Here this week is author Kathryn Slattery! Her book, If I Could Ask God Anything, is a unique kid-friendly book jam-packed with clear, fresh answers to important questions about God, faith, prayer, and Christianity in language that children can understand. Kathryn has been so nice to answer some of the most popular questions for us right here on the blog!
In light of the recent events that have taken place in Newtown, CT, Kitty would like to provide helpful answers to some tough questions your kids may be asking. Today, she is answering a BIG one:
If God Loves People, Why Do Bad Things Happen??
Oh, what a big question this is!
Bad things happen. It is true. This is because the world we live in is not the way God originally created it. In the Garden of Eden, the world was in perfect harmony (Genesis 1-2). There were no hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods. There were no murders, riots, or wars. There was no human pain, suffering, or death.
Because Adam and Eve chose to sin, the world and all the people in it are not the way God intended. The world and all the people in it are, in some way, disordered and broken.
But God is good. We know this because the Bible says, “God is love” (1John 4:8).
God loves the world and all the people in it. We know God loves us because he sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth to die for our sins (Romans 5:8). God did this to make a way for us to never die. God did this so that we can live with Him forever in heaven (John 3:16). That’s a whole lot of love!
We also know that God is not like us. God is perfect. We are not. God sees all of human history from His throne in heaven. We can only see where we are right here and now. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thought than your thoughts,’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Because we are human, there are many things about God that we cannot understand. There is much about God that is a mystery or secret.
Because we trust God, we can accept His mysteries. Maybe some things are too terrible for us to know. Maybe some things are too wonderful. When God is ready, He will give us more understanding. For now, it is as though we are seeing reality through dirty glass, the Bible says. But when we get to heaven we will see everything clearly (1 Corinthians 13:12).
In the Bible, God promises that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). The battle between good and evil being waged in heaven and on earth will end. Good will triumph over evil.
Until that day, bad things will happen. It’s part of life and being human. But here is good news: Because God loves us, He promises to help us through the bad times.
How can we know this is true?
Because God always keeps His promises (Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Corinthians 1:9).