I guess when we try to address certain questions about God, we are frequently reminded that we aren’t quite ready for all the answers. In the occasional contests or internal struggles many of us sometimes allow between our logic and faith, there is ultimately only one thing we need to know about God’s action. It’s all good.
Yes, we live in a fallen world.
Yes, “bad” things happen to good people.
Yes, God has the ability to stop these things from happening.
Logic tells us that if He can prevent these things from happening and doesn’t, it must be His will. On the other hand, faith sometimes invites us to witness both the aftermath and behavior of the people involved in these events WE have labeled as “bad.” For example: Let’s say a child dies and, after his or her death, the parents’ actions are such an unwavering and continuing demonstration of faith that it draws more believers into God’s kingdom. Which would be the greater occurrence, the child surviving … or God’s kingdom expanding? Try to keep in mind that a million years from now, both the child and the new believers will be in heaven.
I was recently out in California and was fortunate to chat with a couple of friends about whether or not the “bad” things that are allowed to happen are part of God’s will. One said yes, the other said no. On my drive back to Detroit, another friend of mine emailed me a pair of news stories that offered different perspectives on the aftermath of the tornado that ran through Joplin, Missouri last year. One of the articles mentioned the tornado caused two-billion in damage, destroyed 2000 buildings, and killed 161 people, including children. Ironically, the day after receiving the email I drove past a Joplin exit off a freeway in Missouri and thought about my friends in California and Romans 8:28, which tells us “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
What do you think? If God can stop something we consider to be “bad” from happening and doesn’t, do you think it is part of His will?