If God is in control of everything, why does evil still exist in this world? A reader posed this question recently to world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham as he wondered why the Devil gets blamed for every bad thing that happens.
"Let me assure you that God is not responsible for the evil in the world, nor will He ever do anything evil or wrong," Graham writes in an article for The Kansas City Star.
He then quotes Bible verse Deuteronomy 32:4, which says: "His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He."
In the same vein, Graham says God will never tempt His children to do evil or make them do anything wrong. "Not only would that be against His perfect nature, but it also would defeat His plans for us, plans for good and not evil," says Graham.
And even though God has not told His people everything they'd like to know about evil and why it exists, Graham says one thing is clear – "God is not the author of evil, nor does He give in to its allure." The Bible verse James 1:13 also says so: "God cannot be tempted by evil."
Ultimately, Graham says evil comes from Satan, who is "absolutely opposed to God and to everything good." Discerning Satan's evil ways can sometimes be tricky, because his works are "open and obvious." There are times, however, when he prefers working "behind the scenes, deceiving and manipulating people and events in ways we may not realise."
Graham adds that evil comes from within people, too, since people's hearts and minds are prone to sin. "When we do wrong, we can't blame anyone but ourselves, for we have chosen to turn our backs on God and go our own way. This is why we need Christ, for only He can forgive our sins and give us the strength to do what is right," says Graham.