If God is so good, why do bad things happen?
This question is one that many of us face, however silently, at some 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.
Unfortunately, many people have been taught to fear or ignore this question. But criticizing the frustration and confusion that show up when our human nature is confronted with limited understanding is misplaced – that critical voice is not God’s. Rather, it is projected onto God from human hearts that are ironically filled with the same inability to comprehend Him.
It’s okay to ask questions. It’s okay to be confused. It’s also okay to feel afraid of it or even angry about it. God is not scared of our doubt and He does not get mad at us for limited human understanding (2 Corinthians 4:7).
I am learning that the best place to take my doubts, my anger, my questions, is to God Himself. Even when they are about Him. I am constantly surprised that I’m not met by coldness, even when my accusing finger is pointed at Him. But in addition to asking “why?” I am finding that asking for faith and asking to see more of Him brings a type of peace that answers could not. Because in the midst of confusion there is a truth that argues doubt: Jesus died to save us. And that truth presents a question: why would He do that only to turn around and break us? A sacrifice like that can only come from a loving heart.
We may never understand why certain things have shaken us the way they have. But what if the Power we tend to blame is actually the One who can carry us through it all? What if the broken world we live in is behind the bow shooting arrows, and He is standing with us on our end? What if there’s something to put our hope in that’s more stable than an explanation of bad things?
Faith comes down to a choice. I am learning that if I choose it, there can be comfort found in the unknown – not from a bandaid of oblivion – but because the cross proved the love of a Savior who cannot by nature have an inconsistent heart towards the people He died to rescue. The character portrayed throughout Jesus’ life on earth offers a perspective change: He is not the enemy, He is the safety. The more I choose to trust and explore Him, the more I see of Him. And as I see more of Him, His love and goodness become serious competition for my fearful reasoning.
Friend, from a heart that is still full of questions, I would tell you that faith in Jesus and His love is worth a shot. He’s held my hand through the worst so far despite my doubts and feelings, and I believe with everything in me that He wants to do the same for you.
“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