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God is not the author of evil

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: It sickens me to see what is happening in our country. After 9/11, I thought that surely America would come together. Years later we are watching our country torn to pieces, not from the outside, but from within. I cannot find comfort, only fear; hopelessness instead of a bright future ahead. What is the answer to stopping the evil that boils within our borders? — N.F

Dear N.E.: The Bible says that God is the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles. No matter how hard we try, words cannot express the horror, the shock, and the revulsion we all feel over what took place in this nation in 2001, and there is no doubt that the world changed drastically.
But we need always to confess our personal and national sins to God and acknowledge our need of Him. We’ve always needed God from the very beginning. We need the help of the Spirit of God. The Bible’s words are our hope: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
In times of turmoil there are always lessons to learn, but one thing is clear: God is not the author of evil. The Bible speaks of evil as a mystery (2 Thessalonians 2:7). The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah said that the heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).
When we come through fiery trials we are left with a choice: whether to implode and disintegrate emotionally and spiritually, or whether we choose to become stronger through all of the struggle and rebuild on that foundation. That foundation is our trust in God.
Life-altering events remind us of the brevity and the uncertainty of life. We never know when we, too, will be called into eternity. This is why each of us needs to face our own spiritual need and commit ourselves to God and His will now — today.
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)