Let me share one with you. You have your first child and he's healthy and strong. You only read half the book!". Even if they were right, here’s the fact: they would still utterly fail in their attempt to claim God doesn’t exist. But what if tragedy isn’t a result of human choice? Allendale, MI 49401. In John 16:33 he said, "You will have suffering in this world." ", I don't have God's mind; I don't share his perspective. Subscribe to CT and Maybe God allows heartbreak and chaos and confusion because through those things we finally begin to wake from our apathy. When God created mankind, he gave us a meaningful degree of freedom to make decisions and take actions. Stream Room For Doubt: Why Does God Allow Tragedy & Suffering? And God isn't some distant, detached, and disinterested deity; he entered into our world and personally experienced our pain. But if God is not the author of tragedy or evil or death, where did they come from? So as we ponder the mystery of pain and evil, we need to be mindful that God did not create them. The great âI AMâ (God) is always in control. But if they are asking in light of current, personal suffering in their life, you need to be a conduit for Jesus’ love in their life. This is critical for you to understand: If someone is reeling in shock from a recent tragedy, don’t jump into intellectual justifications for the existence of evil. I have conquered the world.". Relationship with God Jesus Christ In an attempt to acquit God of responsibility for evil in the world, a growing number of people think of God as a loving but impotent old man who would like to help us, but is incapable of doing so. ", This has been a heart-rending summer for Colorado. âWhy did God allow this to happen?â This is often the question that runs through the minds of family and friends when tragedy occurs. You crashed your car, and had no insurance. Why now?". God allows tragedies in our lives in order to remind us of âwho is in controlâ. That day just sort of fades away. So when tragedy strikes, as it will; when suffering comes, as it will; when you're wrestling with pain, as you will—and when you make the choice to run into his arms, here's what you're going to discover: you'll find peace to deal with the present, you'll find courage to deal with your future, and you'll find the incredible promise of eternal life in heaven. And God doesn't make this promise to everyone. It is very important that when someone is asking why God has allowed suffering, to ask them why they are asking. Even if the Christian admits defeat, God still exists. The boy said, "Seventeen." Are your most tender relationships broken? In the September 11 bombing of the World Trade Center buildings, it was not God who crashed those planes—it was the terrorists. and no doubt he did. Tragedies cause many people to question Godâs goodness. And many people are asking the question, "Why? That "why" question is not a new one; it goes back thousands of years. Maybe you're suffering from a physical ailment or heartache at this very moment. We make the choice to either run away from God or to run to him. Then out of the blue, our son died in the womb. What they desperately need now is the very real and comforting presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. Why me? But when I look at the totality of the year, when I put everything in context, it's been a great year. So in this way, the blame of natural catastrophes lay at the feet of mankind once again, and not on God. Taylor Halverson | May 18, 2017. So far, we have been discussing intellectual problems of suffering, but in the next section I will address the emotional problem. Because God desires for all people to come to the knowledge of the truth. Healing can be a long journey, but ultimate healing comes from his hands. Did that doll love my daughter? But then every other day of the year was just incredibly terrific. When God is seen from this perspective, it is difficult to explain why God allows tragedy, because he is perceived as one who has the power to prevent it. It was through that cross that Jesus conquered the world for us. You will have suffering in this world. | Fox News Fox News Tim, his wife Alexandra, and children MaryKate, Oliver, and Sunny attend Allendale Baptist Church where Tim also works as an administrative assistant. Hereâs the classic statement of the problem: Either God is all powerful but not all good, and therefore he doesnât stop evilâor heâs â¦ Unlike some other religious leaders who wrote off pain and suffering as mere illusions, Jesus was honest about the inevitability of suffering. Bible translation is about more than just technical accuracy. But anger only leaves us bitter and hopeless. You had an emergency root canal at the dentist—and then ran out of pain-killers. The 364 terrific days far outweigh the one bad day. That cold and darkness seeped into my soul and didn’t really begin to go away until nearly a year later. Why does God allow tornadoes, tragedy and suffering? ", you'd instantly react by saying, "It has been absolutely wonderful! God doesn’t cause us to commit atrocities, we choose to do so ourselves. Some people ask, "Couldn't God have foreseen all of this?" Before we speak to the question of why God allows children to suffer, we need to ask the bigger question: Why does God allow suffering to happen to any person, whether heâs two years old, two months old, or twenty years old? All of us at some point in our lives have asked this question and wrestled with it? My wife had to give birth. We were driving up the highway in the dark, when it started raining heavily and we hit dense fog. So why does God allow â¦ It was asked in the Old Testament by Job and the writers of the Psalms, and it was especially relevant during the 20th Century, where we witnessed two World Wars, the Holocaust, genocides in the Soviet Union and China, devastating famines in Africa, the killing fields of Cambodia, the emergence of AIDS, the genocide in Rwanda and the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. Making and growing disciples involves taking people’s spiritual temperature, helping them confront and address sin, guiding them to develop a love for Scripture, and much more. Why Does God Allow Tragedy? A friend betrayed you. Jesus told his followers, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Pastors know well that no two people under their care are in the same place spiritually. As a general rule, we should engage deeply in the intellectual answers before and after tragedy strikes. God did not cause suffering. God does not need the devil to correct His children! If God allowed the tragedy of His own Son dying on the cross for the purpose of redeeming His people, then there are reasons beyond our understanding as to why He allows pain and suffering through hurricanes, fires and attacks. There was 9/11 and now the Syrian slaughters, and on and on. They hid their faces from him as if he were a leper. He loved and he was rejected. Answer: Why does God allow earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, cyclones, mudslides, wildfires, and other natural disasters? Maybe you've never asked why our world is infected with pain and suffering, but my guess is you will when they strike you or a loved one with full force. So, why does God allow tragedy? Because we have been comforted through the Word of God, we in turn may be able to comfort others. The same is true in understanding why there is tragedy and suffering in our lives. We saw the steeple of a church and the cross of Christ. But why? Moral evil is the immorality and pain and suffering and tragedy that come because we choose to be selfish, arrogant, uncaring, hateful and abusive. Karrie was alone, making her way on an early Halloween morning to her job at a preschool. Anyone who meets Tim easily remembers him as the tallest Filipino they've ever met. A person can review the awful circumstances through which Godâs children pass and then question why He allows any of His children to suffer pain, anguish, physical hardship, and deprivation. Thousands are killed in a terrorist attack. Why do all of these horrific things happen if there's a loving and powerful God? Did people turn from you? But to give us the ability to love, God had to give us free will to decide whether to love or not to love. Even as we mourn what happened in 9-11, we see that God brought good out of loss. Death doesn't have the last word anymore. This Common Challenge covers ways you can introduce, initiate, and instruct the entire congregation into the life of allegiance to Christ. If you think about it, the question, Why does God allow people to suffer? We may not be able to make out all the details of why certain things happen, but there are some key biblical truths that can illuminate some points of light for us. That day will come, but not yet. Because you knew there was also the potential for tremendous joy and deep love and great meaning. Some of us are evil. It is distressing that natural disasters are often termed âacts of Godâ while no âcreditâ is given to God for years, decades, or even centuries of peaceful weather. His desire, His goal, His aim, is to have a relationship with everyone. The latter overcomes the former. Still, as the all-powerful Creator God, nothing can happen in this universe without God allowing it to happen. And perhaps you've been asking the question too. Now let me give you the entire verse: "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. Because he has conquered the world! And notice that the verse doesn't say we all will see immediately or even in this life how God has caused good to emerge from a bad circumstance. Suffering is a personal problem; it demands a personal response. And, therefore, your sufferings are his sufferings; your sorrow is his sorrow. But unfortunately, we humans have abused our free will by rejecting God and walking away from him. Of course—but you still had kids. In Romans 8:18 we read: "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.". And frankly, the people suffering from the Aurora tragedy don't need a big theological treatise right now; any intellectual response is going to seem trite and inadequate. This is an adaptation from an earlier essay published in RELEVANT Magazine about God in tragedy. When suffering or tragedy strikes close to home and people whom we know love God and follow Him die in a sudden, unexpected or tragic wayâit can cause us to question where God was and why he did not intervene. To me, that's evidence of a loving God, that he would care that much for us. Not because He created us that way, but because we choose to be that way. If God is all powerful, he can stop evil. Reid asked him, "How old are you?" Are you broken? When my wife and I were newly married, we were so excited when she became pregnant for the first time. God promises a time when there will be no more crying, no more tears, no more pain and suffering, when we will be reunited with God in perfect harmony, forever. Why, then, would a good and loving God allow such a tragedy to happen? There are too many loose ends with the plot. The World Trade Center Twin Towers which fell on September 11, 2001 after a terrorist bombing. Everyone experiences different kinds of suffering and responds to it differently. But if you doubt God's promise, listen to what a wise man once said to me: "God took the very worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the universe—deicide, or the death of God on the cross—and turned it into the very best thing that has happened in history of universe: the opening up of heaven to all who follow him." Makes You Think. And that has resulted in the introduction of evil into the world. God is allowing humanity to see that our way doesnât work. To some, it sounds too hideous to say something like, âGod killed your son,â when a child is killed in a car accident. I believe there are good reasons as to why God allows tragedy. Second Peter 3:9 reads: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Let's say that on the first day of 2012, you had an awful day. Get The Christian Post newsletter in your inbox. And what happens if we run to him? is really not a question at all. Finally, the fifth point of light: We decide whether to turn bitter or turn to God for peace and courage. I certainly don't want to minimize pain and suffering, but it helps if we take a long-term perspective. After driving through the confusion of the fog for so long, that image struck me with poignancy I'll never forget. Why Does God Allow Evil,Suffering and Tragedy in the World? In other words, they demand that the Christian makes sense of how an all-good, all-powerful God could allow suffering. And that question was, “Why does Jesus love me?”, I’ve heard it said that there are two great questions in life: one is, “Why does God allow suffering?” the other “Why does God love us?”. There's illness, abuse, broken relationships, betrayal, sorrow, injuries, disappointment, heartache, crime and death. In other words, he offers us the two very things we need when we're hurting: peace to deal with our present and courage to deal with our future. Lee Strobel Delivered Sunday, July 22 at Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. I wrote my first novel last year. While that will not be fulfilled until the return of Jesus Christ, we can find comfort and hope through a relationship with God, even in the midst of tragedy. Your relationship with God is close and real and intimate. This is a more difficult question to answer. A friend wins the lottery and gives you $100 million. Did someone betray you? Because love always involves a choice. The difference between answering these questions intellectually and emotionally, How suffering and tragedy are not good reasons to become an Atheist. He makes the solemn pledge that he will take the bad circumstances that befall us and cause good to emerge if we're committed to following him. Why? Is the tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma this week evidence that God is evil, impotent or non-existent? Why did God allow this? It says the day will come when sickness and pain will be eradicated and people will be held accountable for the evil they've committed. These are questions almost everyone asks at some point in their lives. In the midst of tragedy, make sure the person knows they are loved. Several years ago, I commissioned a national survey and asked people what question they'd ask if they could only ask God one thing. Yet tragedies such as the Aurora and Oak Creek shootings have a purpose, even if God isnât the one behind them. Does He descend into all of our hells? ", And those two tragic events are just added to the everyday pain and suffering being experienced in individual lives. The Bible says that the story of this world isn't over yet. From the depths of a Nazi death camp, Corrie ten Boom wrote these words: "No matter how deep our darkness, he is deeper still." Either God is all-powerful but He is not all good, therefore He doesn't stop evil. The way of the broad pâ¦ It's already being called the worst mass shooting in American history: 70 people shot by a gunman, 12 of them killed, while they were watching the midnight showing of a new movie. Like when people are killed by avalanches and rockslides? 13 Come now, you who say, âToday or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.