Why does a loving God allow bad things to happen?

Why does a loving God allow bad things to happen

Every day, stories on the news tell of car crashes, fires, and natural disasters. People we love suffer illness and loss that seems senseless, and we’re left wondering why. If a good God loves and cares for us, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?

It’s not an easy question to answer. Some of the evil we experience is caused by sin. Moral evil, such as violence, theft and sexual abuse comes about because of human choices, and sinful choices over time can create unjust systems that inflict harm on whole people groups. But there’s also natural evil, such as hurricanes or tsunamis that destroy people’s lives and homes or illness that seems to strike randomly.

As we experience all types of evil here on earth, there are no simple explanations. In the Bible, Job suffers hardship upon hardship, and when he voices his complaint, God doesn’t show up with any answers, but he does show up.

God is Loving

One thing to remember is that God is loving, and he is with us in all of our pain. God doesn’t promise that we’ll never experience suffering or hardship; he promises that he will never leave us or forsake us.

We can know God’s love because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Like Paul says in Romans 5:8, God shows his love for us by giving his own life for us while we were still sinners. There is no greater sacrifice than that. In Jesus, God became human so he could suffer alongside us and take our sins to the cross as his own. Jesus experienced the very worst evil our world had to offer when he was tortured and nailed to the cross, so we can be sure that he can sympathize with all our pain.

Love and the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit also teaches us of God’s love. Romans 5:5 tells us it is through the Spirit that God’s love is poured into our hearts. God is not just loving, but 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love! Love is his very essence. We only know love because it comes from God.

God’s love will ultimately triumph over evil. When Jesus comes again, he is coming to set all things right. He will recreate the world, restoring the goodness God intended it to be. Revelation 21 speaks of a time when there will be no more death, sorrow or pain—when God himself will wipe away our tears.

The evil we see is limited. We don’t know all of history, and we can’t make sense of the evil in the universe, but we can keep trusting God in the midst of it. He will never leave us, and evil will never have the final say.

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Content adapted from The NIV Telos Bible, which is tailored to the unique characteristics and spiritual needs of today’s youth, in order to engage the next generation with the Bible in a relevant way.

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