Why do bad things happen to good people? And why doesn’t God intervene if He is a loving and all-powerful God?
A national survey was conducted where adults were asked, “If you were given the opportunity to ask God one question, what would it be?” The majority of people said the same thing. They would ask God, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
If God is good and he created the world, why do we live in so much turmoil? God did create a possibility for evil, but man chose that reality. It wasn’t what God wanted for us. But God created mankind to have free will to choose. He wanted a people who would choose to love Him and be part of His family of their own free will.
Look at Deuteronomy 30:19. “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;”
In the beginning God created a world that was perfect and good, and bad things didn’t happen because evil didn’t exist on the earth. Then he created man and woman and they were perfect, and they were in fellowship with God. And bad things didn’t happen to them because there was no sin.
Eventually, after Satan’s fall from Heaven, he entered the garden and tempted Adam and Eve by causing them to question what God had said to them. God had instructed them not to eat of a certain tree in the garden and gave them the choice to obey or disobey.
Being deceived by Satan, Adam and Eve began to question God, they made a choice that cost them the life they had enjoyed. Through their disobedience, they experienced spiritual death which broke their fellowship with God. And that became the inheritance of all their descendants.
Through believing Satan, Adam and Eve came under Satan’s control. They lost their authority over the earth. Satan took over as the ruler of this world and set up his kingdom, which caused the earth to be under a curse since the fall.
You and I were born with an inherited sin nature, and we live in a fallen world—Satan’s kingdom. The consequences to the world’s current situation are evil and we see the fruit of evil all around us. Jesus warned us in John 10:10, “The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
As soon as the fall occurred, God, established a plan to redeem mankind through God’s Son. Jesus would leave His throne and come to earth as “the second Adam,” a sinless man. He would die in our place and pay the full price for sin. All who will accept Him, have freedom from sin, Satan’s power and eternal death.
When we are born-again, our citizenship is transferred from Satan’s kingdom to God’s kingdom. Isn’t it interesting that it all boils down to the choices Adam and Eve made to sin? And now, it’s also about our choice to accept freedom from this world through Jesus… or not. In John 15:19 Jesus said, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
The reason bad things happen is because we still live in a fallen world where Satan is in authority. The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:45 that “God makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust…” While we live in this fallen world, both good and evil occur in our lives, whether we are born-again or not. But as a Christian who is redeemed, we have access to supernatural help through the trials we face.
The second question people ask is, “If God is all powerful, why doesn’t He intervene in our lives when bad things happen?” He wants to provide the help we need, but we have to trust Him. We can blame God for our problems, but that would be very short-sighted and spiritually flawed. And how could you trust someone you also blame for your situation? That would limit access to the help you need to get successfully through the trial you face.
So evil runs rampant all around us. If we’re born-again, praise God, we have His spirit in us. We have His protection available to us. We have His authority over the circumstances in our life. But that doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen to us.
And it does mean that to get through our trials safely, we must allow God to lead us. And we must obey Him and align with His ways. Jesus suffered in all the ways that we suffer, and He was perfect. He made it possible for us to overcome.
In Matthew 16:33 Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
As God’s people, we don’t live in the world’s timeframe, but in God’s. God desires to use the difficulties we face to help us grow and develop spiritually. He is preparing us for our real life in eternity. And He gives us a way through this world that is victorious. But that doesn’t mean we will not be tested.
One of the things we have, that the unredeemed do not have, is God’s peace in the midst of the storm. We have His divine guidance when we can’t see how it could possibly turn out okay. We have His authority to partner with Him for His will to be accomplished. We have confidence that His Word is true in every situation.
Romans 8:28 gives us a solid promise. “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.”
We’re being prepared for what God has planned for us. The main event is still ahead. The purpose for our life in is our future, in Heaven. Right now, we can barely comprehend what’s waiting for us. But in faith, we trust in the God Who said, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
The Word of God is our source. It’s our map through this life. And God tells us that even though we live in the world, we’re not of the world. Romans 12:2 instructs us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good pleasing and perfect will.” (AMP)
He is preparing us for a world that’s beyond this world and we’re not to be distracted with the rules that govern this present age but to be focused on the rules that govern the spiritual eternal age. It really has to do with our choices and how we allow God to turn what the devil meant for evil into good in our life (Genesis 50:20).
About 5 years ago, Kara and I taught on these difficult questions in a video entitled: Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen? I have included an excerpt of that teaching below. It is a personal example of something bad that happened to Kara and how God guided her through to victory. It is full of the principles we all have available to us as Christians. I believe it will teach and encourage you. To watch a clip from the video, click the image below.
And remember, with God nothing is impossible!
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