When tidal waves wipe out villages and kill thousands of people. When terrorists attack and kill thousands of innocent people. When a child is diagnosed with incurable cancer. When a loved son is suddenly and tragically killed. When tragedy strikes, we often ask why? This is not a new question, nor will it stop being asked whenever some new tragedy strikes. Why does God allow bad things to happen in this world and to us? The answers offered go from one extreme to the other. Some have suggested that God can’t do anything to stop these tragedies, He feels just as bad about it as we do when these things happen. Others have taught that God uses all these things as a direct judgement on the people involved. The tidal waves wiped out those people and villages because they were so sinful. What does the Bible say about this, though? My opinion is not important, what is important is what God has said in the Bible. First, God is in complete control. 1 Chronicles 29:11, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty. For all that is in the heaven and in the earth, thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.” God is head of all things, all events, all circumstances. Nothing happens that God has not first given the green light for it to occur. Second, this world is under a curse. Romans 8:22, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Because of the effects of sin, the earth is under the curse of God and experiences great pain. Bad things happen as part of the general curse on sin. Lastly, God has a good purpose. That is hard to understand, especially when so many that are innocent die, but the Bible is very plain– God is good, and everything He does is for a good purpsoe. 1 John 4:8 says very simply, “God is love.” Not just that God loves, but God is love. God will never do anything that is unloving or unkind. Psalm 145:9, “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Though we don’’t know all the mind of God, we can know that all things that happen, God allows for a good reason. For those who have put their trust in Christ for salvation the Bible gives some very clear reasons for bad things. God allows these bad things to happen so that we can help others that later go through the same troubles. He allows these things so that we can be purified and made to look more like Jesus. He allows these things for our benefit, to teach us and help us be more Godly.
The Bible never promises that we will know all the reasons why bad things happen. The general answer to this question can be boiled down to a simple, I don’t know, but I do know this, God is good, God is in total control and all things that happen occur for a good reason.