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Doesn't evil and suffering prove that God doesn't care?

Q: "I was wondering how you can believe in God when there is so many things that are going wrong in the world and it is obvious that he doesn't care?"

our A: Things going wrong in the world in no way prove that God doesn't care. We live in a world where people have, for the most part, rejected God...

  • "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way." (Isaiah 53:6)

  • "There is no one who does good, not even one." (Psalms 53:3)

  • "There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins." (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

Therefore, how can we hold God responsible if our world fails in many respects? (For more on this idea, see the article Why Is Life So Hard?)

Maybe the wrongs things in the world are not pleasing to God at all. Maybe He doesn't like the way the world is (maybe He dislikes it much more than we do), but has, in a sense, allowed others to run it for a time. Jesus told His disciples to pray for God's will to be done on the earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). The obvious implication then is that God's moral will is not always done here on earth, even if His permissive will is.

In the end it is a matter of God's character. Is God a God of love and compassion? According to the Bible, He is...

  • "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him." (Psalms 103:13)

  • "The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." (Psalms 145:9)

  • "The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made." (Psalms 145:17)

The Bible says that God is love (1John 4:8,16). It could be that part of His loving nature is that He allows people to have free will. God did not create us as robots. As a result, we have evil, pain and suffering, due to the choices we and others make.

Even if God has allowed evil to exist for a time, He promises to eradicate it fully in the future (Revelation 21:3-5). And in His love, God has provided a way for each of us to be forgiven of the evils we've done and the pain we've caused others...

  • "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

  • "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

  • "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1John 4:9-10)

God alone is truly good (Luke 18:19). If anything, the problems in the world speak negatively of our character, not God's. For more discussion of this huge question, see the section called Life's Questions on this site. To see how God offers to help us through difficult times, see Peace of Mind in an Unstable World.

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