Why Does God Let the Wicked Succeed in Life

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Why does God allow the wicked succeed? When evil seems to be winning we can run to God and ask Him to give us wisdom, peace, and hope.

Do you ever look around and wonder . . . “why would God allow this to happen”?

Maybe it’s while you’re watching the news or after you’ve learned of a difficult diagnosis. Maybe it’s after a painful betrayal or a devastating loss.

In Psalm 10, David wrote:

O Lord, why do You stand so far away?
    Why do You hide when I am in trouble?

Psalm 10:1

It’s in that moment when life is painfully hard and God feels far away that the enemy loves to tempt us to look around and think, “it’s not fair.”

Like David, we ask the question . . . “why do the wicked succeed”?

The wicked are too proud to seek God.
    They seem to think that God is dead.
Yet they succeed in everything they do.

Why do the wicked get away with despising God?
    They think, “God will never call us to account.”

Psalm 10:4-5a, 13

But that’s exactly when you and I need to stop and “take those thoughts captive.”

We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLV)

It’s at those moments when life doesn’t seem fair and we’re tempted to compare our circumstances with someone else’s that we need to stop and run to God in prayer.

When you and I wonder why God would let the wicked succeed, we are invited to Him with our honest feelings.

Because after David vented his honest feelings to God, he was able to replace his concerns and frustrations with the truth he knew about God…

The Lord is king forever and ever!
    The godless nations will vanish from the land.
Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
    Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
    so mere people can no longer terrify them.

Psalm 10:16–18

God invites us to bring our feelings and frustrations to Him in prayer and trust Him to help us remember all the things He has done for us in the past. We can honestly ask Him to help us cling to His promises for today and for the future.

Look at the words David spoke to his son, Solomon before his death…

Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. 

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.”

1 Chonicles 28:9, 20a

The Lord is not far away. He sees, hears, and knows. He is as close as our very next breath.

So, when God seems far away and we wonder why He would let evil exist and the wicked succeed, we capture those thoughts and replace them the TRUTH . . . remembering all that He has done in the past and prayerfully asking Him to give us hope.

Lead me by Your truth and teach me,
    for You are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.

Psalm 25:5
Why does God allow the wicked succeed? When evil seems to be winning we can run to God and ask Him to give us wisdom, peace, and hope.

A Prayer to Trust God When You Don’t
Understand Why the Wicked Succeed

Abba Father, Sometimes when life is painful or when I watch the news, I wonder why You allow evil and wickedness. When people lie without consequences and become more and more emboldened to manipulate and control others with falsehoods and deceptions. When individuals cheat to grow in wealth and position. When coordinated efforts are made to harm Your church and Your children. We cry out and ask, “Lord why do You hide when we’re in trouble?”

Then You remind us that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are gracious and patient . . . “slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion.” (Numbers 14:18) You remind us of the countless times You have had compassion on us and trampled our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! (Micah 7:19)

So, I come to You and ask You to help me take every doubt and concern to You in prayer. You are righteous and just. Everything You do is good and comes from Your unfailing love and faithfulness. And I am so very thankful . . . thankful that You don’t treat me as I deserve.

I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. I need Jesus.

Thank you for forgiving me and giving me the gift of faith. Thank you for guiding me with Your TRUTH. Thank you for hearing the cries of my heart. Thank you for all You have done for me in the past and for Your promises that give me HOPE for the future.

You are KING forever and ever. I will TRUST You even when I don’t understand. Amen.

Why does God allow the wicked succeed? When evil seems to be winning we can run to God and ask Him to give us wisdom, peace, and hope.

My dad has frequently reminded us that we have a choice to make every day. We can complain with frustration and resentment because people seem to be getting away with bad behavior and sailing through life unscathed. Or we can see those who are suffering and in need and do something to help.

We can look around with eyes of envy or we can look around with a heart of compassion that is willing to help the person in need.

With God’s help, may we TRUST God’s mercy and grace and look for ways to shine His light and share His love.

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  1. I know that the wicked will not always prosper; God has a plan for them, and He should be their only judge. We need to focus on what good things we can do for others in God’s name.
    Blessings, Deb!

    1. You’re right, Martha! He is the judge. We must focus on what we can do to bring Him glory! Thanks and blessings!

  2. You are so right about all you say in this post. I have a person who is dear to me who does seem to flourish eventhough they manipulate and take from others. It is easy to complain about them and envy them. But, it is better to pray for them, and to thank God and be reminded for all he has done for me. The best thing in the world is that I have the desire in my heart to want a closer and more intimate relationship with God. And to be obedient to him. All of the treasurers in the world can’t replace that!!

    1. You said it perfectly, Sue! Nothing in this world can replace what we have in Jesus. Thanks so much for adding so beautifully to the conversation! God bless you!

  3. I went through in recent months, years when I felt that God turned His back on me. While I pray, they stay unanswered and I feel to drift further and further from the Lord’s presence. Though this separation rather focusing on my relationship with the Lord than on the wicked’s luck. Though, there was a time in my life too that I questioned the seemingly easy life of the wicked. That whatever horrible act they committed, they never faced judgment for their actions. In the meantime, I was peppered with adversities, trials and difficulties. But through time I learned to be thankful to the Lord for the hard times, as they turned me back to Him.
    When I started to falter then quickly reminded myself of God’s promises and of His character. After all, this is the God, Who entered into a covenant with me that He reaffirmed countless times through my life. This is the God Who told me that my name is chiseled into His palm and nobody can erase it from there.
    This is the God Who told me that He chosen me from my birth and knew me before I was born. Who told me that He knows all ofy sins, my heart and thoughts. He knows that there is nothing good in me, nothing that would thirst for Him….and yet, He loves me. Afterwords, I always recognized that He was there with me in each trial and tribulation. While the wicked spent their time on collecting earthly riches, Jesus was chiseling, shaping me to His liking. At the same time He also ensured by His grace that all our temporal needs were abandontly met as well. We do have a wonderful God, full of love, compession, grace and mercy and faithfulness. And the more I see myself, the more mysterious it becomes that He loves me.

    1. Amen, Gaby! This is so very beautifully said! Thank you! God bless!