Why Do Bad Things Happen? God Where Are You?

19 Apr



I had the pleasure of leading the discussion with the young adults at my church this week.  Considering the circumstances surround our city of Boston, I thought it appropriate to discuss why do bad things happen, and where was God in the disaster?  These, at least, are questions that people tend to ask in our current day and age following a disaster.  My heart aches for the people and families affected by the bombing at the Boston Marathon, I wish there was an easy button to return life back to normal for them.  Not only were they affected, but I’ve already heard stories of people who were there that are having a difficult time sleeping because of what they saw. The images of war were brought to my city in such a terrible way, and many of my fellow Bostonians and even international visitors were affected.  

I don’t remember such terrible events happening when I was a child, but it seems as though now a days they are becoming prevalent.  I think back to the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, Columbine, Sandy Hook Elementary, and now the Boston Marathon Bombing; these are just a few.  The other day as I drove I thought about what might happen years from now.  What types of things might my daughter’s generation see?  All I can do is continue to pray for my family and ask God to keep them safe and out of harms way.  All of these events made me ask, “why do bad things happen, and God where are you in these circumstances”?  I believe there are two things we must know before we can even begin to understand why these things happen, and where God is when they do.

First, we need to understand why Jesus came to earth in the first place.  Did Jesus come here to judge us, to take our lives? No, he says in John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” This shows us right off the bat, that Jesus did not come here to take over and rule with an iron fist, he came to save us.  We also see in John 12:46, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”  Jesus came to break through the darkness, He came so that we could have life.

There is another thing that we need to know and understand in order to see why Jesus came to earth.  II Corinthians 4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour, so we need to be aware that the devil, the god of this age, has blinded the minds of unbelievers.  However, later in verse 6 we see that Jesus light shines out of the darkness and into our hearts to give us wisdom.  This coincides with 1 John 3:8 that states, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”You see, every reason why Jesus came to earth was of good nature, it was to bring light to the darkness.  Jesus did not come to earth to condemn or judge us for our wrong doings, He came to bring life, peace, joy, and knowledge of his Kingdom.  

 The second thing I believe we need to understand about God, is who God is?  I could probably write a book on just this subject because He is so amazing.  He is alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, He is the I Am, He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, I could go on and on, how amazing our God is.  But I believe one of the biggest things we need to know comes from 1 John 4:8, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love“. What is Love? 1 Corinthians 4:4-7 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” If God is Love, then He is by definition all these things.  

Now we understand why Jesus came and who He is, so why then do bad things happen you ask, and why doesn’t He stop them if He is so powerful? Let’s get to the bottom of it.  Sin is the culprit! Whether we like it or not there are evil people out there who are controlled by sin and evil.  They commit evil acts because the god of this age has blinded them to the light of God.  We have been given a free will and maintain the ability to make our own decisions.  What kind of relationship would we have with God if we didn’t have that free will, it would be a dictatorship and not much of a love at all. We must also look at Matthew 24:6-14 which says,

 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

This is what we have today, this is what we live in now.  We were warned of times so terrible and acts so wicked, because we are approaching the end days.  Bad things are going to happen, it is the nature of the world. 

Why doesn’t God stop them? Well, some things I can’t fully answer because I am not Him, but what I can do is provide you with why I believe he doesn’t just have us live in a utopian society.  Aside from the above reasons, I want to point out something specific from the Boston Marathon Bombing.  I’m sure by now we have all seen the video footage of the explosions, what is the biggest thing you notice while watching them? It was the amount of people running to where the explosion had just taken place in order to help the wounded.  Where was God in the bombing? He was with those people running to the aid of the injured.  He was protecting the countless amounts of people who had already walked by that very spot.  He will be there for the injured to help their recovery, and give strength and comfort to all the families.  This is the God I know; this is the God I serve.  He was not placing people in positions to die, and most definitely did not set that bomb there.  Sick people/group (we don’t know who yet), caused the bombing.  It was evil that distorted truth to hurt people, not our God.  The events are sad and terrible, but we need to maintain our faith in God even when times are hard. 

My city of Boston, my heart is with you and I pray that as we recover and make it past this disaster, that the Peace of God would encompass the city.  I am proud of how the city and country has reacted to this event; the unity has been awesome. I ask the Lord that those who are injured would experience miracles and healings like never before, and those suffering from the things they’ve seen would receive peace.  Jesus heal our city, and give us strength.

John 14:27- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

-Lucas Dougherty

Lucas Dougherty

Lucas is a worship leader in his local church and a singer/songwriter.  He is also a husband and a brand new dad. Connect with Lucas on Twitter and on his blog.

One Response to “Why Do Bad Things Happen? God Where Are You?”


  1. Good things happen to, bad things happen to…People | Dr. Sherry E. Showalter - "Keepin It Real" - May 17, 2013

    […] Why Do Bad Things Happen? God Where Are You? (morethanabeard.com) […]

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