Questions like these become very difficult, especially when they can become so personal. How does one comfort a grieving mother with the words “God is in control” when she has just lost a young daughter in a car crash? You can’t.
We can only offer words based on the faith and hope that all will be resolved and understood when we get to heaven.
We must remember first that we are all sinful people who live in a sinful world. So much pain and suffering is a result of our sinful behavior. Political strife often causes famine. Economics create unsafe living conditions and even faulty equipment. Idealism spawns fanaticism and acts of evil terror. Alcohol or drug abuse can cause fatal accidents. A tumultuous world brings pain and suffering into our lives.
The Bible also indicates that our world contains a spiritual realm made up of angels and demons. These evil spiritual forces are in a state of war against God and everything good. Our earth is the battlefield. This “problem of evil” has a direct influence on everything. All people, including Christians, are potential victims. Like Job in the Old Testament, we become innocent casualties of a spiritual war by getting caught in a cross-fire of good and evil. We don’t know exactly how these forces work. We do know, however, that God preserves and protects us according to his will, because God is stronger than evil. He has already conquered evil and the victory is ours who call upon his name.
God, who is in control of the universe, works out all things (even evil) for their own good. We are not called upon to understand the wisdom of God, but simply accept circumstances in our lives like a small child and simply place our trust in our Heavenly Father.
** This question and answer was inspired from the book, “Letters from a Skeptic” by Dr. Gregory A Boyd and Edward K. Boyd, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1994.