The intellectual dilemma of evil revolves around the challenge of making sense that evil permeates every aspect of our world while simultaneously acknowledging the goodness and might of the God who created it. Epicurus posed the problem three hundred years before Christ as follows: either God tries to prevent evil but appears helpless to do so (in which case he is weak and ineffective), or he can do it but does not like to (in which case he is not awesome); or he neither wants nor is able (in which case he will be neither beneficial nor omnipresent), or he wants and is able (in which case there is no rationale for why evil exists).
Listing all the environmental and ethical disasters humans have brought would require too much room. We all have the propensity to forget unpleasant experiences, but this might help us appreciate the terrible problem. However, whether we like it or not, evil is all around us. Evil is a fact of life that touches every stage of a person’s existence, from prenatal development to death. In the end, death is the ultimate and most dreadful enemy man faces, and life might be likened to a miserable valley through which he must go.
“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” Dan. 4:35
God is directing events. Everything that happens, good or bad, is God’s will. Guess right now; your brows will wrinkle, and you will hear your heartbeat accelerate; I think it’s important for us to distinguish between what theologians call “the two wills of God” right now. The nature of God involves a tension between opposites. We call these two aspects of his character’s will the “will of edict” and the “will of desire,” respectively. Why would God allow you to go through this? Does God like seeing you suffer? No. Was it God’s plan for his Son to die on the cross? Yes. God’s ultimate aim or goal is that no one ever sins or suffers evil. But God uses sin in a fallen world to achieve his goals. If God didn’t use sin and evil, there would be nothing for him to deal with in this world. In the end, achieving his lofty purpose will lead to a world without sin or pain (heaven). But he adapts to it and, to a certain extent, wills it for the time being. If God is to blame for evil, Open Theism has a problem. However, this view denies that God may turn evil into good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28
- God is Perfect in Every Way (omnibenevolent).
- To elaborate on the first assumption, God is infinitely powerful (omnipotent).
There are legitimate reasons why God permits suffering and evil to exist. There is always a greater good behind what he does, even if we may never know exactly why he uses evil and suffering.
The so-called “logical issue of evil” doesn’t exist. However, suppose by the difficulty you mean something that can’t be overcome either logically or biblically. In that case, God can certainly use evil for good, and there’s no reason to think otherwise. Every day, this happens to us. Anyone undergoing brain surgery knows the agony of having their skin sliced and their skull dissected. Nonetheless, we can all agree that eliminating cancer is preferable. We have no grounds to doubt that God can turn even the harshest suffering into something good.
That’s a fact that’s plainly stated in the Bible. Several passages in the Bible attest to the truth of Romans 8:28, which states that God causes all things (including evil) to work together for good. The God-fearing Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers in the book of Genesis, is only one example. Even though he had been unfairly imprisoned for a long time, he was finally released and elevated to the rank of second only to Pharaoh. During this time of global crisis, he was the reason why the vast majority of people, including his father and siblings, made it through the seven-year famine. And God intended for him to suffer to achieve something good. Take note of what he told his sobbing brothers:
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Gen. 50:20
Since God created it for good, we may tackle the problem of evil without sacrificing truthfulness. The Christian option is the clear winner when we weigh all our available options. There is a place; brainpower and opinions are other factors. Nonetheless, there is the assurance of triumph. Romans 8:37: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”