Summary: Our faith does not guarantee an easy or problem free life.
A. ALL KINDS OF ANSWERS TO THIS QUESTION
? Over 3,000 killed on 9-11
? Children and teachers killed needlessly, Sandy Hook
? Cancer takes a young mother
? Jewish Holocaust
? Over 230,000 killed in Tsunami, Sumatra, Indonesia, 2004
? Who can explain Nero, Hitler and Saddam Hussein?
1. It’s an accusation against God.
2. It proves there is no God.
3. We don’t understand all people are born with a sin nature.
4. We don’t understand the role of evil in the world.
5. It presupposes our life on earth is all we’ve got.
? Eve and Adam – Romans 5:12
? Sin – Romans 3:23
? That’s life – Job 5:7
6. We don’t understand the playing field of life.
7. It presupposes we have moral authority to know what is good.
8. We don’t want an answer, we want to end suffering.
B. TOWARD AN ANSWER
1. God is not the cause of bad things, but He knows they will happen and allows it.
2. God runs the universe by laws, and they have consequences. Bad things happen when those laws are broken.
a. Laws are an extension of the person and nature of God and it is the power by which He controls all things.
b. Mankind broke God’s law and created an uneven playing field.
c. God has a plan for our life and usually works it by providence (through His laws) and not by a miracle (the altering of the laws of nature for a divine purpose. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11, NLT).
3. There is an enemy who opposes God and is responsible for some bad things
a. Destroys people. “Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT).
b. Destroys everything. “The thief’s (devil) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10, NLT).
4. Bad people cause bad things to happen.
5. The world is an imperfect place. We are all part of human history.
6. Human limitations. Both good and bad people make mistakes that harm others.
7. Without suffering, pleasure would cease to exist.
8. Suffering is intertwined with learning. We become smarter, quicker, motivated, more sensitive, more cautious, and more human.
It would be odd to go through a bad experience then pretend it never happened.
9. Same answer when question is reversed. Why would God allow good things to happen to bad people? “The rain falls on the just and the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).
C. SOME BAD THINGS CAN BE BLAMED ON SATAN
1. Satan wanted to destroy Job. “Satan replied to the LORD, ‘Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is’” (Job 1:9-10, NLT).
2. By destroying Job, Satan diminished God’s glory. “Job tore his robe in grief . . . worshipped” (Job 1:20, NLT).
3. God permitted – not caused – Job’s problems. “All right, do with him as you please,” the LORD said to Satan. “But spare his life” (Job 2:6, NLT).
4. God permitted bad things to happen to Job to instruct us about this life. “Job replied to the Lord, ‘I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you’” (Job 42:1-2, NLT).
5. Job was ultimately rewarded. “The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (42:10, NLT).
6. God was ultimately glorified.
D. WHAT GOOD PEOPLE HAD BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO THEM?
1. Moses banished 40 years in the desert.
2. David was chased by Saul for 13 years.
3. Jeremiah imprisoned.
4. Jesus suffered on the cross.
5. Stephen was martyred.
6. Paul the Apostle suffered many bad things.
E. 12 LESSONS TO LEARN FROM BAD THINGS
1. We are wrong to think bad things will never happen to others or us.
2. Every bad thing is not a punishment (a woman’s birth pain leads to a new life).
3. Our sense of God’s purpose for our life will get us through personal tragedy.
4. Bad things turn our righteous anger into a force for good.
5. Our faith does not guarantee an easy or problem free life.
6. Following Christ is tough and we’re targeted by Satan.
7. If no bad things, then there is no justice for broken laws.
8. How can I prevent it from happening again?
9. Ask, “What blessings can we find in a bad thing?”
10. Bad things should renew our trust in God’s plan for the world.