No, we may not understand everything that happens to us—but when we know Christ, we know we are on the winning side. Some books - such as Job, Lamentations, Habakkuk, and plenty of the psalms - explicitly wrestle with the tension between God's sovereignty and the obvious presence and even flourishing of evil. Are they just unfortunate things which must be endured or can they work for our good? The news what God has done in and through Jesus creates a whole new world, and we are invited into that world. Sometimes the reason He doesn’t reverse the bad things that happen in your life is because God has three choices. If we believe that God is sovereign and that “all things work together for good,” then claiming something as bad is a really short-sighted view. If He could have prevented it. Because “with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.” God does not try, or test, anyone by inciting him to behave badly. Watch Queue Queue. 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As hard as it is to acknowledge, we must remember that there are no “good” people, in the absolute sense of the word. Billy Graham’s Answers for Hard Times. I gulped then muttered something about a fallen world, that life will never be perfect on earth regardless of whether we’re good, bad, or somewhere in between. God is not controlling. Privacy If God is in control of everything that happens in the universe, then He is in control of everything that happens in your life as well. I’m not saying this is always easy to do. I once made the mistake of thinking this way about God. We hug. Isn’t it better to face life’s problems with God rather than without Him? Will Graham Q&A: What Good Can Possibly Come from COVID-19? But there’s the hope of heaven. It seems to me that this is what the Church, at its best, is always doing, usually below the radar. God builds the Kingdom, but what we do in present is actually going to be taken up and used within that larger project. Why not commit your life to Him today? The Bible talks about “the mystery of iniquity” (2 Thessalonians 2:7, KJV)—and that’s what evil is: a mystery. Or if humans have free will, and God doesn't control everything on the earth, then why do we pray and ask him for things? Dargan is a former RELEVANT editor turned freelancer. We know He is all-powerful. No, we may not understand everything that happens to us—but when we know Christ, we know we are on the winning side. So, Were Mary and Joseph Actually Refugees? Nobody can tell God what He “must” do. As Christians, we have the answer that a hurting world needs. Why do bad things happen to good people? 1. Second, the Bible tells us that someday all evil will be banished. Watch Queue Queue That brings up the age old question: If God is good and He’s in control, why does He let bad things happen? It’s always more puzzling and confusing than that. Where Are You, God? Why do bad things happen to good people? The basic point of the book is the difference between good news and good advice. It is always a mystery, but the classic Christian disciplines, of prayer, of worship, of the study of Scripture, and particularly, of service to the poor … in all of those ways, we are actually plugging into the new creation, which has already been launched. Why do bad things happen to good people? When we ask “why do ‘bad’ things happen,” we are interpreting bad from a very limited perspective. On a practical level, since we’re in the middle of that and we can’t really see what God is doing, how do we live in light of that reality? Wars are raging. I ended up believing that He didn’t exist, and that’s why I became an atheist for eight years of my life.. But they do. Do Our Bodies Matter to Our Spiritual Lives? Watch Queue Queue. It is true that God is good and that in the world under His control bad things happen—at least bad things happen from the human perspective. Every weekday, get our new Deeper Walk devotional delivered to your inbox! But through most periods of history, people knew perfectly well that actually, things could change with time. Do we really believe God is in control? They were mourning! Someday all evil will be cast “into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41, KJV). Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? How Should You Spend Money During the Holidays? The truth is, you can’t know all the reasons why God lets bad things happen. We know He is in control. If He’s really there. People all around the United States and much of the world are still grappling with this weekend’s tragic shooting in Orlando, Florida. Evil comes instead from Satan, and it entered this world when Satan deceived Adam and Eve and caused them to turn against God. We weep with those who weep. 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Kelly Loeffler to Stop Attacking Her Opponent’s Religion Views, The Case of a Woman in Jail for a Stillbirth May Determine the Future of America’s Abortion Debate, The U.S. Just Crossed 300,000 Deaths From COVID-19, Pornhub Has Removed Millions of Videos From Its Site. Let me give you five clusters of texts or kinds of texts. Part of our trouble is that it’s a feature of the modern Western world that we have forgotten about, as it were, different layers of time. Has He got it wrong?” But no, He’s been in the middle of this mess with us and He’s taken the worst the world can do onto Himself. Jesus himself never answers the question of why bad things happen in this world, other than to confirm that they will continue to happen. Is Too Much Expertise Bad For Leadership? Watch Queue Queue Bad things only happen because god is testing us whether it is in a negative way or in a positive way , God does this to see how strong we are as human beings- there is a saying that connotes ” God gives a hard time to his strongest survivors”. July 20, 2016 Do we mean that God controls every decision, every event; every single thing that happens? 