It's a fair question, and a very common one at that, when people who are in pain and suffering (or even those so ready to mock God and Christians), ask,
"If God is so good why is there suffering in the world?"
True believers of God and those who read the Bible cringe at such unbelief challenging the love and power of God.
But like I said, it's a fair question in this world of many religions.
We do have free will:
15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you,
then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates,
or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land you are living.
But as for me and my household,
we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15 NIV
How we exercise that free will is another story.
To put things in perspective, John MacArthur says there are no "good" people, in answer to that popular book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People".
Do you believe there are no good people?
I do, because the Bible tells me so.
Here's God to tell you Himself, thus the Flood:
5 The LORD saw how great
the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth,
and that every inclination of the thoughts
of the human heart was only evil all the time.
Genesis 6:5 NIV
And after the Flood, here's what God says:
21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart:
“Never again will I curse the ground because of humans,
even though every inclination of the human heart
is evil from childhood.
And never again will I destroy all living creatures,
as I have done.
Genesis 8:21 NIV
The Bible -- the infallible Word of God -- is proof positive of man's perpetual sinfulness.
The Bible doesn't mock our fallibility, otherwise God wouldn't have sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world
to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17 NIV
It takes a humble heart to know Christ.
And let's face it: we are an ungrateful lot.
When you really care to know God in full, you will eagerly and happily listen to His Words, become obedient, and trusting.
You will also be faithful and devoted to His Word.
And the Bible carries all the answers to any and every question the human race has.
Jesus offers us comfort in our times of difficulties.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
So, there's really no need to lament, accuse, blame, or give up.
Christ is in charge.
The only question has always been:
Have we received Him?
To protect ourselves from evil, we can do what my Bible teacher friend recommends from the ever-wiser King Solomon:
“…Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13. NIV
(Verses sourced from biblegateway.com)
Updated 18 January 2022