By Céleste Perrino-Walker

About 21,000 people die every day from hunger and hunger-related causes. That’s one person every four seconds.

Five children die every day from child abuse and neglect.


More than half the world’s population—over 3 billion people—live in poverty on less than $2.50 a day.


Closer to home, maybe you’ve lost someone to cancer, or your parents have recently divorced, or you lost a friend in a car accident, or were abused by a teacher or relative. Maybe life is hard, school is impossible, and you feel like nothing ever goes right.


And where is God in all this? Why do bad things keep happening to people? And how is it fair that they even happen to good people? It’s all right if bad people get what they deserve, right? They’ve got it coming to them. But good people try to follow God. They are nice others. They deserve a break, or maybe a special pass to trade bad days for good ones.


Who’s running this show anyway?

I’m glad you asked, because God always gets the rap when bad stuff goes down. But if you read the Bible, you’ll see that God didn’t create anything bad. Everything He made was “good” and “very good”. No one was going to get sick or die. No one was ever going to cry. Nothing bad would ever happen.


The bad stuff started after Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin. Immediately after they sinned, the beautiful, perfect creation and creatures God had made began to die.


Death, sorrow, and pain were the last things on God’s mind when He made man in His own image and created all the beautiful things He put in the Garden of Eden for them to enjoy. But God made man with a free will. He didn’t want us to love Him because we had no choice or because we were afraid of Him. So He gave us a beautiful planet, wonderful animals, a gorgeous garden, and the freedom to accept or reject Him.


We’re outta here

Can you imagine how sad God must have been when Adam and Eve turned their back on Him and chose Satan instead? It wasn’t what God wanted at all. So how come we’re still blaming Him for the bad stuff? God didn’t make evil. God didn’t invent death. So who did? Who’s running this joint, anyhow?


That would be Satan. He elected himself Prince of the Earth. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, when they chose to listen to Satan and believe what he said over what God said, they elected him king. They basically said, “We’ll follow you. We want to live in a world that you control.” Unfortunately, that world had begun to decay and die the minute they bit into the apple. And it’s still dying.


Adam and Eve were sorry for disobeying God. But sin still entered the world because of their choices, and the universe had to be given a chance to see that God’s way was best and Satan’s way only lead to pain, sorrow, and death. Satan claimed that his way was better than God’s and because God is just and fair, He gave Satan the opportunity to prove it.


What do you think? How’s life on earth looking from where you sit? Is everything coming up roses, or is the place kind of a disaster area? Well, now you know who to blame.


Bringing it home

But before you throw up your hands in defeat, there’s good news! God wants to welcome us home to the place He’s preparing for us in heaven where there will be no sin, no sorrow, no suffering, and no death. He sent His Son Jesus to earth to tell us all about it and give each of us a personal invitation to join Him there. All you have to do is accept the invitation. It’s a no-brainer.


And in the meantime, God promises us that He can use even the bad things that happen to us for good as long as we hang on to Him. It’s possible that your faith in God through difficult times will result in the salvation of one of your parents or a friend. Or maybe the strength you develop by going through a tough situation will be the stepping stone you need to fulfill a dream. You never know what will happen when you follow God, but we can be sure that He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28, NLT).


So where is God when bad things happen to good people? Right there with them, every step of the way.






 Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.








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Tags: Dealing With Worry/Anxiety/Stress,  Christian Life

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