If He exists, why does God allow bad things to happen?
We see tragedy in the world. We watch acts of horrible evil. A loved one dies and we are left heartbroken. How could a loving God allow such things to happen in a world He created? Even if He isn’t the cause, an all-powerful God could stop it. Why doesn’t He?
Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?
The truth is no human being has all the answers for why God allows bad things to happen.
What we do know is the truth foundation God has laid out for us in His Word, the Bible.
Truths about God
These are the truths we know about God from the Bible.
1. Sin is in our world. God gave human beings free will. We are not robots who are forced to obey God. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, sin entered the world. Along with sin came death, pain, and suffering. (Genesis 2 and 3, Romans 5:12-21)
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.
2. Satan is evil and in conflict with God. Satan is the ultimate enemy with continual spiritual warfare taking place between good and evil. Satan does all he can to deceive us and pull people away from God. Satan will ultimately be defeated. (1 John 3:8, 1 Peter 5:8, John 8:44, Revelation 12:9)
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8
3. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Jesus is the only path to salvation. (John 14:6, John 3:16, Luke 19:10)
Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’
4. People who trust in Jesus for salvation have a sure hope of salvation after they die and assurance of peace during this life. (1 John 5:13-14, Ephesians 2:8-10, Philippians 4:7)
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
1 John 5:13-14
5. Life on earth will not be easy for followers of Jesus. Hard times in life don’t mean you are doing it wrong or that God isn’t real. (James 1:2-4, Romans 8:18)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 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.
Have you struggled with the ultimate faith question of why does God allow bad things to happen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Remembering Mandy Kelly
Last week we learned the news that mom, wife, friend, and blogger Mandy Kelly was killed in a house fire along with her husband and several of her children. Mandy’s blog, Worshipful Living, touched my life and was an amazing witness to her faith in Jesus.
When I heard the news, the thought ran through my mind, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?”
Yet Mandy’s own website is a testament to the hope we have in the truths of God, even when we don’t have all the specific answers.
Today I’m joining with other bloggers as we pay tribute to Mandy and her impact on many lives. What an example she set of a life of witness for Jesus!
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Rhonda Kelly says
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Rhonda Kelly (Mandy’s mom)
God bless you, Ms. Kelly. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your daughter. She was an amazing person, a beautiful wife, mother, and daughter of the King. She will be missed by many people. What an awesome witness she was.
Sara, This question trips up both believers and non-believers. Thanks for these great reminders! Your neighbor today at #sittingamongfriends Blessings, Misty
I’m not a Christian so I can’t speak to the Bible verses, but in developing my own spirituality I struggled with this question in a big way. How could I possibly trust and have faith in a higher power after that higher power wouldn’t/couldn’t stop my childhood abuse? What finally clicked for me is that I have no idea of the things my higher power did save me from. Maybe my higher power saved me from a million other terrible things, but couldn’t stop that last one. Now instead of looking at it as why did god allow it to happen, I can be grateful for the protection I was given to survive and become a more or less functional adult. That was not always guaranteed in my world.
Just my 2 cents. Sorry to hear about Mandy. Very sad story. 🙁
This is so moving and a great reminder for us all. I so wish I had known Mandy. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman and daughter of Christ.
Mary Newman says
Exactly. Hope and trust are key.