A reporter at news station WFMZ-69 asked a tough question to three faith leaders: “Where was God when 59 people were murdered, and 527 others were injured?”
Truth told I’ve asked myself the same question. Perhaps you have, too.
At times like this, I find myself questioning God’s goodness:
- If God is good, then why does He allow evil?
- If God knows the future, then why didn’t He stop the Las Vegas massacre? (And the shooting at a Tennessee church the previous Sunday. For that matter, all tragedies in the world.)
During the darkest days of our life, it’s natural to ask such questions, but God is not obligated to give the answers we seek. Just read the book of Job.
While many of my questions will go unanswered, this I know for sure: When God feels far away, He is surprisingly near (Acts 17:27). When He seems apathetic or absent, he is engaged and attentive (Psalm 139:2). When we cannot understand why God permits evil, we can find Him amid the turmoil in at least three places.
Where is God amid evil?
God is close to the brokenhearted. He is especially close to those who are “crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). When Jesus lived on earth, He wept when his friend Lazarus died (John 11:35). God knows death is painful. That’s why death is called “the last enemy,” and Jesus will eventually destroy it (1Corinthians 15:26). Until then, the psalmist says, God collects our tears “in a bottle” (Psalm 56:8). God also promises His children in Revelation 21:4 that: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.”
God is enthroned in Heaven and is preparing to destroy evil. There is coming a day when God will no longer allow evil but will execute judgment (Revelation 6-18). One reason we feel such anguish about any tragedy is that we instinctively know life should not be like this. That instinct comes from God, and it makes us long for Him to make things right. Rest assured, He will (Luke 18:6-8). But in the meantime, the Bible predicts people will grow more heartless and brutal in the days to come (2 Timothy 3:3).
God is knocking on the door of your heart and mine. God wants a relationship with us, and Jesus says in Revelation 3:20 that He stands at the door and knocks. However, Jesus can only enter our lives, if we invite Him in. The Bible says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
I don’t know why God allowed the tragedy in Las Vegas to unfold.
I only know Las Vegas reminds us none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.
But, lest we despair, there is hope:
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25).
I find peace knowing God loves us even when we don’t understand His ways.
I’m grateful eternal life in Christ is available to everyone today.
And, I’m thankful God welcomes all of us who ask tough questions.
About the Author:
Laura is a blogger and Bible study leader who leverages her experience as a former television news reporter, radio show host, and magazine editor to connect the relevance of Scripture to modern issues. She writes regularly about news, culture, and faith on her website.