Why Do Bad Things Happen?

A common response people have after hearing the about the unconditional love of God is, “If God loves me so much, why am I still going through these terrible things?”

While I can’t answer every question you may have in a single blogpost, I can tell you one thing, God isn’t to blame for the bad things in the world. He’s not to blame for your sickness, pain, or lack in any other area of your life. God hates to see His children perishing! He hates it so much that He sent His only begotten Son to the world in order save us (John 3:16).

“If God sent Jesus to save us from perishing, why are so many of us still experiencing all these terrible things?”  

We like to point the finger at God for every bad thing that happens in the world, but John 10:10 says, “The THIEF does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The death and destruction in our lives are not from God, but from the thief! One of Jesus’ many purposes in coming to this earth is to provide a life of abundance. 

When we hear that word “abundance” we often think of financial abundance, but it’s not limited to money. Because of what Jesus accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection, we can experience abundant joy, abundant peace, and complete abundance in every other area of our lives!

The reason why we don’t experience that abundant life is because we’re so busy blaming God for our problems that we’re running away from Him rather than toward Him in our times of need. Because we think God is causing all the suffering in life, we just allow hard times to steamroll over us and demolish everything that is good. We say, “If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it,” and, “Everything happens for a reason.” Well, yes, everything happens for a reason, but according to the Bible, it’s not always from God.

While I was serving in Iraq, one of my medics was on a patrol when their convoy was hit by an EFP (or a roadside bomb). Unfortunately, a soldier was hit with shrapnel and his injuries were so severe that, despite the medic’s best efforts, he did not survive. This was especially hard for everyone because it was the first fatality our battalion had experienced in combat. When they returned to the base, I looked for our medic to see how he was handling this terrible situation. I came to find out that many of the soldiers in the platoon were blaming him for the death of their friend. I sat with him while he cried and I could see that he was questioning his abilities to perform as a medic. I explained to him that none of this was his fault. He didn’t set the EFP or kill anybody. There was an enemy out there who was out to kill and destroy everything we were trying to protect. Because they never found that enemy, they blamed the person who was supposed to save them. Thankfully once all the emotions calmed, the soldiers were able to see that they were wrong in blaming the medic for the death of their friend and everyone was able to regain confidence in him. 

Similarly, many people blame God for the bad things in the world when He’s not the one who caused them. He wants to help, but we push Him away and question if He really is who the bible says He is. I’m here to tell you He is better than any of us could ever imagine!

Does this mean that bad things will never happen when we trust in God? I think it’s pretty obvious that the answer to that is a big, resounding NO! God never promised we wouldn’t go through hard times, but if we ever expect to get through those hard times, we have to understand that God isn’t the One who caused them.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] - John 16:33 (AMP)

Bad things happen—tribulations happen! But we can be of good cheer in the midst of our problems as we run to Jesus! He has deprived the world of it’s power to harm you and conquered it for you, and when you stop blaming Him for your problems and draw near to Him, you will start to see all the goodness of God reveal itself in your life.