We all have seen the reality of evil in this world, from mass shootings to the suffering of innocent lives. It’s difficult to reconcile this reality with the existence of a good and all-powerful God. However, in the face of such darkness, it’s essential for us to remember the goodness of God and His ultimate victory over evil.
Throughout history, philosophers and theologians have struggled with the problem of evil. The dilemma seems to present a contradiction: if God is good and all-powerful, how can evil exist? However, instead of seeing this as a contradiction, we can view it as a paradox that reveals a deeper truth when examined more closely.
The Bible does not directly explain the origins of evil, nor does it place the blame solely on Satan or human will. Instead, it directs us to the character and nature of God, highlighting four essential truths:
- God is good. God’s goodness is the foundation of the entire Bible. His goodness is the standard by which we determine what is truly good (Psalm 34:8; 107:1; 119:68; Luke 18:19).
- God is the source of good. God alone is capable of defining and declaring what is good, as He is the one who sets the standard (Genesis 1:4; Ex. 20; Psalm 16:2; 3 John 11).
- God does well on behalf of His creation. God is always at work, doing good for both those who love Him and those who don’t. He sends the sun and rain on everyone, blesses the faithful, gives good gifts, and uses what was meant for evil for good (Gen. 50:20; Psalms 23:6; 68:10; 73:1; 119:65; 145:9; Lam. 3:25; Matt. 5:45; Luke 6:35; Acts 14:17; Rom. 2:4; 8:28; 11:22; Eph. 2:7; Titus 3:4).
- God gives a good answer to the problem of evil. The gospel is God’s answer to the problem of evil. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, evil has been defeated (1 John 3:8).
As Christians, we live in the tension of this paradox, hoping and praying for God’s ultimate victory over evil. We take deliberate actions to curtail evil in whatever ways we can, pursuing goodness and justice even when it’s unpopular. We lean on God’s character, trusting that He seeks the good of all who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
Our faith in God’s goodness and ultimate victory over evil keeps us from falling into despair. We long for the day when evil will be no more and can confidently proclaim that in Christ, God has defeated evil, continues to defeat evil, and will one day defeat evil forevermore. This gives us the motivation to pursue the good of all, no matter the cost.