Is God Fair?

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do innocent children need to suffer? Why do good people get sick?

All these bad things and many more happen every day. Is that fair?

WHY DOESN’T GOD STOP THEM?

Some people will tell you that He doesn’t care enough to stop them. Others will tell you that He can’t—He doesn’t have the power to do it.

Neither of these answers are true. The Bible clearly indicates that God loves us. His heart aches when bad things happen to good people. The Bible also indicates clearly that God is all powerful. It isn’t the lack of initiative or power that stops God from wiping out evil and evil doers.

So what is it?

Sometime, before time existed, God made a momentous decision. He would allow intelligent beings to have the power of choice. The angels would have this power. Lucifer, the beautiful and powerful leader of the angels, would have the ability to turn against God.

Lucifer made this choice, and a third of the angels followed him. The first thing they tried to do was overthrow God. The Bible doesn’t give us any details about this war in the heavens, except to tell us that Lucifer and his angels lost the battle, and they were driven from heaven.

The chronology of all this is a mystery. But somewhere during all of this, God created the universe and man. He decided that even humans would have the power to choose against Him. We are not told why, but it seems that God wants all intelligent beings, whether angels or humans, to serve Him voluntarily. He has never forced anyone to serve Him and He never will.

The ability to choose led to the beginning of evil. Lucifer and his followers were the first to take advantage of it, probably soon after creation.[1] When he was turned out of heaven he came to earth, determined to take revenge on his loss by persuading Adam and Eve to also choose against God.

He persuaded Eve that having the knowledge of good and evil was worth the risk of offending God. He didn’t warn her that the only way to receive the knowledge of evil was through experience. Every human since then has lived under the curse of the knowledge of evil. That is why evil things happen.

God will judge evil. He will eliminate it. But in His own time. Until then, we must live with the choice that Adam and Eve made to allow evil to enter this world.

Is this fair? It doesn’t seem that way to us. But God will not coerce people to do His will. He only reserves the right to give them the destiny that they have chosen for themselves. God is holy and God is just. He is merciful and He is love. God is good and He is great. He is fair.

It’s a matter of perspective. And it’s a matter of trust.


[1] I suppose it could have been a little before creation as well. But it appears that Lucifer fled to earth when he was cast out of heaven.

Suffering, Evil, and Pain:

Symptoms of BROKENNESS

Many people stumble

… over the question of suffering and evil. They ask, “Why would a good God allow such bad things?” They assume that this question forces us to accept that either God isn’t good, or He isn’t God.

But it isn’t good for finite people to make rash assumptions about an infinite God. We end up either making fools of ourselves or turning God into an enemy. So, let’s consider this question for a bit.

We live in a broken world. But it is a world that looks forward to better things. Pain, evil and suffering are merely the birth pangs leading to a better world. (See Romans 8:16 – 22)

Romans 8:16 – 23

… uses the concept of suffering to explain what it is like to be a Christian. It also gives us some reasons why suffering is important. Notice the two pictures that Paul gives us here. On the one hand we have suffering Christians. On the other hand we have nature, also suffering.

For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. (Rom 8:16-23 NLT)

Here are some concepts

… from this passage.

  • If we expect to share in the glory of Christ, we need to accept his suffering. Why should we expect the one without the other?
  • Any suffering we might face is nothing in comparison with the glory we look forward to. So why should we balk at paying the price?
  • God had created man and woman perfect. He had also created nature perfect. In this perfection there was no evil, no pain, and no suffering.
  • Sin changed it all. It broke us, and we died spiritually. God also cursed nature, because broken humans needed a broken home to live in. Now nature is broken too. Broken beings and broken things suffer.
  • God told Eve that she would be saved by child birth. I’m sure that every time that she conceived a child she looked forward eagerly to her labor pains. Maybe this child would be the savior! Nature too is suffering labor pains. Suffering reminds us of better things coming. It is a very foolish mother who thinks that she can have the joys of child-birth without suffering labor pains.
  • It is through suffering that we give birth to the glory in store for us. Nature will also be reborn someday and will be part of a new heaven and a new earth—perfect once more. It will the perfect home for a perfect people who have been reborn with perfect bodies and perfect, sin free spirits.

No mother enjoys the pain of delivering a child. But through that pain she receives a “new” son or daughter. It makes her a mother!

My grand daughter was delivered by C-section. She didn’t go through the pains of being born. But the painful experience of birth is necessary for the health of a child. She suffered later because she didn’t suffer those pains. Even so, we wouldn’t become perfect people living in glory without the labor pains we suffer here on earth.

Join the society of the broken

… living in a broken society on a broken earth. But birth pains never last forever. The time is coming, and coming soon, when the pain will burst into GLORY!

God’s Grammar…

Every writer knows that active voice is better than passive voice. The same is true in our spiritual life. Here is a short list of spiritual active voice elements and their passive voice opponents. Let God work in your heart to eliminate your passive defaults.

Light 

Darkness is not the opposite of light. Rather, it is the absence of light. God is the source of all light, and He wants to share His light with you. In turn, you should share light with those around you, so that darkness can be driven out of their lives. 

"You are the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mat 5:14-16)

Good

Evil is not the opposite of good. Rather, it is the absence of good. Just like light will always overpower darkness, so good will overpower evil. So if you struggle with evil, allow good to fill your life. If you feel as if darkness is taking over your life, flood your life with light!

Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. (Rom 12:9)

Love

Hate is not the opposite of love. Rather, it is the absence of love. Like light overpowers darkness and good overpowers evil, so love will always outdo hatred. Allow God to fill your heart with his love and hatred will need to flee. 

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1Co 13:4-8)

Peace

Turmoil is not the opposite of peace. Rather, it is the absence of peace. Like light, good, and love, peace is active and will always overpower turmoil. Let the peace of God fill your heart, and turmoil will go.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Joh 14:27)

Counterfeit Voices

Where God offers good things to us, the devil usually comes up with a counterfeit to sidetrack us. He gives us positive thinking instead of good, and transcendental meditation instead of peace. He promotes toleration to replace love, and social reform to replace goodness. 

Don’t be satisfied with counterfeits!

You can have the real thing.