Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
What a big question. How does one answer it?
I think the truth starts at the fact that we live in a world broken by sin. That means we are filled with sinful and selfish desires and surrounded by people who sometimes only care about themselves. We live in a broken world where we think it is OK to do what we want when we want without regard for ourselves and others.
That’s the penalty for Adam and Eve’s choice to choose pleasure over God. That’s the result of sin infesting and infecting God’s goodness in the world.
For we live in a broken world. We have to deal with other people’s bad choices. We have to go through the consequences of our bad choices. But we don’t have to be defined by them. We don’t have to be weighed down by them. We don’t have to be held back by them.
Because there is grace. By God’s infinite grace, He allowed Jesus to be the recipient of all the world’s sin, bad choices, and selfishness. With every stripe (lash) He took, He showed how much He loves us as He absorbed all our “badness”. And not only did He absorb our brokenness, He gave us a new way to live.
Because Jesus already took all the crap of life and will exchange it for His goodness, His peace, and His joy. When we surrender to him. Meaning He wants a daily, ongoing, familiar relationship with us. Not a hit or miss, only pray or know Him in the bad times. But every day. Constant trust. Growing faith. Burgeoning belief.
And when we get to that daily place of knowing Him, we become able to endure through the bad times. We become empowered to forgive people – and ourselves – for selfishness. We become able to live above the lies of our emotions, which are fickle and lead us away from God. We become confident in making the better choice, even if it goes against the broken standards of the world. We willing choose God’s best, even if it is not the easy or acceptable (worldly) way.
We realize that God want to get our attention and draw us near to Him. It is those bad things that drive us toward Him. It is those hard things that draw us closer to Him. It is those impossible things that make us realize how dependent we should be.
And ultimately we realize that God is in control. He never promises a smooth path or an easy way. What He does promise is that (1) He will redeem every experience for our good and His glory by allowing us to help others and (2) He will bring good out of every experience when we trust Him.
His part is to redeem every bad moment. Our part is to trust Him and hang onto Him through it all. And to continue to pray. For in the process of praying. God changes us. God enables us. God softens our heart. To react differently. To respond lovingly. To forgive fully. To stand firmly.
Remember that the only person you can control through it all is yourself. You decide how you will think, feel, act, react, and process. No one can do that for you. And you are the only one accountable for these things to God. So decide who you want to be and allow your behavior and your mindset to follow. Don’t let people and their opinions or behavior influence or effect you or your progress. It only hurts you when you do.
No matter what you go through and no matter what happens to you, remember that God is bigger. God is bigger than every emotion and every outrage. God is bigger than every situation and every circumstance. God is bigger than every hurt and every pain. God is bigger than every offense and every defense. God is bigger than every excuse and every evasion. God is bigger than every disappointment and every diversion.
So we may not fully understand why we face the challenges and circumstances we do. But we need to remember that our loving God has every challenge and every circumstance in His loving hands and will enable us to get through them.
Marie Fremin. 1/13, 1/16, and 1/19/16.