Conclusion of Why Bad Things Happen
When we finish considering all the types of bad things that happen to people (both good and bad), we find ourselves wondering if there is a purpose to these bad things. We look for a worldview (a way of viewing life and the world) that gives meaning to all that happens. Some religious philosophies, such as Buddhism and Confucianism, offer some consolation regarding suffering for this lifetime. Neither of these offers a God who becomes human to redeem a fallen humanity and provide eternal life. These, and other worldviews, do not give much in the way of eternal judgment for intentionally committed bad things.
Most worldviews, and especially those subscribing to atheism, give no purpose to bad things. They can only ask why a good God would allow bad things. They ask it in unbelief, knowing that they cannot answer the more appropriate question, "Why do bad things happen?" And, indeed, if their philosophy teaches that there is no God, they have no basis for determining what is good or bad, other than one's own self interest. We can think about this in the extreme: serial killers thrive on their crime, so from their point of view, the murder of a victim is a good thing; however, from the victim's point of view (and his or her family's view point), it is a bad thing. The same can be said of radicals who commit homicide bombings to take their own lives and as many others lives as possible.
Rejection of the one true God (the Judeo-Christian God) leaves no basis other than individual, or, as in some cases, societal, for determining good or bad, right or wrong. That leaves us in the conundrum expressed by Ravi Zacharias: "In some societies, people love their neighbors; in others, they eat them. Which do you prefer?"
What it comes down to is that there is a good God, a God who loves His creation so much that He sent His Son, also God, to die for us so that we could, by believing in Him and accepting His substitutionary death for us, have a new life, full of purpose, meaning, and direction. This new life enables us to avoid the kind of bad things that come from poor choices and wrong behavior, because we can follow God's will and word and live a holy life.
This new life also guarantees that God will protect us from harm or deliver us from harm or keep us through the harm, all the while working in us for an eternal good and blessing, regardless of what happens on earth. The Judeo-Christian faith is the worldview that offers this hope and meaning.
Since our God sees the "end from the beginning" (Isaiah 46: 10), we can trust Him with our lives. We can be satisfied knowing that the end is going to be wonderful, so we can take one step at a time, walking by faith, not sight (2 Corinthians 5: 7), fully persuaded that God is able to keep that which we have committed to Him, (2 Timothy 1: 12), and knowing that God "works all things together for good to them that love Him, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8: 28).
So for us, "why bad things happen" is not as important as what is accomplished in our lives as a result of the bad things.
If you are just now joining us in the blog, please refer to the previous posts which consider the question in depth and deal in detail with five different kinds of bad things and why they happen. The series runs from Feb. 22, 2014 to Apr. 19, 2014 (this post).
Next week, I'll start a new topic.
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