When Bad Things Happen

A child is abducted and killed and the murderer is never found.

A retired couple lose their life's savings through an investment scam and the con artist escapes to live a life of luxury overseas.

A gang member murders a woman and goes free on a legal technicality.

Where is God in these situations?  Why do the bad guys sometimes win?

I was talking with a friend whose husband had an affair, left her, and moved in with another woman.  His actions not only devastated his wife but also his teen-aged sons. My friend was confused--why would God do this to her?

In Psalm 73, Aspah, a faithful servant of God, had similar questions. He looked at all the wicked, arrogant people around him who were living healthy, carefree lives.  And he wondered if he had followed God in vain because his own life was not so carefree.

Sometimes things don’t make sense to us, and we begin to see God as the source of our sorrow. The abandoned wife confuses God with her husband…God has abandoned her. The bankrupt couple confuses God with the scam artist…God has cheated them out of their life savings. It is part of our fallen human nature to blame God during difficulties. We let situations change our view of God instead of letting God change our view of situations.

When I am tempted to do this, I try to remember these facts about human suffering and evil:

1. Man, not God, brought suffering into the world. God created a world without sorrow or pain, but mankind messed it up by ignoring God's clear warnings (Genesis 1-3). Our present world is the best possible world for restoring mankind to God, but it is not the best possible world.

2. God gave us the freedom to make choices, and that freedom allows for bad choices as well as good. According to C.S. Lewis God "thought freedom worth creating even at that price."

3. Perfect justice will prevail, but not necessarily on earth (Revelation 22:12). 

4. I only see the little picture; my perspective is limited.  God sees the big picture; his perspective is infinite  (1 Corinthians 13:12).

5. How I respond to evil and suffering matters, even when I can't make sense of it (Proverbs 3:5).

6. God doesn’t promise to make every husband faithful, every businessman honest, and every court decision fair. But He promises He will never leave me (Hebrews 13:5,6), He promises to comfort me (2 Corinthians 1:3-7), and He promises to make bad things work for my good if I trust Him (Romans 8:28).

In Psalm 73, Asaph began with confusion and questions but ended with reminders of  God’s faithfulness.  My friend and I did the same.  We still have questions, but we've decided to concentrate on God's character--His purity, love, justice and wisdom, knowing that one day He will answer all of our questions and wipe away all of our tears (Revelation 21:4). WOW!

What about you?  How has God taught you in this area? Please leave your comments and questions below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...