“Let’s Get This Over With!”
C. S. Lewis noted that God must be terribly offended at our behavior. He writes, “We actually are, at present, creatures whose character must be, in some respects, a horror to God. This I believe to be a fact: and I notice that the holier a man is, the more fully he is aware of this fact.” Why does an all-good and all-powerful God not just destroy evil and remove it from the world?
Just because God has not yet defeated evil, this does not mean that evil will not be defeated or destroyed by God in the future. “Since we have not yet finished with history, it is possible that all evil in history will one day cease.” In fact, the only way to refute the potential for God to one day destroy evil would be to see all of time, which only an infinite being could do.
Because God has not yet removed evil, we live in an evil world that results in pain and suffering. The analogy of a symphony orchestra works well to illustrate this point: If we were to imagine that the entire universe is a philharmonic orchestra in concert, we might designate certain objects as instruments. A series of events or an era in history might then represent a particular movement within the overall concert.
“The death of an innocent man during this era might be represented by a dissonant chord and the Second World War by several measures of the score. If the symphony had been playing for thousands of years and someone listened to only a few minutes of the very dissonant section, he would not be fair in pronouncing the whole symphony “horrible” or the dissonant part “unjustified.” In the same way, it may be that there are some examples of suffering that do not seem justified from our vantage point, but these may nevertheless be ultimately justified.”
2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.