Why couldn’t God just change things on his own?

Q. Why couldn’t God just change things on his own? I mean, as powerful as he is to create the universe and mankind, living plants and mammals, I really don’t understand this part.

I understand you to be asking why God doesn’t act to end all the evil and suffering in the world, since He is omnipotent and no one can resist His power. I believe that this other post on my blog largely addresses your concerns:

Why do some people seem to suffer more than others?

Even though that post is written in response to a different question, it gets at the same issues you’re asking about. It explains that God created a world in which there was genuine moral freedom so that there could be the possibility of love. But at the same time, this freedom allowed for the possibility of destructive choices that would lead to suffering. Rather than act in all of His power to end that suffering (which would require taking away moral freedom), God chooses to work through the suffering to bring about His purposes in the end. He asks us to trust Him as he does this. And God Himself was willing to suffer, in the person of Jesus on the cross, setting an example for all of us to follow.

I hope this is helpful.

Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an an ordained minister, a writer, and a biblical scholar. He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the New International Version (NIV) that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He was also a consultant to Tyndale House for the Immerse Bible, an edition of the New Living Translation (NLT) that similarly presents the Scriptures in their natural literary forms, without chapters and verses or section headings. He has a B.A. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School.

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