That's a question that we ask a lot. It starts as little kids. Really little. I have a two and a half year old niece. She's very inquisitive. She likes to ask questions. One favorite is 'Why?' You answer that question, and it's 'Why?' From her age on, we ask that question many times in our lives.
One of the biggest questions in the world today; why do bad things happen to good people? I've heard people who don't know God personally ask it. I've heard Christians ask it. So why is it?
Unfortunately, I don't have the final answer. I do have a couple of things to input on the subject, however. First, we live in a fallen world. Plain and simple. Ok, so not so simple, but it's the truth.
God never intended us to live like we do. Nope, He intended us to live in the Garden, walking with Him in the cool of the evening. Adam did. Eve did. We were created to have relationship with God. But, man (that means both male and female sides) screwed it up. See, God gave us this cool thing that is called free will. We have the ability to make choices. He doesn't make us have relationship with Him. He wants us to choose Him. And, silly us, we chose wrong. We thought it would be cool to have our eyes opened and see good and evil like God. Hind sight is always 100% better than foresight. The fallen world is a consequence of that first sin. (Read Genesis 3:14-19 for the consequences of Adam and Eve's choice.)
Because of that choice, sin now has a place in this world. It tries to have a place in our lives. We all sin. No matter how hard we try, we fall. Romans 3:23 NLT "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." However, we don't have to let it have a place in our lives. We're still going to screw up; we are human after all. But remember that free will I told you about? Yep, we can choose not to let sin have a place in our lives. How, you may ask. Continue your relationship with God. Become more intimate with Him, and we won't want to do any of the sin that tries to have that place. We don't have to let sin rule over us. We repent quickly. We become completely vulnerable to what God is doing. We live under Grace. We imitate the example Jesus set before us. Jesus was completely human, but because of his completely intimate relationship with His Father, He lived a sinless life. However, He is also God, so we can't expect to actually live sinless.
I know it's a lot to get the mind around. I can't get my mind around it, so I don't expect you to wrap yours either. God doesn't expect us to. We are only expected to Trust and have Faith.
Now, back to the question of the hour. Look at your life. Are there things that have happened that you've asked why? A sudden death in the family? A job that was lost? A divorce that happened even though you gave it everything you had? A miscarriage? The list goes on and on. Why did these things happen? You've trusted God. You know that he provides. Why did it happen?
First, you need to know that GOD is not the one that did it!! It is NOT in His character. He doesn't have an evil or mean bone in His body. Matthew 7:9 NLT "You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?"
But, Romans 8:28 NLT "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." So, even though we have bad things happen, God can work them for good. We just not may be able to see it at the moment.
Look at Jesus. One of the worst things happened to Him. He was betrayed, beaten, spit on, rejected, and killed in the most humiliating way. Even though He chose to die, for the people in the moment, it looked bad. The worst! But, God had a plan! He knew what was going to happen. He worked it for the Good, by Jesus' death and resurrection and it's through Jesus that we have Salvation! Now, how does our 'bad' compare?
There is a lot that happens just because we live in the world. We are IN the world, but not OF the world. Remember that. So even if things look bad, God is still in control. He still knows what's going on. He doesn't miss anything. However, just because He is in control, it doesn't mean that He has done anything to bring about the bad.
Second, these things are the consequence of sin. Some things are unrelated to choices we make. It's because of choices others make. The car our family member was driving was hit because someone was drinking and driving. That type of thing. But, we also have the consequences because of choices we have made.
There are doors that we have all opened, knowingly or unknowingly, that have let things come into our lives to wreak havoc. We continue to make bad choices, even after we know something is wrong. Look at the sexually transmitted diseases going around. Maybe it's the consequence that comes from the sexual sin people choose to be ensnared in? Because it's fun, and it feels good, and everyone is doing it? Not sure it's really worth it.
There are boundaries that God has set. It's not because He doesn't want us to have fun. He's a fun God. However, the rules and boundaries God has placed for us is to protect us. Not to be the party crasher. He never wants us to get hurt. And He's still there when we make those dumb mistakes, either out of stupidity or ignorance.
Think of a teenager. They just got their license. They saved up and got a car. It's a clunker, but it's a cool car to them. They get pulled over because they were speeding. Mom and Dad aren't happy with the choice their child has made, but they are there to help them through it. The teenager still has to face the consequences, but they don't have to do it alone.
God will never leave us or forsake us. He's given us that promise. And he has a perfect track record. We know bad things happen. We know that we have someone to count on when it does happen. Now, we have choices to make ourselves. But remember, when we don't make the right choice, "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 NLT