â 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. Much more has been said on the issue of evil being a result of man’s freedom to choose, but in short I believe it is a biblical and logical explanation. Contributed by Lee Strobel on Jul 23, 2012 (message contributor) based on 117 ratings (rate this sermon) | 50,872 views. January 2, 2005. Your stock portfolio took a nosedive. Words can't describe the joy and the delight and the fulfillment! byDr. But then a truck appeared in front of us and we could clearly see his taillights through the fog. Tragedy forces us to struggle with God. Reid asked, "How many years have you spend in hospitals?" Read This Issue. Well, God has existed from eternity past as the Father, Son and Spirit, together in a relationship of perfect love. The fact is, these are serious questions. Copyright 2021, Allendale Baptist Church. Itâs a protest. How can God be good and sovereign over all things and also allow intense personal suffering into our lives? We made announcements, prepared a room, and expectantly waited for our baby boy. He created us. You can feel for them in that suffering situation. â1 John 4:8. But you may wonder, âIf Jehovah is the most powerful person in the universe, why doesnât he stop those terrible things from happening?â We know that God cares deeply about us, so he must have a very good reason for allowing suffering to continue. With the recent events in the news, the question raised in the title is something that's on my mind. ', the only answer I can honestly give consists of four words ' 'I do not know.' I just want to point out one fatal flaw in the skeptic’s logic. But in heaven, after 354,484,545 days of pure bliss—and with an infinite more to come—if someone asked, "So, how has your existence been? Denomination: *other. The third point of light: The day is coming when suffering will cease and God will judge evil. Yes He created everything. Notice the verse doesn't say God causes evil and suffering, just that he promises to cause good to emerge. Or He is all good but He is not all-powerful, therefore He can't stop evil. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. Please don’t let the suffering drive you away from God. In Genesis 3:17 it says, “…cursed is the ground because of you.”. An earthquake registering 9.0 on the Richter scale set off tidal waves that hit 12 countries including India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, where the death toll from that country alone is at least 80,000, or more than three times the population of Aberdeen. If God can prevent such tragedies, why does He allow them to take place? As a wise man once said to me, "God's ultimate answer to suffering isn't an explanation; it's the incarnation." I already “knew all the answers” in my head, but they didn’t comfort me as my heart was broken in two. (Part 1) by Onalaska Church of Christ from desktop or your mobile device The short video below does a great job illustrating how freedom allows for suffering. But we still wonder why bad things happenâalthough we know God is still in control, even if evil sometimes seems to be winning. It all happened just 21 miles from where we're sitting. It was frightening! And when God decided to create human beings, he wanted us to experience love. It was programmed to say those words. In summary, why does God allow tragedy? One of the most difficult aspects of following God is when we see something bad happen to people that we love. The time for answers comes later. As you all know, a major tragedy struck southeast Asia last Sunday. To anyone suffering right now I want to say that I am so sorry. He had been in and out of hospitals his whole life—and yet he made the astounding comment that he thinks God is fair. This answers the question you hear so often: "Why didn't God merely create a world where tragedy and suffering didn't exist?" If you ask me, "Why did God allow the gunman to spray the Aurora movie theater with gunfire just two days ago?" Once Leslie and I were driving from Chicago to Door County, Wisconsin, which is that thumb-shaped peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. As harsh as it sounds, maybe God allows tragedy to come into our lives because tragedy is often the only thing that engages us with God. We've all seen examples of how the same suffering that causes one person to turn bitter, to reject God, to become hard and angry and sullen, can cause another person to turn to God, to become more gentle and more loving and more tender, willing to reach out to compassionately help other people who are in pain. God knew we'd rebel against him, but he also knew many people would choose to follow him and have a relationship with him and spend eternity in heaven with him. Of course, God can go against the wishes of man. Why Does God Allow Tragedy And Suffering? If God can prevent such terrible tragedies, why does he allow them to take place? He didn't resolve all the issues with the characters." Say as Christians we didn’t even try to defend ourselves against this attack. Why do bad things happen to good people? Justice will be served in a perfect way. Here is the classic statement of the problem. And itâs a question that arrived in the inbox from a young man. You might say, "No, he can't bring good out of my circumstance. And the boy replied: "Well, God has all eternity to make it up to me. Then later, in the midst of personal tragedy, I was forced to wrestle with these questions once again. Why Does God Allow Tragedy and Suffering? It might be chronic. You only need to read 2 Timothy 3:16, John 16:13 and 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 to see this. Genesis 1:31 says: "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.". While I did not ultimately know why I had to go through the suffering I did, I knew my savior had suffered with me. That image struck me with poignancy I 'll never forget a faithful missionary is. 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