We all wonder why bad things happen to good people.
This is one of the biggest questions in Christian apologetics. How do you reconcile a good God and tragic events?
My thoughts have turned to this question because I know of many good people who have experienced bad things in recent days. Many of my friends, neighbors, and church members have had their homes flooded in the last week. How do we deal with these kinds of difficult circumstances? Of course, many of the tragedies in life are many times more difficult than a flooded home and loss of property.
So, what do we say?
First, above all else we must affirm the goodness of God. Sometimes we cannot understand and perceive. Our lack of understanding does not negate the goodness of God. Maybe you like I learned a simple prayer: “God is great, God is good.”
Second, we must affirm the situation in which we find ourselves. Our world is sinful and broken. As many tragedies as there are with cancer, death, and accidents of various kinds, there are many more tragedies that are caused by the work of our hands. Our family relationships are often tragic experiences caused by thoughtlessness and a self-centered worldview.
We live in a broken world. This world groans, waiting itself for its redemption when Christ is revealed.
Third, God is taking even our tragedies to help us form godly character. The Scripture affirms the truth that God takes our difficulties and uses them to form strong character. Paul spoke of glorying in our sufferings, knowing “that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Fourth, God has a much bigger plan than the brevity of our lives. He is preparing us to live in His presence forever. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
It’s hard not to get fixated on what is happening to us and around us right now, but there is something much greater going on in the world–something of eternal significance.
As we struggle with life and with life events, let us fix our eyes on the unseen, which is eternal rather than with the seen which is temporary.
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