Summary: God is so great that nothing happens without His permission, and in that permission His ultimate plan unfolds. In His plan He is able to use for good what man intends for evil. God is in control
Illustration:As C.S. Lewis wrote, "The greatest evil is not done in those sordid ’dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint...it is conceived and...moved, seconded, carried, and minuted...in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices."
Charles Colson, Against the Night, p. 46.
Quote: Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?
Obviously evil and suffering are a result of free sinful choices of human beings. God gives us a free will and allows us to choose between good and evil.
Why is there evil and suffering in the world?
Joseph said to his brothers, "You meant it for evil but God turned it for good for the saving of many lives." (Gen. 50;20)
God is sovereign and capable of working all things together for good for those who love Him and fit into His plans. (Rom. 8:28,29)
God is in the business of turning all evil and suffering for His greater good, glory and purposes that are beyond human understanding.
Deut. 29:29 says, "The secret or mysterious things belong to the Lord our God, but His commandments are to us and our children that we obey all the words of His promises."
There are many things that the finite mind of humans will never be able to understand until they get in to heaven. God is omniscient and we are not. We must trust Him with the elements of life that are too complex for us to understand.
Isa 55:8,9 says, "For my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts."
The question implies that if a good God exists, then evil shouldn’t because God being all powerful should stop it.
We need to ask and answer two questions.
1. First, what is evil? It is that which is against God. It is anything morally bad or wrong. It is injurious, depraved, wicked. Some acceptable examples might be murder, rape, stealing, lying, and cheating. Second, if we want God to stop evil do we want Him to stop all evil or just some of it? In other words, if just some of it then why? If He were to stop only part of the evil, then we would still be asking the question, "Why is there evil in the world?".
A. Let’s suppose that someone was about to commit murder. God would have to stop him, maybe whisper in his ear, or if that didn’t work do something a little more drastic like have something fall on him, or stop his heart, or make his hands suddenly fall off. Anyway, God would have to do something.
B. What if somebody wanted to steal? God would have to stop him too, right? Undoubtedly, God’s imagination would permit a more practical method than I have suggested, but the end results would be the same.
C. What about lying? If someone were to tell a lie, then to be consistent wouldn’t you want God right there to stop that person from lying? After all, He couldn’t let any evil occur could He?