I’m sure you’ve pondered this question, “Why do bad things have to happen to good people?” I know I’ve wondered this myself a few times. I’ve lost so many people who I loved very much. I’ve lost jobs. I’ve had numerous medical issues to cope with for my husband and even for myself. I’ve dealt with financial concerns. I’ve had to recover from cancer. I’ve had to help my husband recover from cancer. It’s difficult to keep from getting discouraged when challenging events happen in our lives.
We’ve all heard it numerous times: “Why would a God who is all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful allow bad things to happen to good people?”
There are some helpful responses out there for this question. For example, “God never gives us more then we can handle.” Paul tells us: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Over time, that statement has become abbreviated to this chestnut: “God will never give you more than you can handle.”
Even though we want to believe this, let’s be honest. We still wonder why there is so much suffering for some. For example, what about the pain and suffering others have to endure sometimes daily, such as children going hungry, the homeless, or those who have to live with the existence of war and terror every day? Certainly they must wonder why these bad things are happening to them.
Could God be using us as their example of a “way out?” Is it possible that our suffering is a tool to help others deal with theirs? Is the answer to why really very simple and staring us in the face? Has the answer always come from God through His Son, Jesus? Was Jesus’ life and death and Resurrection the true example of why we all face so many difficulties? Hmm.
Let’s examine this a little more closely. Jesus had upsets in His life. He had temptations, loss, persecution and suffering at the hands of His tormentors leading to His being nailed to the cross. He suffered horrible pain before dying on that cross. His ultimate pain was rewarded when He ascended into Heaven. I know in my heart this is the end goal for all: to be joined in heaven with Jesus.
The truth is, life is a journey. All of us will face adversity and obstacles to overcome in our journey. Frankly, not all of our journeys are the same. Our cultures, our background, our choices, our education, our parents; much of what we are exposed to impact our individual journey. We learn at a very young age we will need the assistance of others to help us deal with life’s obstacles. We learn we don’t want to be alone. We hopefully learn that the most important lesson is to find God’s love in this journey we call life. How do we find this? We find it in each other. We find it in prayer. We find it in our ability to discover courage in ourselves. We find it with God!
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. (Winnie the Pooh)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. (Psalm 23:4a)
“Faith in Jesus Christ does not guarantee a good life, but a perfect eternity awaits us all. There has always been more prediction in Scripture of a struggle on earth for the believer.”
God is Love! Let me rephrase that. God is Perfect Love! This is the core of the answer to most of the hard questions. So this must be the answer to the question of pain and suffering.
I think that, put simply, our purpose is to love others, to become the best version of ourselves, and to follow God’s will. I believe God puts people in our lives to show others by example the importance of perseverance since coping with life’s difficulties can be complex. We are here on this earth to find God through helping each other.
My sister Mary always says “all of life’s challenges, good and bad, are about bringing us to our knees.” I guess what I’m trying to articulate here is this. When we feel we are at the end our ropes, God will be there. God is always the answer!