First of all it’s been a while since I have written anything. Life is simply busy. However, I keep getting asked the question, “Why do bad things happen?” Some might not ask that exact question but it generally is always a variant of that question. So I thought I would tackle a small portion of this question. I say small because people have written doctoral dissertations on this one question.
I would have to answer the question of ‘Why do bad things happen’ with the response, ‘Why do good things happen?’ We need to understand that because of our sin nature that everyone is born with, Romans 5:12, we are not ‘good’ in our nature. No one wants to hear that you are a bad person with desires that are wrong. However, take into consideration a toddler growing up. Do you have to teach the child to lie? No you have to teach the child what is RIGHT. I have a daughter who is a little over two and WOW this is more relevant now in my life than ever before. I do not have to teach her to lie to me when she does something wrong, she simply knows to lie. However, we do not grow out of this.
I can remember when I was younger and would do something wrong, my mom and dad did not have to teach me to lie. I did it automatically. We all do that even to this day! When we get in a jam and the truth is either not pretty or would ‘hurt’ you or the other person we turn to the natural side and lie or do the wrong thing. So it may not be the popular thing to say, but we are born evil and not good.
So now that we have the foundation set, we now need to understand another huge aspect of this question. If we are all born evil, and no one has to teach us to do evil what does the Bible say about this. Romans 3:23 says, ‘For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’ and Romans 6:23 says, ‘For the wages of sin is death, BUT the free gift of God is eternal life.’ So we see that ALL people are evil, and EVERYONE sins to some degree. You might not have killed a person, but you have hated someone at some point in time in your life. Jesus says that you have murdered that person in your heart, Matthew 5:21-26. So everyone has sinned whether big or small. Therefore, according to Romans 6:23, the punishment for that sin is death.
So now that we see that we are evil and deserve death what do we do now. Well… Romans 6:23 doesn’t end with ‘death’ it ends with ‘the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Yes, we are doomed to die and spend eternity separated from God, but we have a way of reconciliation. That way is Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross. Romans 5 talks about how much God loves us that while we were in our sinful state, He sent His Son to die for us. Not after we cleaned up, but during our sinful state. So we see that we have a way to bridge that gap between sinful man and a holy and perfect God.
I know what you are thinking… What does any of this have to do with the main question at hand?!?!? My answer is EVERYTHING!
You must understand your place on the earth, and understand that we are, as Martin Luther describes, worms. We do not deserve anything good. We deserve death. So if we deserve death, but we are given the opportunity through faith in Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:8-9, why do bad things happen. Simply because we deserve them. We are inherently evil and bad things should happen. Does that stink… YES it does. However, with all the bad that goes on around us we can have JOY because of what Christ did on the cross.
You see bad things will always happen. We will never get away from bad things happening in our life, that is until we are united with Jesus Christ in Heaven through death or rapture. We must learn to take the bad with the good in life. You see sometimes God allows good things to happen in your life, and we thank Him for those times. However, when things get rough and difficult, too often we cry to God and ask why this is happening. When we should be asking, ‘What are you trying to teach me Lord?’ It is an extremely tough question to ask but one of the most important ones.
Think about Michael Jordan for a second. In a commercial Nike did with him, he listed out, at the time, all his missed shots, failed attempts at winning the game, struggles he went through, and all the heartaches that the game of basketball gave him. At the end of the commercial he says, ‘I failed time and time again, and that is why I succeed.’
You see it is in our struggles and our times of trials that we grow. God does not tempt us. He tests us. Look at the life of Job. If there was ever a man who could curse God and get away with it it was him. Job’s family was killed, his livestock died, boils appeared on his body, and through all the sorrow and shame he blessed God’s name. When all his friends told him to curse God and die, he wouldn’t do it.
Bad things will always come our way. How we handle those bad times will either make us stronger in the Lord, or we will turn away from Him and live miserable lives until we return back to him.