Tag Archives: why do bad things happen

Why Bad Things Happen, Part II: Why??

Last week, we began examining “Why do bad things happen to me or any good person?” and learned that humanity separated from God, which introduced death and pain. We walked away from perfection and must deal with the consequences. This week, we’ll dig deeper into why bad things happen.

First, everyone is subject to fortune and misfortune, blessings, and catastrophe. Some wicked people will prosper – often because of deceit and injustice. Others will suffer from natural disasters or others’ bad choices despite their love for God and people.

Second, we experience the actions of others. Anyone can choose to harm us or who live carelessly.  But we know this – otherwise, there would be no need for end-of-the-world judgment and consequences. People will drive drunk and take lives. Some will steal and cause poverty and hunger. Others will, out of their anger or addictions, cause harm.

Third, we suffer from our actions at times (e.g., Matthew 26:52). Our lifestyles introduce risk. People who drive or ride in vehicles run the risk of being maimed or killed in accidents. Those who jump out of airplanes may die. Sportspeople may be killed or seriously injured, and so might those of us who participate in the national or local defense.

Also, our technology creates many risks! Cancer increases may be related to chemicals and carcinogens with which we pollute the air, water, and food. Genetic engineering may increase crop and livestock bounty but introduces the risk of human mutation and illnesses. God didn’t force us to employ electricity, vehicles, or chemical or genetic engineering, and yet we blame Him when we reap the consequences associated with our lifestyles and environments!

Finally, faithful followers of Jesus may suffer trouble out of faith (Luke 14:27-30):

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.”

Next week, we’ll continue this train by considering how we can restrict, or enable, the presence of God in our lives. So, join me for Part III!

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley

Why Bad Things Happen, Part I: It’s Not God’s Fault!

When exploring the answer to “Is God Judging Us?” last week, you may have wondered, “Why do bad things happen to me or any good person, for that matter?” And rightly so. I wish I could tell you that there’s a “one size fits all” explanation or a silver bullet that would take away the pain of whatever you’ve gone through or are going through.  But I can’t. The truth is that humanity separated from God, which introduced death and pain, and now we must live in the aftermath.

On a positive note, our Creator has given us His Spirit to help navigate this life while we await the new world and perfection to come. But, while God and our Christ do often intercede on our behalf in this human-made mess, it’s essential to start our conversation by taking the bad-stuff focus off of them and putting it back where it belongs: us. First, a foundation for discovering why bad things happen:

1.                God doesn’t tempt or mistreat us (James 1:12-14).

2.                We make choices & often choose poorly.

3.                No one is ‘good’ . . . “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18).

4.                Things weren’t always like this (e.g., Romans 5:12 & 1Corinthians 15:21-22).

Remember ‘free will’? God obviously has it and, because we were created in His image, so do we. It gives us the freedom to do what we ought and provides us with the ability not to do what we shouldn’t. Choice also trips us up sometimes. We’ll learn over the next couple of weeks that choice brings freedom and consequences. Sometimes, they can be useful – such as the Spirit and eternal life that come when we choose right living and a relationship with God through Christ. Sometimes, the consequences may be undesirable – as with environments we’ve created, or the judgment and spiritual death many will suffer at the end of this age (Matthew 25:31-46; Romans 6:20-23, for instance). The truth is that we make our own bad choices or suffer consequences of our actions or from those of others.  We can also keep God from interceding on our behalf (i.e., Psalm 66:18; 1Peter 3:7).

So, our misfortunes aren’t God’s fault. On whom or what should we blame them? Ourselves? Other people? Stuff that just happens? Technology? The devil? Please tune in next week for Part II of our discovery of Why Bad Things Happen to find the answer!

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley