One further facet of the problem of evil, which has received a good deal of recent attention, focuses on the apparent fact that God’s existence is not clearly manifest. The problem of divine hiddenness can be construed either as an argument for God’s nonexistence or as a problem of “existential concern” for theists.  In the latter form, its focus is not so much God’s existence but rather his nature or the nature of our relationship to him: it is a problem for theists in trying to reconcile their beliefs about divine power, knowledge and (especially) love with the fact that, at many times and for many people, God is “silent” or “hidden.” To say that he is silent or hidden is to say that his existence, his presence or his self-disclosure—especially concerning his reasons for some evil that he has allowed to occur—is indiscernible or inscrutable.
The problem of divine hiddenness is a practical problem, for it is often the impetus—or at least a contributing factor—to an individual’s crisis of faith. Has God not promised that all who seek will find? Why then does he not reveal himself plainly, at least to everyone who earnestly and diligently seeks to know him? Surprisingly, the hiddenness of God is something of a leitmotif in Scripture, especially in the Old Testament, explored most famously in the book of Job, but also scattered throughout the psalms and the writings of the prophets.  It is, like the problem of hell, a problem very much internal to orthodox theism.
The problem is closely tied to the problem of evil, for divine hiddenness is most productive of suffering for those already in the midst of suffering: the inability of such persons to perceive God or his purposes intensifies their suffering by making it feel to them as if God does not care, or that their sufferings are meaningless, or that God has forsaken them or does not love them, and so on. This is especially true in cases of horrendous evils, of the kind we have discussed. (The problem of divine hiddenness is, not surprisingly, a prominent theme in post-Holocaust Jewish theological literature.)
Divine hiddenness also intensifies the problem of evil by seeming to undermine a common strategy in theodicy, namely, treating the way God acts in relation to his creatures as analogous to the way loving parents act toward their children. It is often claimed that just as loving parents sometimes must subject their child to some painful experience that is for the child’s own good, but that the child is unable to understand, so God sometimes allows us to experience suffering for similar reasons. Divine hiddenness complicates this type of response, because we expect loving parents to make special efforts to comfort, reassure and otherwise make their presence and love clearly known to their child during the child’s ordeal, especially when the parents know that the ordeal involves suffering whose ultimate, beneficial purpose the child cannot understand. The question naturally arises, Why doesn’t God always do the same for his creatures in their times of intense suffering? Of course, many individuals report feeling the presence and love of God most clearly in the midst of their trials, but it must be admitted that many others do not share this experience. Again, why doesn’t God always make himself clearly known in such circumstances?
As a problem internal to theism, divine hiddenness is indeed perplexing. But some contend that the problem of divine hiddenness is best construed not as a puzzling feature of theism but as an argument for atheism (which is not surprising, given the ties between divine hiddenness and the problem of evil). A simple version of such an argument runs as follows: a perfectly loving God, were he to exist, would reveal himself to everyone who earnestly seeks him; but not everyone who earnestlyseeks God finds him; therefore, a perfectly loving God does not exist. 
Both premises of the argument are open to challenge, however. Some theists contend that God has good reasons for not revealing himself to everyone who seeks him, and different theories have been developed as to what God’s reasons might be. Perhaps, for example, divine hiddenness is a necessary condition for God’s evoking from us a free and loving—rather than coerced—response of obedience and trust. Other theists insist that God does in fact reveal himself to everyone who earnestly seeks him; they then offer some account of why things appear otherwise. One common approach along these lines is to argue that ignorance of God is always culpable, so those who fail to perceive God must not, contrary to appearances, seek him in earnest.
It is time to take stock. We have seen that the problem of evil comes in a variety of forms, with the most difficult forms seeming to arise from within the teachings of orthodox theism itself. Nevertheless, it is not clear that any of these versions of the problem of evil is insurmountable. Both the logical and evidential forms of the problem of evil can be rebutted, and the problems generated by divine hiddenness and the traditional doctrine of hell call not for an abandonment of theism but rather, at most, a reassessment of certain theological assumptions. The problem of evil is certainly serious, especially in terms of its practical ramifications—the crises of faith often faced by those in the midst of severe trials and suffering demand wise spiritual guidance and counsel—but whatever rational evidence the problem of evil provides against theism, it falls short of being compelling.