The #1 question people ask about God is this: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” So, how do we answer such a heavy question?
Well, we don’t.
Okay, I know that seems counterproductive but the truth is, there is more than one answer to give. Why? Because there are multiple factors that play into the bad things that happen in our lives.
If God can save us and is always in control, then why doesn’t He always deliver us from evil?
If you read the above question, you’ve probably wondered this yourself. How many times have you asked a similar question to only have been met with: His ways are not our ways or some variant. Which is ultimately true. Yes, God’s ways are not our ways. We don’t always understand why we’re going through our turmoil or why God doesn’t just save us from our negative situations. In fact, this is something that I have often wondered myself.
The truth is, though, there are things outside of God’s control. Now, before I go any further, without a doubt I believe that God helps guide us through our lives. He is always with us. God mourns when we mourns and rejoices when we rejoice. But the reason why I believe God isn’t always in control over the situations in our lives is because we have free will.
God granted us the power of free will. Whether we choose to live just lives or not, it’s completely on us to decide. And with that free will, sometimes we use our free will against one another. We wrong our friends and families and even strangers on the internet. Often times it’s even unintentional. But the truth is, the decisions of our own free will are often unjust.
God gave us the power to move mountains and to walk on water. He granted us the power of our tongue that can literally speak life or death into existence. But with that, there are consequences for our actions. There may be positive consequences but there are also negative consequences to those actions. This ultimately leads to some of the hurt and turmoil we cause others and even ourselves. Sure, we are able to do whatever we want but that doesn’t mean our actions won’t have repercussions.
Now, this isn’t the only reason why bad things happen in our lives. There are multiple factors of why bad things happen to good people. But sometimes the reason why God doesn’t intervene is that we have the power to intervene ourselves. Again, this isn’t the answer to every bad situation. There are always other factors at play. This is just one of the reasons why bad things happen to good pepople.
What people tend to forget is that God is within us. And that means God gives us strength. He both fights for us and alongside us. Every single person has a piece of God within them. That strength helps us persevere through some of the tough situations in our lives. I think we forget the power that we have instilled in us from before birth. If there is a toxic relationship you have found yourself in, you have the power to leave and take care of yourself. If there is a problem in your workplace, you have the power to create a better environment for yourself.
This week, we are sitting with Thomas Jay Oord, author of God Can’t, to try and answer the #1 question people ask about God. Not only do we discuss how to answer the question but also the different ways shame and guilt can play a factor in our lives. We also discuss how to heal from the bad things in our lives. You can find this week’s episode here.