Life is hard
When people begin to deal with questions of faith, this is a question that often comes up. But why do bad things happen to good people? In other words, if there is a God, how could he allow my dad to die so young? If there is a God, why do kids get leukemia? If there is a God, how am I in such an abusive relationship? And sometimes, the question is even, how could God cause such bad things to happen to people who are essentially good?
Humans made a choice
This could be a really long blog post, because to really begin to answer these questions, you have to go way back to the beginning of time. Instead, let me simplify, and then tell you about some really good books to read if you want to learn more. "In the beginning God created..." humans. And everything. And it was perfect and people lived in perfect communion with God, and they walked together in a beautiful garden. But when presented with a choice, humans chose to try to be like God - as powerful as God, knowing as God knows - instead of to continue in perfect relationship with him. This was the first sin. And when sin entered the world, it brought other imperfections, like sickness (mental, emotional, physical), death, a hunger for power, greed, "natural" disasters.
It's not personal; it's broken
See, the thing is, bad things don't happen just to good people. Bad things happen. Period. When sin entered, the perfection of God's creation broke, and bad things are part of the consequences of our choice. Now listen, I am not saying bad things happen to people because they sin. It is not a one-to-one equation. My dad did not get cancer because he broke a commandment. Your daughter did not lose her job because she strayed. There are natural consequences to some sins, true, but in trying to answer this question of why bad things happen to good people, the reality is: it's not personal; it's brokenness. The world is broken because of sin.
Unity is coming again
When Adam and Eve chose sin in the garden, they broke the perfect relationship with God and experienced a life of hardship. But there are two facts that bring us hope:
God created a plan to bring us back into relationship with himself. He has promised that we will not not go through this life alone. In fact, he has promised to carry our burdens for us. When bad things happen (because, I promise you, they will) we do not have to deal with them on our own. If we are reconciled to God through Christ, we have the greatest support system we could ever hope for.
This is not the end. There will come a day when all of creation is restored and we will walk with God again. It's promised, and his plan is not yet complete; perfection will reign again.
"In this life you will have trouble. Take heart! I have overcome the world"
Want to go deeper? I recommend these books:
Long Story Short: The Bible in Six Simple Movements by Joshua McNall
Grown-Up Faith by Kevin Myers & Charlie Wetzel
Did you miss Sunday's sermon? Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/MuskegonFirstWesleyan/videos/490474518497554/