Why Do Bad Things happen?

Why Do Bad Things happen?

By: Rev. Joe Kramer

This question keeps coming up, so I figured we would revisit it today.

I know someone who has a wonderful special needs child, asking why this happened to them when there are so many rotten parents out there. Hey, I have been there. I used to ask this question a lot because my child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (which falls on the Autism Spectrum), but we aren’t going to delve into that in this article.

This question basically asks, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I am not going to placate this parent with the standard, “God chose you for this child.” While God did look down the corridor of time and saw this happening and He can strengthen us to go through these situations there is a much more simple, albeit colder, answer to this question.

With this question we must first realize that there are no good people in the world anymore. This ended at the Garden of Eden when man left God. Thereby sin marred the entire creation and nothing is as it should be. Romans 3:23 tells that all of us have sinned and fall short of God’s standard which is perfection, this why He made a way through Jesus Christ to come to Him to begin the process of repair. We must remember that the cross of Christ is not the end, but the beginning, this world, and our bodies, are still marred by sin. Our hope, however, is in the resurrection that is promised to come later. So without spending too much time here let us continue.

Technically the question is why does bad things happen for no reason or why do decent people suffer? So let us focus here a minute shall we. Remember what we said earlier, that sin entered into the world and nothing is as it should be, not genetics, not morals, ethics etc. I thought about this long and hard and came across Matthew 5:45 which states that it rains on good people and bad people alike.  To borrow a story from a writer I like, *Matt Slick, he talks about a grenade that is thrown into a crowd, some people get hit and others don’t. Some people get bad stuff happening and others don’t. This may seem cold but sometimes the truth is the truth.

Now this leads us to the next logical question. Why doesn’t God stop it?  (1) Man was given free will and Adam and Eve used their free will to turn against God and mess up the creation. God setup free-will and He doesn’t violate it. So here we are in the predicament (like I said earlier, simple answer but a cold one for sure). (2) Also, who makes the decision that it is bad? Using our example, when all is said and done would I change my son’s Asperger’s Syndrome? I don’t know, I can’t answer that because to change it would make him an entirely different individual wouldn’t it? Sure it is frustrating and heartbreaking at times, but I love who he is and it is a part of him.

In a more general sense of this question the answer could be that what may be bad for one person may not be bad to another person.  The more we look at this question the deeper we go and the more mind-boggling it becomes.

So we come to an inescapable conclusion that sin entered the world and bad things happen. The bad things are not what we should focus on, but how we respond to them. Does it make us better? Or bitter? Do we trust God to see us through the storm? Or do we look at the storm and fall into a pit of despair? God says to trust Him and He will give us the power to walk on water like Peter did. The key is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, so we don’t drown in the middle of storm like Peter almost did when he took his eyes off of Jesus.

While I know every bit of what I said is true it sometimes doesn’t make it feel any better, but knowing it and getting my eyes back on Jesus is what I must do in order to walk through the storm. God says in Romans 8:28 (KJV), “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” So I know that ultimately God will make me better through these trials and will use me to help others going through them too.

What do you think? Constructive comments and questions are always encouraged.
*Matt Slick is an author at CARM.org (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry)


5 thoughts on “Why Do Bad Things happen?

  1. Joe this is one of the best answers I have ever seen or hear to the question. And you have and are walking on the road that many others are walking in dealing with it. However, you have something many dont have due to anger, etc; and that is you are born again and Jesus is the center of your life. Love your blog. Keep it up . You are on my prayer list.

  2. A few comments…

    First, your blog wreaks with your personal struggle of parenting a special needs child. So the question really should be “Why is this happening to me?” When things don’t go our way, we all ask that question.

    In seeking your answer, you looked at man’s free will, you examined the fact that we live in a fallen world, you questioned the definition of the word “bad,” but yet You brushed off something unavoidable – God’s sovereignty

    You said… “I am not going to placate this parent with the standard, “God chose you for this child.”

    Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

    This not only applies to you, but to your child. Make it personal

    Before I formed Joe Kramer in the womb I knew him, and before he was born I consecrated him; I appointed him a father to _______ Kramer.

    Before I formed _______ Kramer in the womb I knew him, and before he was born I consecrated him; I appointed him a child to Joe Kramer.

