If God is so good, why do bad things happen?
This question is one that most of us ponder, however silently, at one point or another. I know I certainly have. It is especially prevalent right now in a time where tragedy and heartbreak seem to be at an all-time high. We watch others hurt, we experience our own pain, and doubt clouds the concept of a good God.
The simple answer is that we don’t know “why.” But the crucial misunderstanding here is that we are tying God to a promise He never made. He never told us bad things would not happen. In fact, He told us the opposite.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We live in a broken world. But as followers of Jesus, our security does not have to be rooted in the hope of avoiding bad things — we have a hope founded on faith in a Savior who has already overcome every kind of darkness.
It’s okay to feel confused or angry. It’s okay to ask God questions. He is not scared of our doubt and He does not get angry at us for not understanding. He does, however, want to walk with us through the struggle.
God does not want to hurt us, He wants to save us from the hurt. He is not the enemy, He is the safety.
I have learned that the best place to take my questions and my doubt is directly to God. But in addition to asking Him “why?” I have found that asking for faith and asking to see more of Him brings a type of peace that answers could not. The more we choose to trust Him, the more we see of Him, and as we see more of Him we see that His goodness is undeniable.
We were not created to be robots. People make hurtful decisions. The world is not a perfect place, and natural disasters happen. Thankfully we have a God who is bigger than anything we face and can be a shelter even in the worst storms.
I do not know why things happen the way they do. I do know that we are very quick to blame God for bad things and very slow to thank Him for all He protects us from on a daily basis. I also know that regardless of what I can’t comprehend, a truth that trumps all doubt remains: God sent His only son to die on a cross to save us. Why would He do that only to turn around and break us? Only a loving heart could make such a sacrifice.
We may never understand why certain things have shaken us the way they have, but we can cling to the One who will see us through it all.