Why do bad things happen? In answering this question, I realize that there are many who have suffered a great deal of unexplainable troubles in this life and who, to this day, cannot figure out why. My attempt to answer this question is in no way intended to minimize the trouble many have endured. Nor is it to accuse you of some great wrongdoing in order to hurt you even more. I’m just going to look in the Bible to see what it says about this subject. I believe these passages will explain many bad things that happen, but not all. There is still a devil and he is pretty busy.
God allows bad things to happen for numerous reasons. First, they happen so that God can demonstrate His power. A great example of this is found in the Bible in regards to the Egyptian captivity that the Israelites suffered for over four hundred years (Exodus 1-14). In speaking of this, the Apostle Paul said in Romans 9:17, “For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." In essence, God allowed Pharaoh and the Egyptians to enslave the Israelites so that His power could be demonstrated in their deliverance. The longer Pharaoh hardened his heart and refused to let the people go, the more opportunity that God had to display His power to not only the Egyptians, but to the Israelites as well. The bottom line is that we may have to endure something bad NOW (I.e. the Jewish captivity in
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Second, God also allows bad things to happen to demonstrate His grace. A great example of this is found in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 when the Apostle Paul prayed three times that God would take away some type of illness that he called a “thorn in the flesh”. God’s response was simply, “No!” He told him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” While Satan is the one who gave Paul the thorn in the flesh, God allowed it to happen in order to demonstrate the sufficiency of his grace. Paul eventually got to the place where he rejoiced more in the infirmity than in the healing because of the strength of God’s grace.
Third, God allows bad things to happen to demonstrate His works. John 9:32-33 says, “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing." Here is a guy who was allowed to be born blind and live blind into adulthood merely for God’s glory. God demonstrated his ability to heal this blind man; something only God could do. This man had to wait a long time for God to reveal what He was doing, but was it ever worth the wait!
It also reminds me of the story of Lazarus. John 11:1-4 says, “Now a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany,…Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” God allowed Lazarus to die so that that He could resurrect him in front of many witnesses and receive the glory!