This question comes up more and more today and a lot of us have already heard the answer. The problem is, the way we continue to live our lives (as believers or not), we still live in a way that proclaims our frustrations towards God when things go wrong, go unexpected, involve pain and suffering, or simply don’t go the way we would have preferred.
We have a tendency to forget who we are as we shake our fist at God and more importantly, forget who He is.
So, why then? Why does a good God allow bad things to happen?
Because He Is Good And We Are Not
This might sound strange or offensive at first, but God is good….we are not. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and any righteous deed we ever do still falls short (Isaiah 64:6). Even creation itself is sinful (Romans 8:18-22). This means God is good, perfect, holy, and completely without sin.
When bad things (sin) are taking place whether it be natural disasters, murder, adultery, gossip, abuse, etc. it is because we are sinful people in a sinful world. God isn’t “sinning” to “punish” us…He is without sin and far from it.
Because He Allows It To Happen
Wait, so if we are sinful people in a sinful world, then how does God allow it to happen?
God is God. If we could do anything that would take Him by surprise, then He couldn’t be God. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather put my trust in a God that can’t be taken by surprise by anything any of us could do. He is over everything and essentially is allowing everything to take place, but doesn’t mean that He is evil and wanting people to be hurt.
God is not wanting people to perish in their sin, but for everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). This is great news! This means while we are all sinners and are in a world of bad things happening all around us, that God is powerful enough to allow it all to happen and use it for His Glory and for our redemption through Jesus.
How did you become a believer in the first place? You would have recognized you’re a sinner…in need of a Savior. Imagine if God never gave you a chance? Imagine if He never allowed sin to take place in your life and never offered you forgiveness. Praise God for His mercy for all of us! You’re still a sinner today just as in need of a Savior as you were before. That means God’s mercy is unending in our sin as He still allows it to take place, while we learn over and over again that we are forgiven and Jesus is better…every, single, time.
Here’s The Better Question
There’s a much better question to ask ourselves and others when it comes to this topic.
Instead of sinful man questioning God, who is Holy and perfect, we should be asking ourselves this question:
“Why do I continue to do bad things and not trust in a good God?”
Surely we can recognize we are in a broken world. All of us can look around and see bad things everywhere. We may not call it sin, but that’s exactly what it is. The only reason we are sinning is because….we are sinning. Let’s take responsibility and be honest with ourselves admitting we are to blame when we are responsible for bad things that are happening and not blame it on anyone else, especially God. Who do we think we are?
The amazing part to all of this is that God has made a way for us to be forgiven for all eternity through Jesus. That’s why the cross is so important. That’s why the Gospel is such great news. That’s why it’s so ridiculous for us to question such a loving and merciful God.
For believers: When we continue to sin even after trusting in Jesus, we are telling Him what He did wasn’t enough on the cross. We are still choosing ourselves over God in the process and forgetting we have received a new identity. You are not your old self as a “Christian” now, but a brand new creation with the Holy Spirit inside of you. Receive it. Believe it. Live with this confidence and be joyfully obedient because of what Jesus has done for you.
For those who don’t yet believe: Why are you asking questions like this? What’s wrong? If you’ve experienced hurt and suffering in your life, there’s a reason for it and that’s sin. If you don’t even believe in God, then how could you question Him? You don’t even know Him. Before you go that route, I’d encourage you to read the Bible. Get to know God first and then see if it’s a worthwhile question to ask. I think you’ll be surprised to see just how loving God is and why what Jesus has done is so incredible.
Here are other Frequently Asked Questions and how the Bible answers them.