God: All-Loving. All-Powerful. All-Wise. Absent?
The attempt to defend God’s omnipotence and goodness in the face of the problem of evil in the world.
1. Evil is a natural repercussion of free human choices. Romans 2:3–5 explains how persons who practice evil do so out of the hardness of their hearts. While this approach does explain the evil actions caused by the evil choices of humans in the world, it does not explain every form of evil, such as painful deaths caused by natural events.
2. Evil may be used by God to help shape a believer and sanctify them further (1 Cor 9:24–27; Heb 12:3–13). Human suffering comes as God either directs or permits suffering to teach. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul states that God disciplines those He loves. As persons suffer, God is bringing about discipline and maturity in their lives. They must walk by faith to eventually understand what is happening.
3. Though evil may be carried out and performed, God will one day execute justice and fairness on all evildoers (John 14:1–3 and 2 Cor 4:16–18). The suffering in this world is small against the perspective of eternity. All suffering and wrongs will be righted at the end times when God will judge the world.
The prominence given to lament in the Psalms thus arises from Israelite identity as a covenanted community before God, surrounded by pagan nations and set in a hostile world. Evil threats abound from innumerable “enemies,” “the wicked,” national “foes,” even one’s own negative emotions