If I Could Ask God Anything is a kid-friendly book jam-packed with clear answers to important questions about God, faith and prayer. Author Kathryn Slattery provides helpful answers to some tough questions your kids may be asking. Today, she is answering a BIG one:
If God Loves People, Why Do Bad Things Happen?
Oh, what a big question this is!
Bad things happen.
It is true. The world we live in is not the way God originally created it. In the Garden of Eden, the world was in perfect harmony. (Genesis 1-2). There were no natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods. No murders or wars. And there was no human pain, suffering, or death. Because Adam and Eve chose to sin, the world and all the people in it are not the way God intended. The world and all the people in it are, in some way, disordered and broken.
But God is good.
We know this because the Bible says, “God is love” (1John 4:8).
God loves the world and all the people in it.
We know God loves us because He sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth to die for our sins. “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). God did this to make a way for us to never die. God did this so that we can live with Him forever in heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16). That’s a whole lot of love!
God is not like us.
God is perfect. We are not. God sees all of human history from His throne in heaven. We can only see where we are right here and now. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thought than your thoughts,’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
We are human, therefore, we cannot understand many things about God.
There is much about God that is a mystery or secret.
We trust God and can accept His mysteries.
Maybe some things are too terrible for us to know. Maybe some things are too wonderful. When God is ready, He will give us more understanding. For now, it is as though we are seeing reality through dirty glass, the Bible says. But when we get to heaven we will see everything clearly. “At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
In the Bible, God promises that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” (Revelation 21:1). The battle between good and evil being waged in heaven and on earth will end. Good will triumph over evil. Until that day, bad things will happen. It’s part of life and being human. But here is good news:
Because God loves us, He promises to help us through the bad times.
How can we know this is true?
God always keeps His promises.
“Know then, that the Lord, your God is God: the faithful God who keeps his covenant mercy to the thousandth generation toward those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)
“But as it is written: ‘What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)