This is a question that we can understand enough in order to realize that we have a certain responsibility in relationship to God. It may not be possible to answer every question, but is more important that we are in right relationship with God than that we can answer every question before we believe God, obey God, and have a right relationship with God. We know “in part” as the scripture below says.
I Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient and is kind. Love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, 5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; 6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.
God created the heavens and the earth. He created man. He created man with free will. He wanted to fellowship with man. He wanted man’s love and obedience out of free will.
That is understandable. Think of anyone that you love. How much would it mean to you if you had to program that person, to say, for example, “At 10:12 a.m. today you will walk over to me with some flowers, and say you love me.” “At 4:02 p.m., you will call me on the phone asking how my day is going.” “At 5:50 p.m. you will take me out to dinner.” “At 6:08 p.m. you will talk to me for 15 minutes.”
How much would it mean if you had to program your husband or wife or children to love you, think about you, or help you? Not much. Love is something that is freely given from the heart, if it is love.
And so it is with God. He wanted the free will love of mankind.
In creating mankind with a free will, that also allowed for the possibility that mankind would make the wrong choice.
If you tell your child to clean the room or wash the dishes, the possibility exists that the child won’t obey. So it is with God.
Adam and Eve did not obey and lost fellowship with God. That act of disobedience infected the whole human race with sin, an inborn tendency to “miss the mark” in relationship with God. Through Jesus it is possible to restore fellowship with God.
So when considering why bad things happen, the element of man’s free will, as well as the fact that satan is on the earth tempting mankind and seeking to steal, kill, and destroy, must be considered. In the verse below, the “thief” is satan, “I” is Jesus.
John 10:10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
There is a certain lack of understanding of what Jesus did at the cross. He made a way for the restoration of mankind, but it is up to mankind to respond. It is not automatic.
After his resurrection, Jesus gave power and authority and the promises of God to the children of God. Through these God can help us on earth as we ask, seek, knock and use our God-given rights and authority through Jesus Christ. However, it is not automatic.
We have things we have to do. What we have to do is laid out in the Word of God and as a person reads the Bible, the Holy Spirit will help someone understand more and more their part.
In other words, if you have a car, and you have a car key, and you want to go somewhere, you have to put the key in the ignition, turn the car on, and drive. It is not up to the car manufacturer to get you somewhere.
Often when there are struggles and problems it is very likely there are things that we either need to do (such as tithing or forgiving or helping someone) or stop doing (various things the Bible says to stop doing) in order to position ourselves for blessings. Again, it is through reading the Bible and being part of a Bible believing church and going to church regularly that these things become more plain.
There is too much thinking that God is sort of a glorified Santa Claus and that all we need to do is lay out a laundry list type of Christmas list for him in prayer and he will do everything. God works with us, but will not do the part that we should do.
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