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Articles > Life April, 11, 2017

If God Exists Then Why Do Bad Things Happen?

April, 11, 2017

Mercy Olagunju Applicant Panel member. Member since February 2017.
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 ‘How can we claim a God that is supposed to be loving and caring exists, when innocent people are murdered and die of cancer every moment?’. People frequently ask this question and up until recently, I had always struggled to address this issue, as I myself could not grasp the concept. However, it was not until I stumbled upon a particular passage in the Bible that my perception of God and what I expect from Him completely changed.

cherub with hand over mouth

How can there be evil if God exists?

With everything going on in the world right now this question is being asked more and more. The question of the existence of God is a topic that rarely ever ends with agreement from both sides of the argument, and what I have realised during my short time on this Earth is that we humans tend to resort to the belief of the inexistence of something as soon as we acknowledge that we will never be able to know everything about it. After all, it is far easier to claim something does not exist than to say we simply do not have the answers for everything. Nevertheless, having read this passage from the Bible, my eyes were opened:

“Good people pass away;

 

the godly often die before their time.

But no one seems to care or wonder why.

No one seems to understand

that God is protecting them from the evil to come.

For those who follow godly paths

 

will rest in peace when they die.”

(Isaiah 57:1-2 – New Living Translation)

How awesome is it to think that even in our death, God still thinks of us and aims to protect us from evil. This just goes to show that so many things are beyond our understanding and we should never fail to realise that every moment God prevents so many courses of injustice. If you do not believe this, how is it then that one person may cross a street and be perfectly safe, yet another person can cross the same street minutes later and get hit by a car? A few years ago my mother missed her bus and, although at that moment she became very angered, it was not until she learned that that specific bus was involved in an armed robbery that she realised it had been an act of God.

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But what if you still do not believe in God and His mysterious ways? Unfortunately, even Christians cannot predict the ways of our God. He operates under what we call ‘sovereignty’, in that He does whatever pleases Him. It is a concept that angers a lot of people: how is it fair that He can take the lives of people just because He wants to? Well, as Job 9:12 (New Living Translation) says, ‘If he snatches someone in death, who can stop him? Who dares to ask, ‘What are you doing?’’

This verse is ever so relevant, even if we did not agree with what God does. Who are we as humans to question Him? Are our cries and bursts of anger going to stop Him from being God and exercising His authority? No! He was, He is and He will forever be God.

But for those who have done nothing wrong, you may ask? What about innocent children? That’s all part of the beauty of the God I serve, everything He does is for a reason. In the beginning of time, He intended for us all to live in peace and joy, but the circumstances of life and our unfaithfulness to Him sometimes means that we make ourselves vulnerable to evil. Ever since I have established a relationship with God, I have never felt more secure in my future for I know he is protecting me.

I know this may all be a lot to stomach, and whether you believe or not, I would like to end with something very important. I think the truth of the matter is that God never intended to harm us, for as Jeremiah 29:11 (New Living Translation) recalls “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”


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  1. Henry Newton
    April 11, 2017 at 11:11 am

    but god is supposed to be omnibenevolent and omnipotent, thus he is compelled to, and perfectly able to, protect us from all evil in life and death. this doesn’t solve the problem of evil but merely complicates it further.

    • Mercy Olagunju
      April 12, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Hello Henry, thank you for your comment.
      God most certainly is Omnibenevolent and Omnipotent. But believe it or not, with as much power as He possesses, He has blessed us all with free will. Would it be safe to agree that many atimes the trouble/dangers people get themselves in, are due to our own actions? If a person is a drug addict or alcohol addict and dies because of their addiction, can we really blame God? I know there are many exceptions and sometimes people really just die unexpectedly. But to be a Christian is to acknowledge that life is temporary. Even the Bible says ‘it is appointed unto man to die once but after this the judgement’ (Hebrews 9:27). And most importantly to always love and honour God no matter what we go through in life. I think the story of Job in the Buble will offer you great insight to this topic.

      God bless you

  2. Atilia Stefanova
    April 13, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Hello,
    I agree that this topic is one of the most relevant these days. We as humans are inclined to question, to be curious and most of all seek new knowledge as it drives us forward to progress.

    Unfortunately, you are right about the ‘I do not understand, therefore I do not believe’ narrative, but I seek to add more to this comment. Using it only to one side of society is very unfair, since religious people often use it to disprove topics, like evolution. Of course not every aspect of it has been discovered, so the religious run to God for explanation or even worse, they erase every piece of proof found of evolution and paint the world from a creationist stand point. Therefore, we are all guilty of disbelieving something to which we haven’t gotten full proof of.

    Next point I would wish to adress is using any holy book as proof of something. Believe me when I say that both of my parents belong to very different religions and I have thoroughly read each of their holy books and while they are a beautiful source of literature and comfort, I found no proof that they are written by or included the interference of supernatural creatures. Simply saying ‘this happened’ is not proof.

