June 16, 2014

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Judges 6:1-14

The angel … said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?”
—Judges 6:12-13


How would you answer this question: “If you had the opportunity, what would you like to ask God?” Maybe you’d say, “I’d want to ask why God allows so much suffering.”

Gideon asked the same question thousands of years ago. Why do some people face one tragedy after another, while others enjoy all kinds of blessings? Why do some nations enjoy peace and prosperity, while others face poverty, persecution, and even genocide? How can a God who loves this world enough to send his Son allow holocaust and hunger, death and destruction? How can a God who cares so much about his creation allow human hands to destroy his beautiful world? In the words of a Jewish rabbi, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Are people right when they say that with so much suffering there cannot possibly be a loving, caring God? Did the wife of Job have it right when she advised him to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9)?

There is no easy answer to the problem of pain. We may never understand, but we do know that God gave his Son to save us from our sin and all its destructive effects in this world (including suffering). We know that God himself suffered in our place. We can be assured that he cares more about us than we will ever know.

Father in heaven, we pray for your grace and mercy for all who suffer. Please give them the assurance that you are with them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!