Skip to comments.NIV Quest Study Bible: Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?
Posted on 09/20/2019 12:22:50 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
No one knows the mind of God, except for God himself. He is infinite; we are finite. We are not entirely clueless about his character, however, because God speaks to us through his Word. According to the Bible, one reason bad things happen is because the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19). Thats why Jesus taught us to ask God to deliver us from the evil one when we pray (Matthew 6:13). Even in the Garden of Eden in paradise, before Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit Satan was already there, waiting to tempt them to disobey God (Genesis 3:16).
Another reason bad things happen is because people sin. The reason why God allows people to sin and be tempted to sin is not for us to know at least for now (Deuteronomy 29:29). What we do know is that when bad things happen, we should not rage against God. To revolt against God is to fall prey to the devil. The devil is a liar (John 8:44) and wants us to believe that God is blameworthy. But the Bible says that God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God is not the enemy; Satan is the enemy. Through his Spirit God empowers us to war against the enemy by following Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior during good times and bad times.
(Excerpt) Read more at biblegateway.com ...
So it’s a paraphrase mostly due to my simple mind - always trying to be a minimalist. In other words as a code jockey: “It’s the least I could do, and I always try to do the least I can do!”
Living in the tension of the truth that the will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you, can be very difficult, but if God calls, He carries and equips. I have lived the reality of His constant care and I am confident of this truth. His grace is sufficient; His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Another paraphrase from Proverbs - Eat to live, don’t live to eat.
Thee reasons for any suffering after this life in the flesh are well documented in Gods Word.
[ Our time in the flesh is almost nothing compared to life everlasting in paradise. ]
The NIV (I think) calls it “momentary light affliction”. I’ll have to look again.
I gotta admit, I’ve already been through affliction that doesn’t seem momentary nor light.
But compared to the martyrs of the Middle East, China, etc. yeah it’s “light affliction” indeed I must admit. Yikes.
C. S. Lewis, adult convert, addresses this in The Problem of Pain, among other books.
Why does God allow bad things to happen?
Well, who defines what ‘bad’ is?
We humans (selfish, covetous, etc.) define bad as what is uncomfortable to us and ours, and what we judge that others should not do.
Hey! God is above all that.
Isiah 45:7 (and read before and after a couple of chapters)
King James Bible
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
So, you human, seek to get in tune with the Spirit of God, and His higher perspective.
2 Corinthians 4:17 King James Version (KJV)
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
OK just looked. NASB
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
No. We are the object of God Almighty’s particular love.
The rest of the universe is there to see if fallen mankind will still turn to Him even when the rest of mankind tells us that “obviously, with million of stars and billions of possibilities, there surely is other life out there, and btw, your ‘god’ is dead
Tachi's sensei finished downing his rice. The old bald man folded his chopsticks in his fingers and said, "Ah, your second question from Tuesday. That one goes even deeper than your first. Indeed, it goes about as deep as any such philosophical question can go. You certainly do have a knack for asking hard questions, my boy."
Kurosawa leaned back. "Well, the truth is, I don't have a fully satisfactory answer for you."
Taichi looked a bit disappointed.
Kurosawa put down his chopsticks. "But I tell you what, I'll give it my best shot. Is that okay?"
"Thank you sir. I appreciate it."
"Hmm. Okay.. let me think a moment."
"Hmm. Here it goes. Now, please understand that this is only my personal view on the subject. Don't take my word as gospel."
"Of course, sir. I understand."
"Well, let me see. First of all, let me ask you another question: Assuming there is no God, what kind of world you would like there to be? Would you like a world that was a utopia where there was no pain, no labor, no hills to climb? Nothing to accomplish? No obstacles? No challenges?"
"Well, uh.. no.."
"Now, pick any human trait or quality that you admire."
"Courage only exists in the face of adversity. Whether it be war, serious health issues, or a threat to oneself or another. In a utopia there would be no need for courage. Now pick another."
"Compassion only exists where another is in pain or in need. Otherwise there would be no need for sympathy, no empathy. Or how about healing? Healing can only exist where there is sickness or injury. We can keep doing this endlessly. Taichi, don't you see? No good quality of man can exist without suffering in the world. We have to understand and accept this."
Taichi said thoughtfully, "I see. I know this is a basic Buddhist teaching."
"Indeed. It is one of Buddhism's most central concepts, called dukkha. The Buddhist's response to suffering is basically, 'Yeah, life sucks and then you die. So suck it up and deal with it.' This is why Buddhism teaches that we ought to detatch ourselves from worldly desires in favor of spiritual ones. I do respect Buddhism in that regard, but as a Christian I know there is far more to it than that."
Kurosawa folded his napkin. "Now, you remember on Tuesday the hint that I gave you, the three words that I told you to think about?"
"Corrective, constructive, and controlling."
"That's right. In light of our discussion so far, do you think you can explain them to me?"
Taichi thought a moment. "Well, sir, I think I understand the first one. By 'corrective' you were referring to the bad things that can happen to us as a direct consequence of our own willful, negligent, or foolish actions. Things that are our own fault. For example, when a chain smoker gets lung cancer. Or when a driver doesn't wear his seat-belt and flies through a windshield. It is our own fault that these bad things happen."
"Fair enough. And the second, constructive?"
Taichi put down his chopsticks. "There is an old saying, 'Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger.' I think here you were referring to the bad things that happen in your life that temper or mold your character, that change you, that make you a wiser or a better person for it."
"I did. And it includes even things that actually kill your body, even though the Lord will never put you in a situation beyond what your spirit can bear."
Kurosawa started eating the remainder of his meal again. Taichi then leaned forward and asked, "But sir, I'm still unsure about that last one, 'controlling'. From what you've said so far today I think I have a small glimmer of what you were hinting at, but I still don't really get most of it. I don't understand why God would allow all those terrible disasters to occur, like massive earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and such."
