Why is there evil and suffering?

This is a brief adaptation of a sermon preached by Timothy Keller.

The question is, “If God is so good, why is there evil and suffering in this world?” This is a big and difficult question, especially if you or someone you love is presently (or recently) having experienced loss or suffering. Know that Jesus wept when he lost his friend Lazarus to death. He knows pain and loss. He understands.

There are actually two problems to be dealt with here.

First, If God is so powerful, why doesn’t he stop evil and suffering. And second, If God really loves us, why doesn’t he stop evil and suffering?

“We look to the cross for answers to both questions”

Timothy Keller

Why doesn’t God stop evil and suffering? Our experience with this question is like looking at one still frame of a movie or video and sizing up the entire story. The entirety of our lives are like that still picture in the totality of time. It’s true, we do deal with evil and suffering now. But it doesn’t end here. Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. He rose again, conquered death, demonstrating his absolute authority over evil and suffering. He will ultimately end evil and suffering, in his own perfect timing.

And if God really loves us, why doesn’t he stop evil and suffering? God loves us so much he came to be with us – vulnerable, taking risks and ultimately going to the cross to pay our price for sin so that we could join him in eternity. It was the ultimate sacrifice. The giving up of what is most dear to you, God’s own Son, allowing him to suffer and experience death for you and me. I can’t think of anything greater as a demonstration of love.

We do deal with evil and suffering now. Know that we have a God that loves us and a Savior that was willing to give his life for us so that we can experience peace, freedom and joy for eternity with him.