    Is the fact that you are you son’s father the result of a grenade blast, or a Soveriegn God?

    Your answer will determine how you live out the last paragraph (good stuff) of your post.

    1. Thank you for your comments, as always I encourage comments.

      1. The term Wreaks is mildly offensive.

      2. You missed the point, that I do have a friend who posed this question to me. Her son is an autistic child who has a missing chromosome.

      3. I have come to terms and love my son very much.

      4. I did not forget about the Sovereignty of God. Too many people hide in the sovereignty of God without thinking about man’s freewill.

      5. God will never put on us more than we can handle. So yes, He allowed it to happen. Yes, He has blessed us immensely! Yes God knew Jeremiah in the womb and yes God knew me and my son in the womb. No it doesn’t negate the fact that we have all been marred by sin. All of us, you, me, Billy Graham and the Pope. None of us can escape that.

      6. I don’t know where you fall on this but you sound very Calvinistic. If we take God’s Sovereignty too far then God chooses who will go to Heaven and who will go to Hell. Doing this gets rid of freewill. Because man sinned all of us in the lineage of Adam have to deal with the effects of sin. So yes, sin touches us with a Grenade blast. The question is not God’s Sovereignty but what do we do with what has happened. Do we trust God in His sovereignty to not trump freewill and the effects of sin on our mortal, decaying bodies? Or do we trust a Savior who will guide us through this life and give us the strength to stand when we don’t think we can, knowing that all will be made right in the end.

      When God looked down the corridor of time He knew what would happen to my son (and her son) and knew exactly what we could handle. So He chose to let this miracle come into our lives. I love my son and always will. Under His Sovereignty He could do two things. (1) Give us and Him the strength to overcome his challenges. (2) Heal him outright. Because God is Healer and Sovereign.

      Keep in mind one thing when continuing your own studies on this subject. God’s Sovereignty will NEVER trump man’s freewill. Thanks for your comments. May God bless you…

      In Christ,
      Rev. Joe Kramer

  3. 1. Sorry about that, just trying to help you see things more objectively. From the outside looking in you sound like a man that despite your resolution of the subject – you still struggle. Nothing’s wrong with that – except the denial of it.

    2. I never alluded to your friend, so why bring it up? And I did not miss the point. This question is not about you, your friend, it is about all of us. As I said the real question (If we are honest with ourselves) when things don’t go our way. (That means ALL of us) is “Why is this happening to ME?”

    3. No one questioned your love for your child.

    4. And you did the opposite, I pointed it out.

    5. I believe I agreed with these things.

    6. No, I’m not a Calvanist. But I do not ignore his sovereignty or cheapen it, as it appeared you did when you used the term “placate” to describe it’s use as an answer to your question. When dealing with an issue like this, we need to speak the “whole” truth. It would be like describing God as a God of love, mercy, and grace and never mentioning that He is also a holy and just God who demands righteousness.

    When you said, “I am not going to placate this parent with the standard, “God chose you for this child.” you denied them comfort from the truth of God’s Word. That God chose them to parent this child, and he will supply all they need to do so. How encouraging an answer like this can be.

    Yes we need to deal with the “colder” issues, but not to exclusion of the warmer ones.

    One last thing: You stated: “So yes, sin touches us with a Grenade blast. The question is not God’s Sovereignty but what do we do with what has happened.”

    God’s Sovereignty will always be part of the question. For example: Why did God give man free will resulting in sin Answer: It was His sovereign choice. I could give more examples, but I hope you see my point.

    I want you to keep in mind one thing. You don’t have all the answers. And neither do I. But as we discuss the issues in Christian love we both can learn.

    1. Thank you for replying! It is by this we grow.

      You do make some good points here. I guess I should have included the fact that my friend came to me and didn’t want to hear the answer of the “warmer issues” she said she knew all that. I did not make that clear in my post. For this I apologize.

      I will admit that “placate” may not have been the proper word to use here.

      I see God as sovereignly giving man freedom of choice and therefore not trumping it, even when it is bad for us. I see freewill and Sovereignty as balancing each other out.

      As for me remembering that I don’t have the answers. I agree, I DON’T. I never will, not even in eternity. Because unlike God I am not infinite only He is, and only an infinite being (i.e. God) will have all knowledge.

      In Christ,
      Rev. Joe Kramer

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