Why do bad things happen to good people? To people who don’t deserve it?
Why do innocents and children suffer?
Where did evil come from?
Are Heaven and hell for real?
What’s the meaning of all this anyway?
And if God is a God of love, why doesn’t He do something to stop the madness?
These are solid and relevant questions that have been asked by people since the Beginning. Job not only asked, he demanded to know.
And in my worst moments of heartache, I’ve asked the same questions. And begged for answers.
Haven’t you, too?
None of us have all the answers, or even some of the answers. But in the thoughts that follow are a few answers God gave me when I was the one asking, WHY.
Believers in Jesus Christ are characters in a drama involving a major conflict – one that has existed since time began. But not as pawns with no will or choice in the matter. Our roles are more as partners and co-heirs, as soldiers in a battle still being fought, as descendants of a royal Kingdom not yet completed.
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. – Proverbs 21:1
For good. Every decision He makes and all His works are goodness, through and through.
And although we’re His servants, Jesus also called us friends.
Which is why He became flesh and walked among us, and breathed words to be recorded – so we wouldn’t have to wonder or grope in the dark or make this journey alone.
Darkened eyes cannot see, because the Enemy’s most diligent work is to blind our eyes and cloud our vision in every possible way – hindering our efforts at reaching for the Light.
He, too, was a created being—one of the original cherubim.
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. – Revelation 12:7-12
Two things he’s a master at – deceiving and accusing. All for the purpose of destroying the works of God, hiding goodness, twisting the truth… to distract and derail any human attempts at finding God and being found by Him. (God calls this, Reconciliation.)
There will be casualties in war, losses in the battles we fight one day after another after another. Few of us enjoy war and bloodshed. And no one wishes for loved ones (or self) to suffer injury. But as long as spiritual battles are fought, losses will occur.
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. – 1 John 3:8
In the movie The Patriot, during the South Carolina Assembly Levy Debate, Benjamin Martin explained why he was against going to war with England. This war will be fought not on the frontier or on some distant battlefield, but amongst us — among our homes.
It’s the same in spiritual battles: Benjamin Martin lost two sons and many comrades, and his friends lost family members and limbs, and sacrificed their homes and their lives and more.
In this battle of the ages, we will face the same.
Isaiah 14 tells us about this one the nations were terrified of.
Imagine Randall Boggs – the over-sized purple reptile in Monsters, Inc. and self-proclaimed enemy of Sully and Mike. Squirmy weasel, sneaking around, looking out for himself while sabotaging everyone else’s efforts at doing good.
Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities…? – Isaiah 14:16-17
We have to remember, our enemy doesn’t know all, has no influence or power except in what God allows… he can’t be in more than one place at a time, and he only looks out for himself.
But he can be resisted, and we don’t have to be afraid. Because when we belong to Christ, there’s nothing to fear. Look up, focus on God, pursue His will, and ask, seek and knock (and repeat).
Constantly. Always. Every moment of every day.
And move forward, even if it’s only one baby step at a time.
Remember, you shouldn’t believe liars. Especially when you’re told ahead of time, someone’s a liar. Enemies never want you to know when they’re lying to you. And this one’s lying to you – with ramifications that could last forever.
In Matthew 4 he tried to stop Jesus from doing God’s work and fulfilling God’s will.
And in a prior century he accused Job of loving God only for what God gave him, implying “You’re not fair. No one would love You for You, not willingly…”
So, where did evil come from, and what’s the standard for Good? And why did someone have to die such an awful death?
Am I really that bad?
If God stopped people from doing evil, He would remove our ability to choose, negating the consequences of our choices. And our connectivity to each other and to Him would cease.
And yeah, other peoples’ choices affect my life in ways I don’t choose, and it’s no fun. But God’s grace covers all.
Somehow good and evil are intertwined with love and hate. C.S. Lewis explains it well in his book, The Problem of Pain.
The choice to do good or evil, to love God or rebel against Him, is what eternity past, present and future hangs on. It’s what determines my forever destiny—and yours. The enemy knows it and wants to keep you from it – and he’s doing everything he can to steer you in the wrong direction, in any direction but the right one.
Ever noticed? There’s only one way to Heaven, but a million ways and more to hell. The Adversary doesn’t care which way you go or how you end up there or what you believe, as long as he can keep you from believing the truth.
Pride is the precursor to a fall. The enemy fell, and he’s been falling ever since. And he’s determined to grab as many lost souls as he can on his way down. He knows he only has so much time. But he’s had years and years to watch us at our best and at our worst, giving him tons of opportunities to perfect his strategies.
Knowing who’s the real enemy and who’s your greatest Ally is the truth that leads to freedom. Really.
Someday the battles will cease, and this conflict will be over. And those on God’s side will rule and reign with Him.
As angels watch in wonder.
Why do humans get a chance at salvation and angels don’t?
(That’s a topic I haven’t found an answer for. Any ideas?)