When talking with atheists and skeptics, the argument (or excuse) I hear more than anything is this: “If God is so good, why would he allow so many bad things to happen?” Or “Why does God allow so many bad things to happen to good people?”
Now, without completely exposing how no one really is “that good” in a fallen world, and that none of us have lived a perfect life like Someone… cough, cough… (Jesus), I think we need to be honest with that question before we ask it. Some of us are asking it to attempt to back Christians into a corner, because it is a lot easier and more fun to argue about something that doesn’t fit into our preconceived notions of who God is and should be. Some of us simply don’t understand, because if God were good, He would be fair, right?
That statement makes sense to most of us. At least, it should, because we have grown up with a sense of justice. We want things to add up, we want things to make sense—that’s why so many people believe in karma, If they will admit it or not. They think: "what goes around SHOULD come around."
Let me take you back to the beginning of the Bible, which, for us silly Christians, is what we believe to be the beginning of time. God created everything, and it was good! God eventually created man and woman, and it was good. God gave them a choice… and then the &#@* hit the fan. Ever since mankind had the opportunity to accept or reject God’s commands, life has not been fair. Because 1: God loved us enough to give us a choice to worship or reject Him. And 2: God gave mankind grace, in His predestined plan (yeah, I said it) to allow Jesus to leave heaven, live a perfect life that you and I could not live, and be crucified for our transgressions. God, who is not about being fair, because he allowed His perfect Son to die in mankind’s imperfect place, raised Jesus to life. Jesus defeated sin and the stronghold which sin held on us, which was death.
I have had my fair share of “unfair” circumstances in this life. I was kidnapped as a child, and was told my father was dead. I lost my mother to cancer at the age of 8. I have made some very poor choices as a man, husband, and father. I have witnessed my oldest daughter have a 28 minute seizure. Just a few years ago, I lost my dad to a heart attack, and was not around to help him.
Did I deserve any of that?
That‘s up for debate, depending on how “great” you think mankind is. But here is what I will tell you: Every single one of those circumstances made me the person that I am today; they shaped, refined and even broke me, to make me into the person who God is creating me to be. Not to make much of myself, but to make much of Jesus—because He is who I am striving to be like.
I once read that we are either “coming out of a storm, in the middle of one, or headed into one.” Not very optimistic, but a very realistic statement. Friends, we live in a world that is not fair, and it never promised to be so. But we have an eternity because Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Because of Him, we can have an eternity where there will be no more pain, no more suffering, and no more fear. For that, I am grateful, and I can live this life knowing that this is not all we get.
But you must know that it’s all because of Jesus. And handing over your life to Him and saying, “You lead me, because I have and will mess this up.” Will you yield yourself to His lordship, and be adopted into God’s family? I pray that you will.
Let me leave you with this thought: “We do not choose our circumstances, but we can absolutely choose how we respond.” Would you respond today in gratitude to the God who loves you, in spite of how “good” you are?
If you are interested in hearing a sermon about this topic, check out this video from our discipleship playlist.