“Why does God let bad things happen?”
I’ve actually seen this question on social media in some form or another recently and I wanted to give my heartfelt answer.
The short form. God doesn’t LET bad things happen. God gave us Jesus who took the punishment for all of our sin (if we repent and follow Him we are given a FREE gift (grace) of salvation!) BUT SIN makes BAD things happen.
Until Adam and Eve fell, there was no sin, there was nothing bad, everything was perfect! And then… dun dun dunnnnnn… they were temped by the devil and the world fell into sin.
And this sin will translate into *bad* things happening in 3 ways:
1. Consequence of our own sin: You cheat on a test. You get caught. You get in trouble for it. You are having a *bad* time because you did wrong, simple as that.
2. Consequence of someone else’s sin: Your significant other commits a sin like infidelity or adultery. God didn’t do that to you (although it sometimes seems easier to place the blame on the Lord than it is to place blame on someone you loved on this earth for hating you). And your heartache, pain, and subsequent circumstances are not because of what God did – but because the Lord gave us free will** (see another post on free will soon) and another person chose not to follow God and to sin.
3. Consequence of Adam & Eve’s fall to sin – because the world is no longer perfect. Does someone you love have cancer? Have you suffered a miscarriage and/or lost a child? War happening all around? You name it. The word is no longer perfect. Cells will mutate (miscarriage, cancer, etc), there are carcinogens in our environment (you can attribute this to type of sin #1 & 2 also!), mental illness is alive and well because our biology isn’t perfect. I could go on. And the consequences that come from this imperfection are very often what lead us to cry out, “WHY would God do this?? WHY are there babies sick with cancer? Why did a little boy drown?? Why is my father sick? Why did grandma die??? Why can’t my friend conceive a child???” These people didn’t do anything to deserve this — other than being descendants of Adam & Eve and being born with sin.
So when life is hard. When you are struggling with a “Why is God doing this” moment… categorize your trouble into the consequence of one of these 3 types of sins. And then get perspective. God never promises that this earthly life will be easy, good, happy or even bearable – he promises life with HIM eternally will be perfect, amazing, and completely worth it – if you choose to pursue it. Actively, with your whole heart, mind & soul. Just like you would pursue your earthly relationships.
He also never promises to give you only what you can handle. He promises to give you the Holy Spirit – acting within your heart and others to help you carry your cross.
Even Jesus needed Simon to help him carry his cross.
Even Jesus begged his apostles to stay and pray with him.
And He is perfect, He is wonderful. HE did NOTHING wrong. I’ve got news for ya, honey. We aren’t perfect. On the cellular level OR within our soul. We aren’t deserving of any of the good things the Lord gives us – but even in spite of that, He loves us anyways. And He loves us HARD. He WILL always provide, He knows all.
So when life hands you lemons – lift them up to the Lord. He knows all the needs of your heart but He will never push. You have to ask. You have to use your free will to ask for His help and guidance – and He will be there. Maybe in the way you envision – but very possibly not but either way – He will answer your prayers!