The Problem Of Evil And The Question Of Why

1208 words - 5 pages

The problem of evil is an issue that has been around since Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden and is still something millions of people have struggled to find an answer to this very day. From the time I was old enough to understand the mystery, I constantly questioned why God would allow people to suffer. I thought if God is truly omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, then how can suffering exist, or at least to good people. Peter Kreeft, in his book Making Sense Out of Suffering puts it this way, “Therefore either he doesn’t care, and then he is not all good; or he doesn’t know, and then he is not all wise; or he isn’t able to, and then he is not all powerful” (Kreeft, p. 8). This argument is the biggest argument for atheism and the same argument that was presented to me during a conversation I recently had.
A few months ago, I found out that one of my best friends (whom I grew up in youth group with) had recently renounced his belief in God. The news was difficult to handle and I started to work up the courage to talk with him about what he now believes and why. Over this past spring break, I had the opportunity to drive to Florida with him and in the car, I really felt God lay it on my heart to start the conversation. My friend had many questions surrounding his disbelief, and amongst them was the question of suffering. We had been talking for about an hour when he brought up his biggest reason for his skepticism in God. He told me, “I want to believe, but I just cannot believe in a God that allows innocent people to suffer. Is He just sitting on his thrown in Heaven deciding who gets cancer and who does not? Why would I want to trust a God like that?” I sat there in silence for a couple minutes because I wanted to be able to give a strong answer. However, I did not know how to respond and I froze. I told him I would explore the topic more and have another conversation with him after I did.
Therefore, this question could not have come at a better time. In order to begin to understand suffering, one must first humble his/herself, which brings one closer to God (holy lowliness). Saint Augustine writes in his book, The City of God, “The humble city is the society of holy men and good angels, the proud city is the society of wicked men and evil angels. The one city began with the love of God; the other had its beginnings in the love of self” (Augustine, p. 310). During this topic, the first act of humility to understand suffering that stuck out to me was the chapter of Job. In the course of one day, Job loses everything: his entire family died, along with his livestock and servants, but Job had done nothing wrong! Job begins to resent God and becomes very angry, starting to question why God would do something to such a holy man as he. Job cries out to God in chapter 31:1-5 and asks Him why these things were happening, ““I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. For what is our lot from God above, our...

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