Why do bad things happen? We all have questions, big God questions. Throughout the summer at Christ United Methodist Church in Gastonia, NC, we’re asking some big questions! Here is our Sunday Rewind for July 10, 2016. We ask the big question, “How Can a Loving God Let Bad Things Happen to Good People?”
Is there a bigger question? We ask it a number of different ways. “Why, God?” How Could God…?” “I don’t deserve______. What do I do now?” This question robs our sleep and haunts our dreams. It makes us angry and even bitter. We cry out to God. Some even give up on God. We beg for justice, for fairness, and wonder why _______ happened to us. We try our best to do the right thing and can’t understand the “wrong.” If God is loving, why do these unlovely… painful… bad things happen to me?
If there is one thing that we all share, its tragedy. We all have or will experience pain and loss in this life. It is unavoidable. None of us are promised roses. Yet its the inequitable and untimely distribution of the bad that causes our questioning. We see the rich get richer and poor get poorer. We seen evil rewarded while the saints among us battle cancer, grief, and suffering. We try our best to do right…we want to be faithful…and we’re sucker punched by loss. It doesn’t make sense. We want answers. We want God to justify our suffering, to explain to us why, and to prove it worthwhile.
Few people know sorrow and loss like Job. In the book of the bible that bears his name, Job asks every question we would ask. Faced with inexplicable and seemingly unfair tragedy, Job pleads his innocence before his friends and God. He laments his tragedy and maintains his integrity. And after his friends have exhausted their reasoned arguments for why they believe tragedy fell upon Job, God finally answers. And its not the answer we might expect. In fact, it may be the most unsatisfying answer in all human history.
“How can a loving God let bad things happen to good people?” Our faith, our soul’s wellbeing, hinges not on God’s answer…but our willingness to accept that answer.
Click below to listen to this past Sunday’s Message