The horrific events of 9-11-2001 have no doubt caused many to ask questions like this one. “Where you asleep God, or on vacation or did you just not pay attention?”
Interestingly enough, these questions seem to be asked mostly by people who may not think or care about God when things run smoothly in their lives. Some who ask may not even believe there is a God or that he can be known.
Others may have a notion of what God is like and events like the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 seem to rattle what little trust they may have had in him.
Somehow we feel that God, who is all-powerful has the obligation to protect us from evil. Many may ask: “Can the all-powerful God, let evil happen to our lives and at the same time claim to be the God of Love?”
Here are some answers, that Lee Strobel, an investigative reporter was given by Peter John Kreeft, a first rate philosophical thinker with a PhD. from Fordham University, who has been a philosophy professor at Boston College since 1965.
To say that God is all-powerful means that he can do everything that is meaningful, everything that is possible and everything that makes sense at all. But precisely because God is all-powerful he can’t do some things. He can’t make himself to cease to exist. He can’t make good evil. He can’t make mistakes. In order to have mankind, created in his image to have a free will, God had to allow for the possibility of evil.
Even all-powerful God could not have created a world in which people had genuine freedom without the possibility of evil. To be free means having a choice!
“Then why didn’t God create a world without human freedom?” Such a world would have been a world without hate and suffering but it also would have been a world without love. Real love-our love of God and our love of each other-must involve a choice.
Does that mean then that evil people get away with killing and hurting others? No, people are not getting away with it! God is also a God of Justice! There will be a day of reckoning, when God will hold everyone responsible for the evil they’ve perpetrated. Justice delayed is not justice denied! Criticizing God for not doing it right now is like reading half a novel and criticizing the author for not resolving the plot. God will bring accountability at the right time-in fact; the Bible says one reason why he’s delaying is because some people have yet to find him.
During the time immediately following the terrible terrorist attacks, we saw how people came together. They assembled for prayer, mutual support, encouragement and assessment of what is really important in their lives. What was all-consuming before September 11 suddenly didn’t seem to be so important anymore.
One purpose of suffering in history has been that it leads to repentance! Only after suffering, only after disaster did Old Testament Israel, do nations, do individual people turn back to God. We learn the hard way. C.S. Lewis said: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, but shouts in our pains.”
Although what occurred on that infamous day may have been the worst thing we saw in our life, we can let it become something that will lead us to repentance and positive change.
© 2001 Volkhard Graf, YWAM Native Ministries
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