Archive for April, 2011

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

April 29, 2011

Well, I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but it’s not because they are good people.  But, trouble still comes.  Here are some suggestions to help us deal with trying times.

There are trials in the world because there is sin in the world, but that doesn’t mean the trials are because of my personal sin.  My dad spent the last few years of his life pretty much bedridden with very severe pain in his feet.  I remember him asking me more than once, “What did I do to cause all of this?”  The answer was, “nothing,” unless you want to count getting old (he lived to be almost 90).  Things just happen.  Sometimes it’s someone else’s fault.  Sometimes it’s my fault.  And sometimes it’s nobody’s fault.  It’s just life in a world created perfect but corrupted by man not following the advice of his Creator.

Trials do not mean that God doesn’t care.  If you read the Old Testament, you will see repeatedly how God wanted a relationship with Israel.  They were often uninterested in having a relationship with God and pursued the pagan idols of the Canaanite nations or rebelled against God in other ways.  God would allow them to be defeated by their enemies (a trial), but He still loved them and wanted what was best for them, which was the relationship with Him.  In the New Testament, God allowed the ultimate of trials to come on His Son, Jesus.  That certainly did not mean that the Father did not love the Son or care about what happened to Him.

Trials do not mean that God can’t do anything about it.  Trials are here because of man’s bad choices, not God’s inability to stop them.  Now, those bad choices may not be yours, they may not even be from the present time.  We suffer the physical consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve, though not the spiritual guilt, even today.  We experience physical death, and the things that attend it, because of the sin of Adam.  God can certainly control everything if He wishes, but if He did, we would be something like a computer…we wouldn’t be human.  I had just as soon not be a machine.

Trials could mean that God has a lot of confidence in you.  He knows that, with His help, you can handle it.  Paul says God won’t allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to deal with the temptation appropriately.  If there is a temptation out there that we can’t handle, God won’t allow it to happen.  There is a technical difference between temptations and trials, but they are so closely related that I am considering them the same in this article.  If God allows a trial in my life, it must mean that he is confident that I can handle it with His help, which He will always provide.  To know that God believes in me is a great blessing.

Trials help us focus on a better life.  God tells us of a place where there are no trials, where no bad things happen, only good…but it’s not here, it’s in heaven.  When I face the tragedy and grief of the here and now it makes me want to go to the there and then.  God invites me there, and shows me the way through Jesus.  This hope gives us the strength to carry on.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, …(Hebrews 6:19 NKJV)

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:3 NKJV)