It’s never easy to understand why bad things happen. Many people think that God causes them to happen. I don’t believe this is true. I believe that God allows things to happen. Sometimes it’s for our own good and although it is difficult, we know that we will come out stronger in the end. The following analogy came to me last night that explains what I’m talking about. Let’s say, for example, that a parent has a child that is difficult to get up and ready for school. The school has a no-tolerance tardy policy and the child will be required to serve detention if they are late. The parent may not want the child to have to suffer the consequences, but knows that it will be for their own good, so they go ahead and allow their child to sleep in or miss the bus. The parent didn’t cause the child to be late and more than likely could have prevented it from happening, but chose to allow it to happen so that the child could learn and grow from what happened. The parent could see that there could be potential benefits in the child having to suffer the consequences. They may become easier to get moving in the morning, grow in character and become a more responsible person. The parent sees the value in the child learning to be on time and how it will affect his/her future. It may keep him/her from losing a job one day and will show others that they are responsible and trustworthy. This is much how God is when allowing things to happen in our lives.
There are other times that really bad things happen and there is no real way to get your head around why. Heinous crimes, natural disasters, famine… The only explanation for why these things happen is that we live in a sinful world. God certainly doesn’t choose for this to happen. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” How much more plain could it be – it says right here that has no plans to harm us – His plans are to give us a future and a hope. He wants good things for us – He wants to feed and clothe us and provide for our needs. He wants us to be prosperous.
Satan is the one that has his hand in the bad things that happen. In Ephesians 2:2, the Bible calls Satan the “power of the prince of the air”. It has always been my understanding that Satan can indeed cause natural disasters to happen. John 10:10 tells us that Satan comes to “steal, kill and destroy”. Satan is responsible for deceiving people and causing strife and pain and emotional distress that leads to all sorts of crime and wickedness.
God is good…all the time! John 10:10 also tells us that Christ came that we might have life, and “have it to the full”. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He will never leave us or forsake us and He has no plans to harm us.