Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?; is an important question that we as Christians are sometimes asked. Over the years I have come to accept, that God is God, and has a higher understanding of things than us. This is a question that we should have an answer for because it would be easy for non-believers to come to the conclusion that God is cruel or enjoys watching people suffer.
However, this perspective couldn't be further from what the Bible tells us about God. Psalm 103:13-14 explains how God treats His children; 'Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust'
The world is one of seemingly endless crises; war, terrorism, floods, earthquakes etc. It is important to keep things in perspective and we need to understand that in some situations God uses these things to further His purpose and plans in others. God allows us to go through 'the fire'; which is used to test us as people. Are we truly a people worthy to be called of God? The only way to find out is to test our faith and see which way we turn. Do we become closer to God, leaning on Him to get us through tough times and difficult situations or do we become bitter and resentful?
I would say that it is easier, and a characteristic of human nature to become hard hearted and to blame God at these times. However for those who choose to become closer to God there is a real deep peace that can be found in any situation. James 1:3-4 tells us; 'For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing' and 1 Peter 1:6-7 also tells us; 'In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ'.
There is another important dimension to consider when faced with the question of; Why does God allows bad things to happen to good people? That is; 'The situations of our own making'. If we as humans bring about situations that affect others in a negative way then the responsibility for that lies firmly with us and not God. If we think about the current situation in Syria and Iraq with millions of people displaced by War, I wonder whether this misery was God inflicted or caused by man. I have no doubt that God is in control of these situations and that there is real salvation and mercy on the ground in the midst of turmoil.
Finally I want to finish with the example of Job who we read in the Bible is a servant of God who is tested severely but still holds fast to his faith. He is a man that has bad things happen in his life but the ending of the book of Job is an amazing restoration. Job 42:12-17 'The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years'.
Do we have the faith and will-power to trust God in all situations in our lives, both good and bad? Perhaps it is worth taking a few moments to ask ourselves this very question.
May God bless and enrich your life
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