Here’s a good one from our own Lee Pierce. I’ve had many of these same questions…but I think this post should clear things up! Enjoy!-anita
I was thinking the other day about a book written awhile back entitled “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People.” Many times I’ve heard individuals bring up that book in the context of arguing that: how can there even be a God if He lets bad things happen to good people. And they often take the thought further and posit: there can’t be a God when you look around and see all the war, hate, crime, natural disasters and suffering taking place. They then often conclude the thought process by saying something like, “If there is a God and He allows all of that to happen, I don’t want any part of Him!”
But bad things do happen to good people. My first thought in reaction to that fact is this: so why wouldn’t they; why are we surprised. Many of the “bad” things that happen to good people are due to the bad things perpetrated by other people. An exception might be disease but even that is the result of God’s “good” creation (as He originally formed it) struggling (groaning) under the burden of sin found throughout creation, due to us and our sins.
We naturally—in our sin nature—gravitate to sin and sinful things. Sin seems to come quite naturally to us. Believe me, I’m not happy that this is the case but, at the same time, I can’t deny the fact. I sin all the time and I would believe that you do too!
But our God does not sin. There’s a great passage in Habakkuk that speaks to what we’re talking about here. In Habakkuk 1:13 the prophet says, “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil, and [cannot] look on wickedness with favor.” Habakkuk goes on to question the Lord as to why He allows these bad things to happen to His people. But God does not initiate sin or sinful acts; we do that quite well all by ourselves! Yet God can take our sinful acts and make beautiful results out of them. In my own life, I’ve made many poor (sinful) choices that God managed to turn into very positive outcomes to His glory!
So Habakkuk has a clear answer for how we should conduct ourselves as sin pervades around us: Live by faith (Hab 2:4b). And I love the conclusion of the book of Habakkuk. Even as he waits for the “day of distress” (Hab 3:16) he is able to “exult in the Lord” (Hab 3:18) and rejoice in Him. The prophet says God gives him feet like hinds (deer) feet and makes him walk “…on my high places.” (3:19)
But there was more to my musing on this subject. Why did there even have to be sin in the first place? Couldn’t God have just created us and the earth without any sin? He could have, of course, but that sounds a lot like Heaven. And clearly, God didn’t want to create us as a bunch of automatons, maybe with latex-like “skin” and a computer-like brain all pre-programmed to act in prescribed ways to any circumstance. Rather, He gave us a heart and soul and allowed us the ability to exercise free will. And, as was clear in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve (just like every one of the rest of us would do) made a choice to do exactly what God told them not to do. And I can guarantee you, I’ve had my share of Adam-and-Eve experiences, often with very bad consequences. So, we have the ability to always choose from multiple choices but with a pronounced proclivity to make the bad (sinful) choice. And, so we live. And, thus, we need a savior. Thanks be to God He has provided One.
By: Lee Pierce