War. Death. Starvation. Cancer.
All bad things. The list could go on for a long time.
Why do Americans spend more on Starbucks coffee in one year than it would cost to provide basic medical care to everyone in the world?
Why did you lose your job?
Why did your marriage end?
Why do you struggle with that addiction?
Why? Why? Why?
I finished a preaching series titled “Why?” this past Sunday with the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is a tough topic that many people wonder about without knowing where to go to find an answer. Here are some highlights from the sermon.
Why Do Bad Things Happen?
1. Sin is real. Despite the fact that every war has been started by a human, every murder has been committed by a human, every rape, every ______ (bad thing) we still like to think that we’re not the problem. We still dream of a utopia where we’ll figure this problem out on our own. It’s not a problem that needs to be solved. God told us our problem a long time ago (He also gave us the solution). It’s called sin. Rebellion and disobedience against God. And the bad things we experience are a consequence for our rebellion against God.
2. We are our own worst enemy. Like I mentioned above, us humans do bad things to each other. And when we do, we love to point the finger instead of taking responsibility for our actions. We blame credit card companies when we can’t pay our bills. We blame the way our parents raised us when our attitude stinks. We point the finger at others who cheat on their taxes when we get caught. We’ll do anything and blame anyone for the bad things that we’ve caused to happen to ourselves.
3. God wants to use a bad thing for something good. So here’s some hope. God is known for using something bad in our life for something good in our future. Most of the time we can’t see how things will work out, but there are promises in the Bible that God is working every thing out for good for those who love Him.
The Worst Thing That Has Happened
How can we trust these promises? Because God used the worst thing in all of history for the good of many people.
What is the worst thing?
The crucifixion of Jesus was a bad thing that God used for good. I know that Christians like to think of the cross as a “good thing” because without it we’d be hopeless. But the cross was not a good thing. It was a bad thing. It was the worst thing in history.
But God used it for good.
All of our hope, as Christians, is that God has used the worst thing in history for our good.
“Why do bad things happen to good people” is the wrong question.
The real question is “Why did the worst thing happen to the only good person who has ever lived?”
And the answer is “God loves you” so much that He sent Himself to experience the worst thing so that you can have hope. Hope for a future you don’t deserve. Hope for a joy that you cannot imagine. And hope that all of the bad things you’ve experienced will be used for good one day.