"All right. Give me a moment to think." Kurosawa sat back. "Again, please keep in mind that these are just my own opinions and should not be taken as gospel."
Kurosawa decided that he had finished his meal even though his plate wasn't empty, which was uncharacteristic of him.
"I have another question for you, Yaegashi. Tell me, what is mankind's oldest sin?"
Taichi knew that one was easy. "It is to try to become like God, which is what the serpent said in his lie to Adam to induce him to eat of the Tree."
"Correct. In other words, mankind's oldest sin is in trying to become God. To replace God. We do it over and over. We do it every time we try to create a utopia based on so-called 'scientific' principles. And it doesn't matter if it is a workers paradise, a Volksgemeinschaft, a Nietzschen dictatorship, or any other form of secular society that rejects God. These attempted utopias have always failed, and they always will. One reason they keep doing it is because the 19th century German secular philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, 'God is dead, and we have killed him.' He said that God could be replaced by the Ubermensch, the superman. All that was needed was the will and the power to do so."
Taichi chuckled, "Isn't that the old joke?"
God is dead.
Nietzsche is dead.
Kurosawa grinned, "Well, yes, heh. And it doesn't help his case that he went completely insane at the end, running around the streets of Turin babbling about being crucified." Then his face became more serious. "More to the point, I think these attempts are one reason why natural disasters periodically happen to us. You see, I think that God needs to kick down our little anthills once in a while, to remind us who is really in charge. We humans try to create great societies, construct large public works, build majestic bridges, tall buildings, and huge cities. And we can marvel at all of these great achievements. But we need to remember that we are not in charge of the place. Somebody else is in charge. And I think our landlord has to periodically remind us of that."
Taichi grinned, "And a good thing too, otherwise there would be no need for people like you or me at the Japanese Red Cross Society."
Kurosawa made a small smile again. "Yes, if there were no disasters you and I would be out of a job. We'd be unemployed." His face became oddly wistful. "I look forward to that day.."
"The day when the suffering ends, when the story is finished."
Taichi wasn't following. "The story?"
"Oh, I mean God's story, the Bible. The story begins with God's chosen people, the Israelites - the name the Lord gave to Jacob after he wrestled with the angel: Israel, 'He who wrestles with God'. The Israelites are literally the God-wrestlers. The Old Testament is a basically a love story about a parent and His wayward children. God had sent his prophets to His unruly children, the God-wrestlers, to try to bring them back home to Him. That's the whole OT in a nutshell. And He never gave up on them. And He still hasn't given up on them, and He never will.
"And then, in the New Testament, the story expands. His offer is extended to all of us to become His adopted children, to cross the impossible gap with His Son as the bridge, to give us the opportunity to reconcile us all with Him so that we can all call Him 'Abba' (Daddy) and finally be united with Him and be brought home. But instead we rebelled and killed Him. And we will continue to rebel again and again, right to the very end, until the day He returns and we are finally reconciled and brought home to Daddy."
Taichi asked, "But why make us go through all that suffering and pain in order to get there?"
"Ah, you asked another good question. Yes, why didn't the Lord simply jump to the end of the story? Why not just jump to the Bible's final chapter, Revelations 22, and leave out all the other 1,180 chapters and all that history, most of which was abject misery? Why not just have everyone go to live in with Him in Heaven right at the start?"
"I don't understand it either, sir. Why did all this rebelling and suffering have to happen first?"
"Well, I think it is because God is trying to make a point. You see, I think that all of human history is basically a demonstration exercise."
"A demonstration exercise?"
Why do people reject God in their lives, then blame Him when things go wrong? Seriously, I’m pretty sure God is not to blame.
And why does God allow babies to be ravaged by degenerates and ultimately killed?
And weren't there babies who were killed when God struck down Sodom and Gomorrah?
I thought babies were God's gift to humanity? If so why would He allow them to be desecrated, tortured and killed?
Because it is disease. Why didn’t you get cancer as a baby? Is that Gods fault too?
Did you thank Him?
The NIV was an attempt to make the Scripture as readbale and understandable as possible but it is lacking sometimes in veracity.
When I question what I am reading in either, I go to my Greek New Testament to look up the meaning of the Greek word and how it is used in context. There are also references for Old Testament passages as well.
You can't go wrong with the NASB.
I like to read the verses in the Greek and do my own translation.
“No. We are the object of God Almightys particular love.”
OMG! Imagine the pain and suffering if we weren’t the object of his love!
Obviously you stopped reading there
As I said, God does not force HIS love upon us, Hen wants us to want HIM.
Thus He sent His One and Only Son to pay the price of our sin.
I concur: God gave us free will and “free won’t” to decide whether we will obey his laws or not. As far as sickness, he created our bodies and they run, but are not our true home.
“and btw, your god is dead”
Which ID advocate said that?
Why are there hurricanes? Why are there tornados? Why are there earthquakes? Why does it rain and lightning during outside weddings sometimes? Why is there a jet stream? Why does a person’s car break down? Why are certain things expensive? Why doesn’t God just make us into perfect robots? Why do individuals believe they can assume or even speak for a being far beyond their intelligence or reason capabilities? Why do individuals think babies or anyone else deserves to live? Why do Individuals assume the definition of love means the same thing to the intelligent designer who operates way beyond the confines of space and time? Perhaps all those babies are in a better place, laughing at all the ingrates stuck on planet hell that questions God or what He does.
“Why didn’t you get cancer as a baby? Is that God’s fault too? Why don’t you rhoank Him?”
I lost a child. I found him after I returned home from a religious retreat.
Often I wish He’d taken me instead.
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