God has a plan for everyone. The Bible is quite clear about this: God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all good. So, even when things that happen on Earth seem horrible, it’s part of God’s plan. This can be hard to reconcile with our understanding of God.
Why can children get cancer and die at a young age if God is good? Why can human rights atrocities take place in the world when God is all-powerful? If God is all-knowing, why does He seemingly turn a blind eye to the evil in the world?
In The Problem of Pain, Christian scholar C.S. Lewis describes part of this problem that some theologians have reconciling the nature of an all-powerful God who allows suffering to take place. In Lewis’s view, the world we inhabit is bounded by natural laws that were set in place when God created it, laws we understand on this side as physics and science.
To look at it one way, these are the rules of the game. Just like in a game of chess, the rules are already set in stone before we begin to play. When you’re playing a game of chess, it’s possible that your opponent would let you take back a mistake you made, essentially nullifying the rules for a moment before allowing them to reassert themselves for the following move.
This is, essentially, the way God might view events as they unfold on Earth. While in some cases, the Bible tells us, God allows miracles to occur, in others, He does not make his power immediately known. If your opponent in chess allowed you to take back every move, you’d hardly be engaged in a game at all, but instead a training exercise. Likewise, if God used His power to prevent all bad things from happening, what would be the point of the time we spend on Earth?
Life is defined by its peaks and valleys. For every triumph, there is a crushing defeat. Without our losses, our wins would be meaningless. With no cold, dark nights, the warm sunshine wouldn’t feel so wonderful.
In Jeremiah 29, God tells us: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
That future might not be here on Earth, after all. Remember: for those who walk with Jesus, your immortal soul will live forever with God in the Kingdom of Heaven. Trust God’s plan, and lean on the Holy Spirit when things seem tough. You’ll find the strength to carry on in God.