Thursday, August 17, 2023

Why does God let bad things happen?

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I have often heard people ask the question. Why does God let bad things happen? This question is often raised in different scenarios. Some ask the question after something tragic happens to them or someone they love. Or maybe they or a family member received bad news from a doctor. Just turning on the news for some might prompt the question, how could a supposed loving God allow such bad things to happen?

If you find yourself at a point where you are asking similar questions and you actually believe in God, then you must acknowledge the fact that the Adversary also exists and is part of the equation.

God loves each and every one of us, even more so than a parent loves their child. Parents will go to extreme lengths to ensure their child’s safety and well-being, sometimes even putting themselves in harm’s way. Nothing is off the table for most parents when it comes to protecting their kids.

The same is also true for God, think of the personal sacrifice he has already made for all of us.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Adam and Eve, whom I am sure we are all anxious to meet and have a whole host of questions for, disobeyed God, causing sin and death to enter the world and mankind to be separated from God. This separation has technically left us behind enemy lines on a spinning ball of dirt floating in the cosmos.

From the moment you wake each day and place your foot on the floor, you are under attack by the ruler of this world, Satan. And throughout each day, he will whisper anything and everything that might cause you fear, doubt, mistrust, temptation, and anything else he can to knock you off course and bring you down.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” Ephesians 6:12

You might be looking at your unique situation or that of a loved one or friend and thinking that this tragedy or bad news is not fair and does not make sense. It is important to understand that God sits outside of time and space. He sees the whole pie, while you likely don’t even see a portion of a slice.

To imagine God’s perspective, think of yourself as a helicopter pilot flying over a freeway during rush hour. From the vantage point of the helicopter, you can see all the traffic ahead of you, the future; all the traffic behind you, the past; and the traffic directly below you, the present.

If you were sitting in one of those cars beneath the helicopter somewhere along the freeway, your situation might seem unjust. Gosh darn it, you need to be somewhere. And a few miles ahead, where the guy rolled off the side of the road, he too would not be thrilled about his situation. It is likely many along the entire freeway would not be experiencing their ideal day.

Now let’s say that your job as the helicopter pilot is to get as many people as you can along the entire length of the freeway unharmed to their final destination. And while you are doing so, the Adversary is doing everything he can to confuse and cause harm to as many as he can along the freeway. And the last thing the Adversary wants is for anyone to reach their destination.

You might need to slow down a few lanes to ensure a crash does not happen at the wrong time. You might even allow a crash to happen since doing so could slow the traffic at the correct time, preventing the loss of others. And when you could, you would grab the mic and yell down through the loud speaker to everyone along the freeway to provide instructions or warnings.

But whatever you needed to do to accomplish your task would likely not make sense or seem reasonable to those below you on the freeway. Everyone along the freeway is viewing their drive from their individual perspective. It does not matter if they are believers or not; while they are driving, the Adversary is whispering in their ear, You’re going to be late; that guy cut you off on purpose; you are justified to honk and give the car in front of you the finger. Anything he can do to cause you to look away from God or cause you anguish is a win for the Adversary.

As the helicopter pilot, you are going to do everything you can to get as many people as you can from point A to point B. Remember, the goal is to get as many as you can to their destination.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

When we were toddlers, we often thought the whole world should have revolved around us; we wanted what we wanted, when we wanted it. Some, unfortunately, have never outgrown this perspective, and all of us can be prone to slipping into this behavior when we are fearful or in pain.

What you think is unfair in life might have stopped a 15-car pileup further down the road. And that loss of a loved one could have saved a multitude of souls from the impact of the memories they left with others.

We are not capable of understanding all that the Lord does, but we do know he loves each and every one of us, and it is his desire that none should perish.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

If you are asking, Why does God let bad things happen? You are asking the wrong question. The Lord loves everyone, not just you and he is looking for the maximum return on his investment, mankind. I would argue better questions to ask would be -

Why are you not trusting in Jesus?

Who’s whispers are you listening to?