    This is where I want to adress the question at hand. I asked my (very religious) anthropology teacher why this evil happens upon children and innocents. What his answer revealed was astonishing and not very moral to me. He explained that everything bad that happens to child, not been able to even sin yet, is because of his parents. That is right, not only because of the sins of his parents, but humanity’s sins too. Despite the claims of every religious person of how kind, loving, caring and moral their God is… They accepted beings who haven’t had a chance to speak yet, get punished so brutally. Moreover, they argue that God protects them by punishing them like this. Picture a child, ill of cancer, being ‘protected’ in this way. Oh, how ‘mysterious’ the ways of God are, I agree with you on that. God is for sure giving us hope for the future, I bet.

    Anyway, I felt there should be two sides of answering this question, that is why I submit my opinion. It is mine and mine only. I respect any person’s opinion, wether it be religious, non religious. It is fundamental, however, to have both sides of the story. Thank you for the opportunity to share mine.

    • Mercy Olagunju
      April 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Hello Atilia, thank you so much for your insight. I really appreciate your contribution. Firstly to address your comment on Christians dismissing scientific evidence and so on, I believe the reason why we find many Christians, such as I dismissing scientific research without necessarily giving it much thought is because we see no need to believe in anything which goes against the Word of God. I believe that’s God is not a God of confusion. Truly everything in the Bible is perfect and true. Now, I believe the issue arises when we as humans try and ‘figure’ out God, as if to say He is a man that we can comprehend. The Bible in Ecclesiastes 3:11 says ‘ He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.’
      This verse speaks about the fact that we will never be able to understand or grasp the works of God. If we as a human race, cannot figure out all the processes in the brain or all it’s structures, how can we try and understand the one who created the brain? The Bible even warns us on trying to know more than God has allowed us to know, because it leads to unbelief if we try to grasp the concept of God using our human minds. God was never created, He does not have a beginning nor an end, He has just always been there and will always be. How can we understand that using our human minds, we cannot. And thus the Bible compels us to walk by faith and not by sight. Any Christian who tries to walk by sight cannot be a Christian for long. We believe in Jesus who we have actually never seen and a God who most of us have never seen, but our faith sustains us and reassures us that He indeed exists.

      I will now address your point on why evil things happen to innocent children who have had no opportunity to sin. It all comes from Adam and Eve and the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Prior to Eve eating the forbidden fruit, God’s plan was for us to live forever with Him. There was never meant to be any disease, sickness or sorrow. But because of the sinful nature of man and Eve falling into temptation, this plan was ruined. In the book of Genesis, you can see consequence placed upon man as a result of this. As to whether, it is directly a child’s parents fault can be argued. There are instances where the sin of a man or woman can bring a curse upon their future offspring, but also we can see in John 9:3, Jesus said the blindness of the man was not due to his parent’s sin, but simply so the power of God could be displayed.

      Ultimately, as you have addressed, God does work in truly mysterious ways, which sadly will never be known to man. But the most important thing I can tell you is that He sincerely loves each and everyone of us. He sent His only Son to die for us, so we could experience freedom from sin and death. And He desires for us all to forsake our sinful ways and come into His presence.

      Thank you once again for your comment & please do not hesitate if you have any further questions

  3. jess
    April 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

    wow, this is something I never thought about. I just had a debate with a Christian friend of mine who enjoys asking challenging questions, and he asked me something similar to the topic of this article but I struggled to answer.. thank you for the insight my friend, God bless 😉

    • Mercy Olagunju
      April 12, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      Oh wow! I’m so happy, All Glory to God. God bless you too

  4. Chelsie
    April 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    I’m not religious but I do accept that my beliefs could be wrong, unfortunately I will not know till I die.
    Even though I personally don’t believe in God, I do not understand why religion and science are apparently polar opposites. I feel everything in life would make more sense if they went hand in hand, one providing how it all happened, the other why it happened and what it could possibly mean. For example, all religions teach God created the universe and all life, none give a detailed explanation of how God did this that is where science comes in and gives the explanation.
    There is no religious or scientific evidence or reasons to disprove either side therefore it would make more sense if people believed both, furthermore there is definitely no sense behind people insisting you have to be one or the other.

    On the topic of this article, if I ever did start to believe in God I would think of God more of a higher power that just looks over people but does not actually interfere in people’s everyday life and just leave the world to go about on its own with people hopefully following God’s guidance and not being evil. Plus the evil things such as natural disasters, cancer etc. is just how nature works I doubt God would interfere with the natural course of something. Also God apparently created the kingdom of heaven so death is not a cruel thing to God even if he does choose who does die.

  5. Dew
    April 18, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    If God were to compel everyone to act a certain way, he would be called a dictator and a loving God doesn’t seek to force but wants to love everyone back to redemption. The concept of free will is for man to realize how imperfect he is without the help of God. Its pretty simple–the imperfect world needs a perfect God. By the way, thanks for this topic. It takes guts to speak about things like this these days. God bless!!

  6. sebghat
    April 17, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    The Lord exists – but if you do not go to him, what do you want?

  7. ashrakat
    April 14, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    hello Mercy let me say for you i am a muslim and in our religion god told us in quraan that every thing done is the best for us.

  8. Mikayla Riches
    April 14, 2017 at 3:43 am

    I think god must have good and bad in him just like every human he created and that is why humans have good and bad sides. It can be. Reflection of him himself. It’s what makes the world turn

  9. kirajarvis
    April 19, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I think its true but others believe there are reasons for this. hard to argue with though

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