Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
I RECEIVED A text message from a friend the other day. She was upset because a friend had just been raped. She wanted to know why God let this happen?
I didn’t know how to answer, truthfully I still don’t, I can’t explain why God “lets” someone be raped or why my husband has cancer or why someone senselessly shoots someone.
I don’t really think anyone can.
I did read a story about a man called Joseph once, which helps me to remember that the part of our lives which we see is much smaller than the part which God sees.
The Bible tells us in Genesis that as a child Joseph had it pretty good. He was his fathers favourite and got given the best gifts. The problem was he had ten older brothers who hated him for this and one day they decided to take him out into a field and kill him. At the last minute one of his brothers saw an opportunity to save Josephs’ life (and make a little cash) and instead the brothers sold Joseph into a life of slavery.
As a slave, Joseph was unfairly accused of sexually harrassing his masters wife and sent to jail. (Right about now, I’m thinking God “allowed” a lot of horrible stuff to happen to him.)
Then things started turning around for him.
Pharoah began having some dreams he didn’t understand and he heard that there was man in prison who could unravel the meaning of dreams. So he got Joseph out the dungeon, gave him a bath and a shave, and asked him to interpret his dreams. After telling Pharoah that the country was going to have seven years of good crops and then seven years of drought and famine, Joseph was put in charge of all the crops in Egypt.
The Bible says Joseph stored up so much grain that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure, like the sands of the sea. When the famine came, Joseph didn’t only feed all of Egypt, but also ended up saving the lives of his brothers, who ironically had thrown him into slavery in the first place.
I like this because an awful lot of bad stuff happened to Joseph but God turned it around.
I guess I haven’t really told you why bad things happen (like rape, cancer or being sold into slavery) but I do know that God could. I think he would become animated as he reveals how he plans to bring life from these hideous tragedies (just like he did for Joseph); and how he plans to change the things that were intended for evil into good things.
I just hope that by the end of our lives we might be able to see God was working it all out and allowing us to be part of something bigger than we could dream or imagine.
Do you think God can use the bad things that have happened to you to change the world for God? Ask God to redeem the tragedies in your life and to use them for good.