Recently I was having a conversation with a friend who expressed that he has seen too much bad happen in the world for him to be able to come back to Jesus. Now I am not sure that what he was meaning to say was that he can’t come back to the idea of Jesus or the existence of God, or that he doesn’t want a relationship with Jesus anymore. Either way it was hard for me to keep quiet about my thoughts on the issue, but I could tell by his body language that he wasn’t open for a deep discussion on the subject.
Naturally I chose to write about it, because that’s what I do.
When we witness or experience bad things happening in our world, or in our lives, we tend to get angry with God, or become unbelieving. “Why would he cause this to happen?” “Why would he allow this to happen?” Or even, “If there really was a God he wouldn’t let all of this happen.”
Maybe you have decided that there is no higher power. If you have come to a place of unbelief, I would ask that you consider this: If there is evidence of evil forces in our world then why wouldn’t there be good at work also? Wouldn’t all of us have a spirit of evil if only evil is at work? Maybe you think that there are neither good nor evil forces, just good and bad people, but have you ever heard about or witnessed something horrible that made you think “How could anyone ever do that?” “I don’t understand how someone could do that to another human being, or to a child?” It is my belief that people who commit horrendous acts do not make the decision to do those things by themselves. I belief that they have been tempted and coerced by evil forces, sometimes by possession but not always.
Maybe witnessing all of the bad in the world has caused you to lose faith in God. Sometimes in the midst of pain, suffering, and fear we forget that bad is the result of evil forces manipulating our free will. We also tend to fix our eyes on the bad and fail to see that God is working. When God is working it is not always in the way that we want it to happen, but we as a human race have proven that we don’t always know what the best way is.
I would also like you to consider how every person’s free will plays a role in the bad in our world. Every single day we are faced with opportunities to make good or bad decisions; most of the time these are small, seemingly inconsequential decisions, and sometimes they are big decisions. Most of us like to think that the decisions we make don’t have an affect on others, but we are wrong. Every single decision that you make has a ripple effect, and it is either a good or bad ripple effect.
Chances are that you have never trafficked another human being for sex, but have you view pornography? Even just once? Did you know that the viewing of pornography directly fuels sex trafficking, including the trafficking of children? (Don’t believe me? Get more info at www.fightthenewdrug.org)
Would you ever kill a good person causing this person’s children so much pain at the loss of their parent that they turn to drugs or even suicide? No? Well have you ever driven drunk, or buzzed, or high?
Obviously there are a lot of different scenarios that we could play out. Maybe you think I am being a little extreme and your bad choices don’t affect people like the ones I have written about, but every decision has a lasting ripple effect.
God does not cause nor does he want bad things to happen to us or others. He has given us free will in order to choose whether or not to have a relationship with him, but this free will also creates opportunities to make bad decisions. Whether or not we realize it God is working, and so is evil. So instead of getting angry at God when bad things happen, let’s get angry at the evil forces who are constantly working to use our free will against us.