation and listen to the Holy Spirit.
God’s love is never forced; if it was, it wouldn’t be love, it would be control. That means we all have choice. When you make a decision to follow God, He promises to guide and lead you — He wants you to succeed and do well, and He has great plans for every person. If people don’t want to follow God’s plans, He gives us choice, and lets us walk away from those plans; those decisions can, and do, affect others. It’s important you get to know God well, and get to know His nature and character so that instead of blaming God, you run to Him for answers. Be real – if it’s something you struggle with too, this is a great time to discover truth together.
Here are a few points to help you line up with God’s truth:
1. God is good. “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. ” 1 John 1:5
2. Bad things will happen. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Romans 5:3–6
3. God has a solution. “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Sometimes it can be easy to want to run from questions or situations that you don’t understand. Let me encourage you not to run, but to use this as an opportunity to get to know God better, and help some people along the way.
Article supplied with thanks to The Journey by yesHEis. About the Author: Morag Paton is a writer for yesHEis and lives her life with Jesus leading. yesHEis provides various resources to help share your faith in relatable ways.