When confronted with the volley of possible ways to reconcile the simple question, “Why do bad things happen?” it becomes difficult to sort through the mess of logical explanations, views, and theological considerations and arrive with certainty at the truth that answers the seemingly simple question. Regardless of the difficulty in understanding why war, why torture, why pain and death. Why do some live happy lives and others die slowly in anguish? It is easy to empathize with the pain because we all, even when we have lived a great life, have felt pain of one form or another. We all suffer together. The whole world suffers together. The point I’m making is not that the world is a messed up place. That is obvious. The point I am making is this, the explanation is actually simple even though it often gets muddled together and weighted down with debate and confusion and misunderstandings.
The simple answer is this. There is good and there is evil. God is good, Satan is evil. We have two options: choose good—choose God or choose evil—choose Satan. We are then born not into a life of peace, but we are born in the middle of a war, and we are enlisted by our own birth certificate into the war. We must simply say what side of the war we wish to fight on. Fight for God or against him. Obviously there will be suffering in a war. That is most all of what a war is about. The reason there is suffering is because God’s plans for perfection, of love, have been thwarted by a sadistic and perverse evil being Satan.
The good news is that this is a war. Wars end. Wars are won eventually. Where suffering and pain filled the air in piercing screams, fell to the earth in tears and blood, and flooded the air with the stench of death, there are now green fields and trees and flowers and it is beautiful. There is no way to say though that somehow the way things are justified the past. I’m not saying tragedy is ever a blessing or gives rise to anything pleasant without also mangling it. Good does not come from evil or pain or suffering, it merely is strong enough to exist in spite of it. The reason why us being in war is a positive thing is because it means that we can do something. We can fight. We can defeat evil. If we are part of the war than we can either fight or coward down and wait for the enemy to come. The war will end. There will be a day when the sound of war ends and the triumphant and joyful shouts of victory will rise to heaven. Death will at last me killed itself and so also its afflicting power over us.
So, yes we are in a world in war. But the war is going our way, even when it’s night and too dark to see what is happening. Even when a wave of attacks strike us or outflank us for a few moments. The war will end, but that is no excuse to hide from it. Take root and stand fast. Don’t faint or grow tired. Fight until the death. Let’s not give any more ground to evil. If you are on God’s side, stand for Him like He stands for you. Pray, put on the whole armor of God, and fight, fight, fight!