2. Why not This oft-repeated question says nothing about God, but everything about human beings. The speed of a cyclone, or the actions of my boss? "If God is in control, why do bad things happen?" But let me tell you three very important truths about evil that might help you. Wright is interested in. If God is not in control, then we can have no sure confidence that there is a point to the evil around us. How do you think we live in that tension? We live in a world where you can’t simply look at the evidence and say, “There you are, there is a good God, everything’s OK.” That’s why the good news of Jesus is that in the middle of this confusing world, with so much beauty but also so much sorrow, what God has done in Jesus launches a project, which says “Yes, the sorrow is real, but God has dealt with it and is dealing with it. The vast spiritual conflict between Satan and God that has raged from the beginning of time will be over, and God will be triumphant. We don't blow it off or act chipper. And we embrace. He gives us options. Next time you’re approached by a person who’s hurting due to illness, death, circumstances, or a natural disaster, point them to God ’s Word. Michael Coren Page 1 of 3. Although we would argue that God occasionally breaks the laws of physics (miracles), He does not do this on a routine basis. 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It teaches it by direct statements and by clear and sufficient implication. It is hard, and we don't make light of it. So if I chose to drink too much alcohol during pregnancy and my baby is born with an disability as a result, was God in control of that? Toll Free: 1-877-247-2426. What Should I Expect From Myself in 2021? Two of my kids approached me separately during those final weeks, and with pain on their faces, asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Talk about a hard conversation! Show them how death and suffering are the punishment for sin but how Jesus Christ provided the solution to that problem when … That means your divorce, your affair, your lapse of judgment, your squandered opportunities, your failed business venture, your bankruptcy, your poor choices—these do not loosen God’s grip on the direction of your life at all. Isn’t it better to face life’s problems with God rather than without Him? The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is meant to give us peace and joy and help us trust God at all times, even when we are suffering. God is involved with it in ways which it’s hard for us now, particularly in the modern world, to grasp. How can I believe that God is in control when something bad happens? You can never look at the way the world is and read God’s purposes off from the way the world is. Every weekday, get RELEVANT's top five articles delivered to your inbox! No, we may not understand everything that happens to us—but when we know Christ, we know we are on the winning side. All of us are tainted by and infected with sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). It’s not simply a machine or a business with God as the CEO.   •   Topics: Suffering. Is It Possible to Care About Every Issue? We don’t build the Kingdom, we build for the Kingdom. Isn’t it better to face life’s problems with God rather than without Him? When a nation wins a just war, it might seem bad from the enemy’s side, but it is good for the world. Every time something bad was about to happen, God would personally intervene and stop it. Why do good people sometimes suffer terribly while evil people live lives of ease? First, God works all things according to his will. In the book, you argue that Christians have distorted the Gospel being “good news.” Could you elaborate on that? Home That’s what the story of Jesus is all about. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We have turned that into good advice like taking out a life insurance policy on your ultimate future. By Billy Graham   •   The beauty and power of creation are real. “You might like to sign up for this option because it will be better for you.”. Then all sorts of things come clearer and into sharper focus. Nothing can happen that he does not allow and he works all for the good of his people and his glory. Now, there’s nothing wrong with good advice, but it’s not the same as good news. 8:28 we find a famous verse which a lot of Christians know by heart. Why do bad things happen to God's people? Several years ago, I commissioned a national survey and asked people what question they'd ask if they could only ask God one thing. When bad things happen, we might sometimes wonder where God is. He offers us blessing and cursing, life and death. It means He has the power and authority to control all things if He so desires. The Church consists of all God’s people going about this Kingdom work day by day, year by year, and this will be part of the new creation which God will eventually make. - We Have the Answer. This doesn’t mean bad things will never happen to us—but even when they do, we can know God is with us, and He will give us strength to stand against them. Introduction The reasons why a loving God would allow so much evil in the world are a mystery and a stumbling block to faith for many people. But how do we know that God always controls everything?” How do we know that God always controls everything? In Rom. Not that we can bring the new creation by our own efforts—God brings that in God’s time. Why? They were suffering. Hearing about these things, we often find ourselves asking the question—sometimes out loud, sometimes just in our heads—”Where is God in all this?”. Find her online at darganthompson.com or follow her extremely random train of thought on Twitter @darganthompson. The word “gospel” originally meant “good news,” and that’s news about something that has happened as a result of which everything is different, including who we are, but it’s much bigger than that. Is it good to suffer? The church’s life of worship and prayer and sacraments and Scripture reading is a way of making that a reality, so that even though we find it hard to describe what’s going on, the reality of that fusion of time—God’s time and our time—is a very present reality. Who or what, then, is to blame when bad things happen? It’s always more puzzling and confusing than that. God is going to do the new thing, for which those are signposts.”