September 8, 2013
READ: Job 1:1-2:10
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship (1:20).
The problem of evil is the No. 1 reason people give for not believing in God. They assume that a good God would not allow for evil to exist, and an omnipotent God would be able to keep it out, so the existence of evil means God is either not all good or not all powerful. And so they conclude that there is no God.
Christians can’t solve the problem of evil—no one can. But we have more to say about it than anyone else. Firstly, theism trumps atheism. Consider the horror of believing that evil exists but God doesn’t. If the world were simply a series of random events, what would keep us from being struck by the ricocheting pinball of death? But we live as if there is a God who governs our world. Every time we leave our homes, we’re assuming that it’s safe enough to venture out.
This belief in God inspired Job to challenge Him, “Tell me the charge You are bringing against me. What do you gain by oppressing me?” (Job 10:2-3). Imagine Job’s plight if he didn’t believe in God. Where would he go with his complaint?
Secondly, Christianity trumps every other theism. Christians have a transcendent God who makes our lives secure, and we also have a God who suffered and understands what we’re going through. Jesus “understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do” (Hebrews 4:15). And “since He Himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested” (2:18).
We don’t know why God allows evil, but we know that He too has faced it. No one has suffered more from evil than Jesus. So when you pour out your pain in prayer, you cry out to One who understands. —Mike Wittmer
› Luke 21:25-38
Read Isaiah 53:1-12 to remember the evil that Jesus endured for you and for me.
What event has shaken your faith in God? How do the death and resurrection of Jesus encourage you to hold on?