Divine Timing And The Problem Of Evil, Pain, And Suffering

It is written:

“This is the message that was given to Habakkuk the prophet. 2  LORD, I continue to ask for help. When will you listen to me? I cried to you about the violence, but you did nothing! 3  People are stealing things and hurting others. They are arguing and fighting. Why do you make me look at these terrible things? 4  The law is weak and not fair to people. Evil people win their fights against good people. So the law is no longer fair, and justice does not win anymore.” (Habakkuk 1:1-4).

Through the years, people have wondered how God can exist and there still be evil and suffering in the world. To borrow from Epicurus:

If there is an all-good God, He would have the desire to defeat evil.

If there is an all-powerful God, He would have the power to defeat evil.

Yet evil exists.

Therefore, there cannot be an all-good and/or an all-powerful God.

However, the argument does not take into account the fact of Divine timing. As Geisler and Brooks have written:

“The argument against God from evil makes some arrogant assumptions. Just because evil is not destroyed right now does not mean that it never will be. The argument implies that if God hasn’t done anything as of today, then it won’t ever happen. But this assumes that the person making the argument has some inside information about the future. If we restate the argument to correct this oversight in temporal perspective, it turns out to be an argument that vindicates God. 1. If God is all-good, He will defeat evil. 2. If God is all-powerful, He can defeat evil. “3. Evil is not yet defeated. 4. Therefore, God can and will one day defeat evil. The very argument used against the existence of God turns out to be a vindication of God in the face of the problem of evil. …God isn’t finished yet. The final chapter has not been written. Apparently God would rather wrestle with our rebellious wills than to reign supreme over rocks and trees. Those who want a quicker resolution to the conflict will have to wait.” (Norman L. Geisler & Ronald M. Brooks, When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook On Christian Evidences, 64-65 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)

God is still working in this world, as He makes known to the Prophet Habakkuk. For Habakkuk learned from God that He was working in the world, even though Habakkuk did not see it, and in a time-frame that the Prophet did not comprehend. So finally, Habakkuk declared:

“My whole body shook when I heard the story. My lips trembled. I felt weak deep down in my bones and stood there shaking. But I will wait patiently for destruction to come to those who attack us. 17  Figs might not grow on the fig trees, and grapes might not grow on the vines. Olives might not grow on the olive trees, and food might not grow in the fields. There might not be any sheep in the pens or cattle in the barns. 18  But I will still be glad in the LORD and rejoice in God my savior. 19  The Lord GOD gives me my strength. He helps me run fast like a deer. He leads me safely on the mountains. To the music director. On my stringed instruments.” (Habakkuk 3:16-19)

Do not lose heart! God will exalt His people in due time (1 Peter 5:6-7). His eyes are in every place, beholding the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3). He still delights in lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the Earth (Jeremiah 9:24). Even if we don’t see everything made right “now,” it doesn’t mean that it won’t be! As the Book of Revelation teaches us time after time, we as God’s people are going to be the VICTORS (Revelation 21-22). Our ultimate hope as Christians is not in this world, but in the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). He will work things together for good for His people (Romans 8:28).

Don’t be anxious; know that HE IS GOD (Psalm 46:10). Hope in Him to work, and trust in His timing. After all, Christ came “in the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4) to die for our sins on the Cross of Calvary, be buried, and rise from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

If you aren’t a Christian, why not turn to Him today? Repent of your sins and be baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38). If you are a Christian who has left the Lord, won’t you please repent of the sin in your life and return to Him (1 John 1:9)?

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