. Further, a lot of folks are quick to “claim the promise” of “I know the plans I … This is the question of theodicy, and it's wrestled with in nearly every book of the Bible. We live between the news about something that has happened and the promise that therefore something will happen. In general, miracles are done with the purpose of displaying God's power and authority. “I can understand why God lets bad things happen to people who are evil, but why do bad things sometimes happen to good people? Are natural disasters caused by God or Satan? Even to say that sounds like wacky or weird, and people say “What do you mean, ‘different layers of time’?” Because the way we live in today’s world is just time as a straight line and things get further and further away as you move on forward. We experience the consequences of other people’s mistakes and failures. You can never look at the way the world is and read God’s purposes off from the way the world is. Permissions Not true. This doesn’t mean bad things will never happen to us—but even when they do, we can know God is with us, and He will give us strength to stand against them. ©2021 BGEA But God do es exist.. Is God in control of everything that happens—even evil things? It’s not simply a matter of “Has God blundered? That brings up the age old question: If God is good and He’s in control, why does He let bad things happen? This doesn’t mean bad things will never happen to us—but even when they do, we can know God is with us, and He will give us strength to stand against them. When I discipline my child, it might seem like a bad thing from his vantage point, but it is a good thing from mine. If He could have sent a miracle. Does God really care? We see unjust, uncaring or even clearly wicked people doing things that adversely affect us. Local: 704-401-2432 Third, the Bible tells us that in the meantime, God can give us victory over evil. But there continue to be horrific tragedies and pain and suffering throughout the world. If God is in charge why do bad things happen to good people? If God were merely loving but not in control of all things it would be a scary universe. If God is in control why do he allow bad things to happen if he can fix it? Contact Us. And then, as one of Woody Allen’s characters says: “I sort of believe in God, but it looks like He’s basically an underachiever.” In other words, He’s not a very good CEO, He’s not good at running this show. Why not commit your life to Him today? We live in a world that is marred by sin, so difficulties and disappointments are bound to cross our path. I am right now looking out a window at a beautiful blue sky, at a lovely winter’s morning, and you just think “This is a wonderful world, it’s so beautiful, it’s so full of promise and life.” And yet I’ve actually just had breakfast with a friend whose husband died just a couple of years ago, and she is still processing the question of why in early middle life would something like this happen? This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. All of us feel the effects of sin in one way or another. What do you do when the roof falls in? If He is, doesn't that make Him evil also? We know He wants what’s best for us. A: You aren’t alone in being puzzled about this question; theologians and Bible scholars have discussed it for centuries without coming up with a final answer. Both evil and Satan are real, and the two go hand-in-hand. And we continue to face temptation, sorrow, and a multitude of trials within our … God’s sovereignty gives meaning to bad things. We become mysteriously part of that. Bible Answer: The book of Malachi tells us about a very interesting complaint from the people of Israel against God. This video is unavailable. When we read the stories of Jesus and see what is going on in those stories, perhaps we need to rethink the meaning of the word “God” around who we see in Jesus. I've always been puzzled about this. First, the Bible tells us that evil does not come from God, nor can we blame God for all the evils in the world. Did God create evil, or does He just allow it? You might be much closer to a foundation event, even though it was a long time ago chronologically, it might be much closer to your reality. Too many people get hung up on God’s sovereignty and think it means God “must” control all things. Nevertheless, if you ask God for discernment, you can begin to understand why He allowed something to occur. I’ve been asked hundreds of times why God allows evil to take place, and I have to tell you honestly that I do not know the answer—not fully. If God controls each and every event, from the tiniest to the greatest, and has already decided what will happen, then why pray? One of our problems with the sovereignty of God is that it frequently does not appear that God is in control of the circumstances of our lives. But actually, the world is much more complicated than that. If God really could not have stopped bad things from taking place, then why should we remain hopeful that He has purpose in those bad things and works them toward the good of His people (Romans 8:28)? Will Graham: A Story on Social Distancing from the Old Testament, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201 He says; ‘Stay faithful to the covenant life’, but doesn’t usually hit us over the head with a sledgehammer when we don’t. Start your weekdays with “RELEVANT Today”—a quick look at our five most trending articles. God does not control us. God often allows failure to point us to one critical truth: we can't live the Christian life on our own. The hope and peace we so desperately seek is not found in stopping every bad thing from happening, because we simply can’t do it. They said, “It is vain to serve God.” They said there was no profit in serving Him. An earlier version of this interview appeared in January 2015. His book, Simply Good News, talks about the ways the truth of the Gospel transforms our present reality, creating a new period of time between Jesus’ death and His return. Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? And that’s not the only crisis in the world: People across the globe are being persecuted and killed for their beliefs. The Difference Between Dieting and Fasting, 5 Keys to Boost Your Mental Health During the 2020 Holidays, A Nashville Police Officer Says God Told Him to ‘Turn Around’ Moments Before the Christmas Morning Blast, Bianca Juarez Olthoff on the Power of Prayers of ‘Lovingkindness’. He does not give us free will then take it away. The colour of my socks? Millions are living in poverty. Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the LORD. Here is their complaint. Part of our trouble is that in the Western world, we’ve assumed that God is, as it were, the celestial CEO of this thing called the universe incorporated. 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