Why does bad things, terrible things happen to God’s children? Why doesn’t God protect believers from the evil of this world?
Christians commonly wonder why our lives on earth includes difficulties, trials, tragedy and sadness even after we have become a follower of Jesus Christ and an adopted child of God. But the Bible never assures believers that life on earth will be trouble-free simply because we have become followers of Jesus. In fact, the Bible tells us exactly the opposite:
John 16:33 (NKJV)
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The believer is promised to experience tribulations while we live on earth, in part because the world is a fallen, sinful place where the enemy has dominion for a time. Moreover, because we are children of God, that enemy will make things difficult for us, leading us to disobey God:
Mark 10:29-30 (NKJV)
29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
Notice that Jesus says in verse 30 that believers will experience persecutions for having chosen to follow Jesus. The enemy of God is also our enemy, and so we should expect him to bring adversity our way for as long as we live on earth. So God’s children will experience “bad” things on earth because of the sin of the world around us (including our own sinful choices) and because of the enemy’s effort to discourage our obedience.
Nevertheless, we might ask why doesn’t the Lord protect us from these things? Scripture gives us the answer:
Romans 5:1-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
Faith Triumphs in Trouble
5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Paul says that in allowing believers to experience tribulations the Lord is working on our behalf to develop spiritual maturity and a godly character. Specifically, by our perseverance we become even more resolved to obey and serve Christ. That godly character inspires a greater hope and anticipation of our eternal future in glory with Christ, and it gives the Lord opportunity to bless us with greater eternal rewards in that day.
As James says:
James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
Profiting from Trials
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (endurance).4 But let patience (endurance) have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
So when a believer experiences “bad” things in life, he or she should bring a biblical perspective to that moment. The Bible says we should count it joy because it means that the Lord has counted us worthy to receive this spiritual training. And as we endure the trial, we are gaining eternal things that will leave us complete, lacking in nothing.
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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