Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
— Romans 12:1–2
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
— 1 Peter 3:15
Probably the most common, recurring question people have about God is, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” We tend to ask this question when a good person dies prematurely, or when an honest person is wrongly accused of a crime. It seems as if this question really stems from what’s fair and what’s unfair.
Bad things happen. Unfortunately, there’s never a day when something bad doesn’t happen to someone on this earth. One reason bad things happen is because there are around eight billion people currently living on earth, and each person can make their own choices. With each person comes a variety of viewpoints and belief systems that lead people to choose their own way. If the worldview isn’t a biblical one, then choices don’t line up with God’s standards and usually leads to sin. With each sin, comes consequences that can bring about so much destruction on our earth and in our lives.
Since we tend to only question God when bad things happen to good people, let’s consider the alternative. If God is the only good One in the world, not us, then let’s ask, “Why do good things happen to bad people?” Because we can all count the good things in our lives that are from God’s hand. Sure, we have difficult seasons in life, but we also have countless blessings. What if we recognized that every good thing in our life is a gift and not something we deserved? What if instead of having an entitled attitude that we should receive what we ask God for, as if He’s our own personal genie, but chose to walk in gratitude and recognize that God gives us far more blessings than He doesn’t?
Ultimately, God is sovereign, and He has a plan. We’re not on this earth for God to fulfill our plan, but for us to fulfill His. But, we confuse this when pain riddles our lives because we aren’t getting our desires. While God is always with us, near us, and for us, He didn’t create the world and His plan with just us in mind. For God so loved…the world. His plans and purposes go far beyond us.
There are going to be more what ifs and questions as you go through life than you’ll find answers for. But, as you press through one question to the next, you may not have all the answers, but you’ll know our great God more.
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