I get this question all the time, especially when disasters happen like Hurricane Katrina or someone we love gets seriously ill… or worse…if someone dies. “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
When troubling things do happen, what exactly does this mean? Does it prove that God does not exist? If He does exist – doesn’t God care? Does He enjoy seeing us suffer? Of course none of these things are true.
See Answers to tough questions.
First of all, the Bible does not promise that we will be without challenges. As a matter of fact, it says the opposite. The Bible tells us that we will have trouble in this life. God never meant for our lives to be this way. Death, sickness and calamity are a direct result of the fall of man…and sin has had a devastating effect. Am I saying all this death and disease and sickness is because Adam and Eve sinned? That is what the Bible tells us. There was no sickness in the Garden of Eden. This will be the life the redeemed will have again in heaven. God’s Word says…”And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rev 21:4 (NKJV). Our sins have enormous consequences. Maybe you have been dealing with the affects of the sins of your parents for your entire life? Multiply that by a trillion sins…compounded over thousands of years. May God have mercy on us.
Sometimes God uses the bad situations in our lives to turn them into a blessing…”And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NKJV). A good example would be the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 – 50, where he is put into a position to save millions of people from starvation. If he would not have been sold into slavery, it would not have happened and millions of people would have died.
Many times God gets the blame for our own mistakes. We smoke all our lives and when we get lung cancer, we tend to blame God. Everything we do in life has consequences. The good things we do have good consequences and the bad have bad consequences. Yes, through prayer, God in His mercy will sometimes reverse the damage we’ve done to ourselves. “Whatever we ask in the Name of Jesus will be done by the Father in heaven.” Matt. 18:19. Also, read John 14:13-14
None are good. The Bible is clear that all humans are deeply affected by sin. “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:9-20 (NKJV)
God’s Righteousness Through Faith…see Romans 3:20-31 (NKJV)
Something else to consider. After Hurricane Katrina happen, Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on The Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?…Anne Graham gave an amazingly profound and insightful response. She said, “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives…and being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”
Do you call God only when you are in trouble or need help? How can you expect God to answer your prayers if we don’t have a relationship wit Him, except when we’re in trouble?
Finally, God is more interested in character building than he is in just seeing us enjoying a worldly life. Sometimes He answers our prayers like below.
MOST RICHLY BLESSED (by unknown civil war veteran)
I asked God for strength…that I might achieve; I was made weak…that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for help…that I might do great things; I was given infirmity…that I might do better things.
I asked for riches…that I might be happy; I was given poverty…that I might be wise.
I asked for all things…that I might enjoy life; I was given life; …that I might enjoy all things.
I was given nothing I asked for, but everything I had hoped for. Despite myself, my prayers were answered. I am among all men most richly blessed.
God loves you and me. He hates to see us in pain or trouble. And one day we will no longer have to face these struggles and hardships. Meanwhile, He is waiting for us to ask Him for help to have a relationship with Him in the here and now. We are designed to have relationship with Him. You might have everything…money, power, health and more, however, until you fill that part (a relationship with Jesus) of your life, you will always feel unfulfilled. I’ve been there…I know. I’ve had it all, only to find out that the things that we think will make us happy do not deliver happiness. Only Jesus can fill that void…period.