Spiritual Practice


Elizabeth Hobbs, 19

Ask God Ftr TSP 115529155How could a good God allow evil in the world? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely good, then how could God let humanity ruin creation? When I moved to college, I spent two weeks wrestling with these questions. I read through the first three chapters of Genesis, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, looking for evidence of evil in Eden, in God’s creation, or in God’s character. I couldn’t find any. Grappling with the scripture, I realized that any other god would have taken away free will as soon as humans considered being disobedient.

The paradox of Genesis is this: Only an absolutely good God could love so much that when creatures threatened God’s goodness, God let them disobey rather than taking away their free will. Seeking to know God through an in-depth analysis of the scriptures gave me insight that reconciled my doubting, skeptical heart with God’s loving nature.


Break open your words,
let the light shine out,
let ordinary people see the meaning.
Psalm 119:130 (The Message)

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Ask God your tough questions; ask God to help you reconcile the contradictions in your mind. Dig deep into scripture passages that haven’t made sense to you. God has a purpose for struggle and doubt. In our weakness, God is strong. God wants to give us the gifts of knowledge and understanding. For at least one week, seek God by prayerfully reading scripture.

If you want to dig deeper, check out “Praying the Scriptures.”

—from devozine (July/August 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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