Why do bad things happen? I have heard people argue against the existence of God based upon this very thing: “If there is a God, then why does He allow bad things to happen?” Bad things happening in the world don’t discourage or derail my faith. The bad things that have happened in my life don’t discourage or derail my faith either. To put it bluntly – I believe there will always be bad things happening in this world. This world is broken and hurting. There is a lot of evil in the world.
I believe there is evil in the world to remind us that this life is not all there is. God created the world and everything in it. He created people to be independent thinkers with freewill. Due to freewill, sin entered the world and bad things started to happen. God has placed eternity in our hearts and I believe whenever we ask: “Why do bad things happen?” that is an echo of eternity.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).
We weren’t meant to live like this, in a world where bad things happen. God created a perfect world, but when sin and bad things entered the world his perfect creation was no longer perfect. He sent Jesus to die for our sins so we can enter back into that perfect relationship in heaven, but our hearts long for that perfection. We see bad things, the injustices in the world, and we cry out: “That’s not fair!” “How can people do such things?” We long for perfect. We are wired to long for perfect, because God created us for the perfect.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV).
Jesus basically told us not to be surprised by evil in world or trials we face. However, we can have peace that God is just. No one ever gets away with anything! For the unrepentant, there will be a reckoning. The Bible say:
It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
and their doom rushes upon them (Deuteronomy 32:35 NIV).
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:19 & 21 NIV).
For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:30-31 NIV).
Bad things will happen, but we can have peace that God is going to handle it. For the unrepentant there will be judgement and for those who harm others there is an even harsher punishment:
If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea (Matthew 16:3 NIV).
This gives me peace and I hope it encourages you too.