How Can God Bring Good Out of Evil?

For believers, there are no tragedies, and for unbelievers, there are ultimately no blessings.

How can God bring good out of evil? That great mystery is the most comforting promise in the New Testament: “For those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). This does not mean that everything that happens is good in and of itself; but due to Providence everything that happens is working toward our good. Without the concept of providence, we would miss the comfort, consolation, and joy of knowing that God stands above and beyond all things.

 

People tend to feel uncomfortable when reading that God from all eternity, immutably and freely, ordains whatsoever comes to pass. This means, after all, that everything that happens in this world, including the evil things that others do to us and, astonishingly enough, our own sins against others, is immutably foreordained by almighty God. If we have been eternally ordained to commit sin, why does God find fault? We may as well sin with abandon, knowing that we are being directed by the providence of God. This is the mystery of providence. Doing no violence to the will of His creatures, God achieves His purposes through His chosen means.

One view has it that, as we hurtle through space, centrifugal force, gravity, and centripetal force keep us from collapsing and falling out of existence . These forces and powers are real . Gravity exists, but its power is not inherent . Even the power of gravity rests on the primary power of God . Gravity is not an independent primary cause . The only primary cause is the one by whom all things are made and in whom all things hold together . Ultimately, what keeps us from falling off the edge of the earth is the hand of God . But He exercises His power through the real power of secondary causes, such as gravity.

In terms of human relationships, we are secondary causes, and the powers we exert are real, not illusory . We are not puppets with no volition, freedom, or power, but we have no volition, freedom, or power beyond that given to us by God. He remains sovereign over all these things, bringing His sovereign will to pass.

When discussing God’s decrees, we speak of the concurrence of the human and divine wills. Concurrence is also called confluence. Both words mean “a flowing together.”

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