(9 of 9 in a series on “Why do bad things happen to good people?”)
Over the past several weeks, we have explored three broad reasons that bad things happen to good people. First, the law of consequence says that even good people make mistakes and bad outcomes often follow bad choices.
Second, God has each of us on a training program that often includes some pain. What I have tried to emphasize from Hebrews chapter 12 is the view that God’s discipline is never random, capricious, or mean. If God disciplines us as a good father would (an analogy used in Hebrews 12), then I think we can expect his discipline to be understandable and a clear path to “our good and His holiness”. If we carry Christ as our New Testament picture of God, we can rest assured that God’s training program will not be unknowable but rather can be understood through the character and work of Jesus Christ.
Third, we have a dark enemy. I don’t think we recognize and teach enough the evil power in the universe who seeks to do us harm. God is not the author of evil. Don’t blame God for the evil in this world. The author of evil is Satan himself, and he is an active and powerful enemy. But Satan is a defeated enemy and we have the weapons of prayer and faith to overcome him and his schemes.
Now any time we answer an age-old question with three short points, there is always a danger of minimizing the complexity of this question. Our goal has not been to just give pat answers and there may always be some mystery surrounding the bad things that happen to us. But there are biblical answers and we have endeavored to explore these biblical answers over the past eight posts as thoroughly as this medium allows. And while these answers may not take away all of the mystery, I believe God gives them to us to strengthen our faith. And faith is one of our primary weapons against the evil forces that threaten us.
Remember, according to II Corinthians 4, it is Satan’s desire to hide the fact that under the new covenant, “the knowledge of the glory of God is shining in the face of Christ” (II Cor 4:6). It is God’s desire to demonstrate his glory in the face of Christ. So when the tide of evil is rising, either personally or in the world around us, keep looking to Jesus, “Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.”