Because God so loved the world. . .
Even as we study James chapter 1, we remember that He loves us. John 3:16 may offer the best summary of the Gospel- or Good News about Jesus. I feel that John 10:10 offers the best explanation of “Why does evil happen?"
"The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. But I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
Abundant Life. That’s His offer to us. The enemy also places offers on the table, everyday. Many times a day. These are called temptation. Some are set up within us on an automatic reset cycle. They are self maintaining and sin inducing. Our own lusts. Our selfish desires. It doesn’t always feel like a major demonic battle. It is just us and our plan, playing out over and over. A repetition of despair, defeat, and distrust in God.
I often hear people who love God saying that sometimes God does evil to teach us something or for some greater good. This is breaking my heart. It’s a pseudo-spiritual idea. It sounds so noble to be resolved that the end will justify the means. That God is allowed some ruler breakers. After all, He is God. (I have thought this.)
When I study James 1:13, I read the following: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
James does not support the “sometimes God does evil or tempts us to do evil" theology. Most people like explanations and tidy morals at the end of our fables. At the end of tragedy. At the end of our drought. We long to put God into the picture of our lives. (I have done this.)
So, what’s the harm in saying that God causes sicknesses sometimes or tempts us to sin to give us a maturity test? How can I be so confident that He does not break character to teach lessons?
I see the answer in James 1:14-15. "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death."
OK, there is encouragement for us in this passage. Hang in there. But James warns us first.
Do you think he is reminding us to not fade God over into the “evil” category. He reminds us that God is always good.
Let’s close with verses 16 and 17. Read them several times and then think of the Father of Light when you flip light switches today. He is Light. He is good. "Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."
I hope you get to hang out with Him today and hear from Him. I long to see His heart during my crisis! Where is He? What is His plan of escape? Let's lean in and hear where He leads.