“If there is a God, why does he allow bad things to happen?”
This is perhaps one of the most common questions asked from people all across the faith spectrum, whether they be atheists, devout Christians, or those whose faith is as sturdy as a wet paper towel.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with wondering such a thing. As best as our limited human minds can comprehend, it seems logical that an all-powerful being would stop bad things from happening before they occur. Otherwise, wouldn’t he be a bad or evil God?
But God is just.
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.Deuteronomy 32:4
Whether we agree with him or not, God’s ways are perfect and right. He has a plan and a purpose and he is always in control. He sits on his throne in heaven the way a judge sits on the bench in a courtroom, presiding over our lives, judging between right and wrong according to his laws and delivering punishment as he sees fit.
“Are you saying a mother who loses a baby at birth is being punished? Or that a young man who dies of cancer deserved what he got?”
No, of course not. But there is a plan and a purpose for such a tragedy.
- God may call the deceased into his kingdom before we — their loved ones — are ready to let them go.
- He may be providing a chance for growth and stronger faith for those who endure such pain and suffering.
- He may even open doors of new opportunities that we can’t even see in the immediate aftermath of such agony.
This is where faith is of paramount significance. As Deuteronomy 32:4 notes, not only is God a “Rock” whose ways are perfect and just, but he is a faithful God as well. Even though we may experience difficult situations that leave us wallowing in despair, it’s our faith in him that will bring us through it all.
God will protect those who are loving and faithful toward him.
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you2 Thessalonians 1:6
Much like our biological fathers on earth, our Father in heaven will discipline us not because he enjoys dishing out punishment, but because he loves us and wants the best for us. In fact, I’m sure that he hates punishing us and would much rather we abide by his rules and live as his son, Jesus Christ, did.
Ultimately, there will come a time when we are brought before our just Creator and he will judge our actions and hold us accountable for how we lived our lives. Whether or not we believe that we lived a good enough life to get into heaven is not up to us because we are not the perfect, upright beings that make those decisions.
That’s up to our just God.