Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
“Life’s not fair,” Jared said in a recent letter to me. “My dad is gone, my mom is depressed, school sucks, and I’m sick of it. I try to do what is right, but nothing seems to go my way!”
Can you relate? I know I can. There’ve been many times in my life when I’ve had questions about why life can be so unfair. You’ll probably ask this a lot too. And you’ll most likely have other people ask you this question when they find out you’re a Christian.
God has given us a great gift—a gift that people misuse all the time. He’s given you and me the free will to live as we please. And because we have the ability to choose, we can often choose the wrong things. So why did God give us the freedom of choice if He knew we could abuse it? God didn’t create clones (and aren’t you glad he didn’t?). He loves us and wants us to love Him in return. However, true love can’t be forced or manipulated. So since God wanted real love from us, He had to give us the ability to choose. So we can choose to love Him…or not love Him. And that means we have the freedom to choose to do wrong. Because there’s wrong in the world, there are a lot of bad things that happen to people who don’t deserve them.
Second, (this isn’t the easy part to hear) there will be times in life when you have questions you may never have answers for. We’ll never fully understand why God does all that He does and allows all that He allows until we reach heaven. The Bible says:
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV)
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NIV)
Maybe your mom or dad has left your family or you’ve lost a loved one or you’ve been mistreated, abused, or abandoned by someone close to you. When you can’t find a good reason for why such things happen, remember God fully understands your pain. He suffered the greatest injustice of all time: allowing His perfect Son, Jesus, to be arrested, beaten, hit, spit on, cursed at, and then nailed to a cross to die. He never deserved such treatment. But He did it for you—for all of us.
Remember, whether you’re in your movie-star moment or you’re feeling like a complete nobody, God is always on your side. Even when answers to life’s troubles are hard (or even impossible) to find, God says, “I will always be with you and help you.” Joshua 1:5 (CEV)