If God is loving and powerful, why is there still evil in the world? This is a challenging question to answer, as it is often loaded with the hurts and pains of a difficult past. In addressing the answer, my endeavour is to be sensitive and gentle as I know personal heart issues may surface. I have included many scriptures to reveal God’s heart more than my own interpretation and revelation.
When we look around, it is clear there is evil in the world around us, yet some of us try to deny or ignore the evil in ourselves. We cannot reconcile the issue of evil without exploring how God deals with it. The truth is we all have evil in our own lives. None of us are perfect. We have all sinned and deserve the payment of sin, which is death. If God was to strike out all evil, honestly, we would also be struck out. We are ourselves contributors to the situation of evil in the world.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NLT
So what then, does God not care about evil? Actually, God does judge evil, but only when it reaches its fullness. He is just and true. But in the goodness of His heart, He extends mercy and grace towards each of us.
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9 NLT
He gives us all time and opportunity to repent from the ways of evil in our own hearts. We have all been given free choice to repent and follow God or to continue going our own way.
The fourth generation will return here since the Amorites’ wrongdoing won’t have reached its peak until then. Genesis 15:16 CEB
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT
While we were still sinners, God sent Jesus to die in our place providing a way out of our trouble and the payment of sin. He showed us mercy and forgiveness.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. Romans 5:8-9 NLT
We are now in a position to extend this mercy and grace to others, trusting that God will put things right in the big picture. Instead of focusing on how evil others are, we need to look at the situation of the evil which was in our own lives and consider the forgiveness we have been given.
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7 NLT
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 NLT
Then we are able to extend blessing, mercy, forgiveness and love to others. We do not overcome evil, with evil, rather we appeal to a higher law. We choose to walk in love and do good to others.
Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9 GNB
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13 ESV
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” John 20:23 ESV
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NLT
The second Law is this: ‘You must love your neighbour as yourself.’ No other Law is greater than these. Mark 12:31 NLV
God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing. We have been set free so we can live in freedom. We have not been blessed so that we can judge the evil in others’ lives, no! Instead, we have been blessed so that we can be a blessing to others. Now we enjoy the benefits of freedom. We must trust that God will deal with the revenge of evil. Our job is to concern ourselves with us. We must not let evil conquer our hearts; rather forgiveness and mercy will ensure a future of healing and restoration of our own heart.
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.” Genesis 12:2-3 NKJV
The Messiah has set us free so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Galatians 5:1 ISV
Never pay back evil with more evil. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12:17,19-21 NLT