IF GOD IS GOD, THEN WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?
Subtitle: Why Bad Things Happen To Good People
Think for a moment—are there really any good people? If we consider the word good biblically, only God is good. (Matthew 19:17). That being said, arbitrarily, He blesses us accordingly, i.e., not based on our worthiness or lack thereof. The scripture declares, “For He makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45).
Reflecting on the story of Job, it is a prime Old Testament example to answer this often-asked question. The Scripture acknowledges him as righteous—one who shunned all that was evil, (see Job 1:1) yet trouble visited his house. Through all of the turbulence of death, sickness, and ridicule, Job is left trying to figure out what it’s all about. In spite of the circumstances, the writer makes an astonishing statement concerning Job, saying, “In all this, Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:22).
It is unfortunate that at this point many tragedy-stricken individuals grow fainthearted, turning their backs on God, but not so with Job. He endured several rounds of heavy blows from Satan, and still maintained his integrity; that in itself speaks volumes to his character. Close friends had a difficult time with the cruel hand Job had been dealt, not to mention his wife. In the midst of her husband’s hardship, she struggled internally, and was overcome by discouragement. Undoubtedly the ongoing torture was hard to watch. She, too, wants to know the answer to the question: If God is God, then why are these bad things happening?
Job defends his God and says, “Shall we accept [only] good at the hand of God and shall we not accept [also] misfortune and what is of a bad nature?” (Job 2:10). In other words, do you think you’re too “good” to suffer? Or can Job’s answer not gratify even the weak-eyed pilgrims?
MANKIND’S ONLY ANSWER TO GOD
Adversity is a menace to peace and the joys of one’s existence. Job’s life was turned upside down in an instant, it seemed. Beset with severe pain and anguish, he proceeded to curse the day he was born. Under the heavy-handed attack of the enemy, his soul is provoked to offer up a speech filled with questions and complaints. Out of pure human need, he asks God, “What are you doing? Where are You?” The afflictions of life can cause the finite to embark upon the threshold of despair.
Be that as it may, Job was not prepared for what would follow. God in turn answers him with a question: “Shall one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.” (Job 40:2). After an attempt to draw answers from the God, whom he feels owes him a favor for living righteously, Job is left speechless. You see, beloved, God has questions, too. Like Niagara Falls, God pours question upon question upon him; he is so moved that he has no other choice than to face the incomparable significance between a God and a mortal.
Job immediately humbles himself and says, “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answer? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” (Job 40:4–5 NLT).
Wow! That is some serious egg in face. In short, Job reverently speaks, saying, “Oh Lord! I recognize my stupidity.” So I ask you beloved, how would you respond? The same, I pray—hence, the question “If God is God why do bad things happen” is unmerited. God goes on to say, “You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’” Job’s response to his question: “It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.” (Job 42:3, 4, 6, NLT).
It would behoove mankind to possess such a mindset. King David also understands this importance, and quiets his soul as he encourages himself to hope in the Lord. (Psalm 131:1–3). Instead of asking why God, we should ask what—what are You trying to teach me in this, what do You want me to learn?
In the course of events, Mr. Job finally recognizes this one thing: Even though it appeared God was uncaring, He was working through the suffering to bring about His goodness in Job. This is a hard pill to swallow. Nonetheless, there’s nothing like hardship to reshape a man’s heart, but the end will prove to be worth it all.
In complete compliance, during the second half of his life, Job is vindicated. God restored to him much more excellence than his beginning.
What an astonishing rebound displayed in the presence of his no-count friends and the devil. You see, although Job questioned his God, his faith remained unshakable. Faith is what God honors and, as a result, this man saw an undeniable show of divine wisdom. God’s answer may not be what we think is proper in the moment. Even so, you can trust Him with your life. As one minister stated “You can trust Him even when you can’t trace Him.
What shall we gather from these biblical accounts? I want to follow with a few points:
God’s answer to our problems will always command that we hear and obey.
He is sovereign. He is, was, and always will be God, no matter the circumstance. (1 Timothy 6:1).
We do not have the power to change what God has purposed. (Isaiah 14:27).
There exists no other power that can stand up against almighty God. (Psalm 103:19).
He does whatever He pleases—without apology. (Psalm 135:5–6).
Any individual who encounters the true God will doubtless have an unshakable testimony of His greatness. (Job 13:15).
That said, here’s my answer to the question, If God is God, then why do bad thing happen? The all-wise—all knowing—all seeing—eternal God knows how to bring the good out of every bad situation we will ever face in this life, for His glory.
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