For many, the college years are when reality really hits. Serious illnesses become more real, friends get divorced, families fall apart, houses get robbed, buses crash, money gets tight and good people miss out on opportunities they deserve because of circumstances that are out of their control. More and more students will experience people they know dying. And, after about four years, they will part ways with many friends for the last time as they move to various corners of the world.
The shocker is, each students’ life is going to be filled with a lot more of these life-shaking experiences. There is an option, however, for students to decide that the difficult things he or she encounters in life will not be made into a tragedy. The alternative is to be devastated and debilitated by each grievous event.
Many have done the latter, and their lives are still in shambles from past events, whether that be something like a breakup, being passed over for a position they really wanted or losing someone close to them. Not only are the outcomes of those events still tearing them apart, but those outcomes affect their loved ones as well, since they must watch them continue to suffer defeat. But those who do the opposite, who continue to find their joy in God, bless those around them and all others who might have been affected by the incident.
Maybe the real pain comes as a result of not being able to see the complete plan and how one painful event fits into it. People can give that one event the power to destroy them or change their life constructively.
So, how do people cope with evil in the world?
The default response seems to be to assume that God must be unable to control everything, but that leaves very little room for faith in Him. Who would want to only be able to trust Him to intercede in the situations He can supposedly ‘handle’? God is all powerful, and He does have total control. However, He has granted humankind the ability to choose. Therefore, the better question is: Why do people let bad things happen?
Perhaps asking this question could change the way people react to or receive evil events. People ask why God lets people starve, but why do they themselves let people starve? People ask why God let a tragic event mess up their plans for a happy and perfect life, but why do they let attacks from Satan shake them and their faith so successfully?
It may remain hard to justify the evil that happens in people’s lives, but one thing that can change is the way it is received. If people chase to view themselves as victims, attacks by the Devil will continue to wreak havoc on the world.
Those Christians that have refused to let their faith and optimism waver despite the pain and torture they have experienced have shown us all that there exists a genuine hope that, in times of trouble, continues to radiate light in the absolute darkest of places.