If God Allows Something to Happen … Is it His Will?

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?

7 Comments
  1. Age old question. Tough one, too. Personally, I think the world is full of sin and bad stuff and bad people. I think God can step in and prevent some things and surely does. Especially, I think prayers help, but….Can’t say that I’m certain it was His ordained will that the bad stuff happens, but perhaps he allowed it…and for those who love Him, He will work his good. My son has type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed in high school. When a faith healer prayed over him, saying he would be healed, my son was willing to accept that, but suggested to the person praying that perhaps God is allowing him to have diabetes for a greater purpose. My son in now in the NFL and mentors kids with diabetes. SO….who knows. Holly

  2. I just wrote a blog on this same topic from a different angle. There is much that is revealed about the will of God that does not happen and much that is not His will that does. We tend to get almost fatalistic if we go too far to the “it is all God’s will” side, yet clearly God is in control.

    It was never God’s will for Adam to sin, yet He had a plan in place set to make all things work to the good of those who love Him.

    Thanks for the post.

    Ben

  3. When bad things happen is it God’s will? I believe God gives us free will, and sometimes someone’s choice (free will) can cause harm to others like drunken driving. If a person gets hurt or killed from a drunken driver, it not their fault. It’s not God’s fault. It’s the driver’s fault, but God permitted it. So why would God permit it? I think for a greater good that people should look and pray to understand. Jesus suffered on earth too. Now, what if someone dies from cancer? Did they smoke three packs of cigarettes a day, or is it a healthy child struck with leukemia? If they smoked then they contributed to the disease. If it’s a child then why would God permit that? Not to sound morbid, but what if that child was to grow up and choose Hell, so God took that child to Heaven at an early age instead? We can’t possibly fully understand the mind of God, but we can trust that, if we let Him, He will surely lead us on the path to Heaven. So…about God’s actions? You’re right William; it’s all good! And when we do suffer, God is right there with us to get us through even if we don’t fully understand. He’s the best friend anyone could ever have!

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