[This article was taken from our book Don’t Blame God! A Biblical Answer to the Problem of Evil, Sin, and Suffering.]
In regard to putting evil, sin and suffering in proper perspective, it is crucial to understand that God cannot do anything contrary to His own nature.
Why not say — as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say — “Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is deserved.
For God, the righteous end He will bring to pass cannot justify any unrighteous means. He will never do evil so that good may come. So the next time you hear a Christian who has been afflicted by some sickness or tragedy tell how this was God’s way of testing him, reproving him or helping him grow in faith, you can tell him the truth that it was not God who afflicted him, and that God is still with him to help him. Who knows? That might be the catalyst for his faith to grow to the point where he receives supernatural deliverance.
You could even share with the person what God Himself says about whether or not He tests people with tragedy:
James 1:13 and 17
(13) When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
(17) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
It could be asked why God did not just squash Adam right after he sinned. Another good question. The answer is multi-faceted. At its root is the truth that God can only act in ways consistent with His nature, which is love. Also, He had committed Himself to the plan of mankind living here upon the earth. Had He destroyed Adam, this plan would have come to nought. Within Adam was the Christ-plan God had held in reserve to restore mankind.
We believe that E.G. White’s previously expressed logic (see Chapter Two) as to why God did not destroy the Devil right after he originally sinned is pertinent to Adam and his descendants also. In His love and justice, God allows each person to decide for himself whether or not to obey Him, and whether to receive the benefits of obedience or suffer the consequences of disobedience. By clearly showing mankind the stark contrast between the results of godliness and the results of sinfulness, and by allowing sin’s consequences to be fully manifested over the course of human history, God will have finally demonstrated to all men His goodness, love, righteousness and the wisdom of total obedience to Him.
By the way, it is available for people (like you) to recognize God’s goodness in their lifetimes and join His family by being “born again” as millions have done. One’s first birth did not guarantee him everlasting life. One’s new birth as a son of God does just that.
To be born into the family of God, one must confess Jesus Christ as his Lord, and believe that God raised him from the dead (Rom. 10:9,10). The more one understands who Jesus Christ is, what he accomplished for God during his life on earth and what he is doing now as the exalted Lord, the more appealing it is to trust in him and walk with him.