Others, anxious to defend God’s love and mercy, imply that He is an all-powerful God who has merely set the universe in motion. He does not interfere in the affairs of mankind. He has a kingdom, but his authority doesn’t extend beyond the throne room. He has set up the universe, established its operating rules, and now he sits back and watches how things develop.
Many assume bad things happen to seemingly good people because God does not meddle in day-to-day human life. These people would say that it is our responsibility to intervene, stop, and punish evil in this world. This removes any notion of God being “with us”, and creates a God who merely watches us from a distance.
Neither explanation–“it’s the victim’s fault” or “God is a hands-off deity”– adequately answers the question of why evil happens. Nor do they provide hope for a survivor of horror. It does not work to blame the victim, or to make God an impotent, distant sovereign. The reality is that it is a complex question that incorporates an understanding of sin, authority and the kingdom of God.
If we are to effectively minister in a fallen world, we have to give an answer to those who are asking us, “Why?” No answer will ever be complete. My attempts at providing some direction in the discussion are no doubt lacking in some areas. Nevertheless, we must attempt an answer to this difficult question if we are to understand how to minister to wounded people in a sinful, wounded world.