Jim Goodrick (26 June 2011)
"M.A.P. -- Satan, evil and Romans 8"

John, M.A.P. and Doves,

In response to your letter :

It has been our understanding that God has allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve -- and all of us down throughout history -- in order to test us ... to see if we really loved God, instead of being just "fair-weather-friends".

If God had wanted us to be like robots -- without the ability to make decisions ---  then God would have never allowed our love for Him to be tested. If God had only wanted a "knee-jerk" response from us, then He would not have given us a free will in order that we may choose the good ( God ) over evil ( Satan ).

When bad things happen to good people, a person has several choices. One can either get mad at God and live a miserable life of regret. Or one can believe that God is working all things ( even bad things ) to their good, even when they do not understand. Romans 8:28

Example: Elizabeth Smart was a teenager who was kidnapped and raped repeatedly for months. She has survived this ordeal with an attitude of victory. She stood strong through-out the trial, and has said many times that she will move on with her life.
For her, it was an unfortunate and prolonged abuse. But she decided that she did not want to give it power over her for the rest of her life, and that she wanted to move on to better things.
She did not want to milk the tragedy for all it was worth. She chose not to be a victim. She chose to be a victor, rather than succumb to self-pity, and the depression that follows.

Romans 8:18  "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Romans 8 :28 " All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. "

Romans 8: 35--39 " Who shall separate us from the love of ( Jesus ) Christ ?
Shall tribulation ( trials )  or distress or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or peril or sword ?
As it is written,' For Thy sake we are killed all the day long;
we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerers ( victorious ) through Him that loved us.

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers nor things present , nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature ( created thing by man ) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. "

Some trials are bearable, and some trials seem unbearable. In reality, God's grace is sufficient for whatever trial we must face. "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness"  2 Corinthians 12: 9 

"Let the weak say, ' I am strong' " --Joel 3: 10

Romans 5:20 " Where sin ( evil ) abounds, grace did much more abound "

Trials will either make us bitter, or better.

Our trials make us strong in the inner person. It corrects our attitude towards life and towards God, if we be willing.
We Can have an attitude of gratitude for all things in our life, just by trusting in God's wisdom.

"I believe in the sun, even when it isn't shining." -- Anonymous

In Him,
Jim Goodrick
Why God allows evil http://www.rationalchristianity.net/evil.html