Answers 06 – Why Do Bad Things Happen If God Is In Control? – David Hibbert.
In this series called “Answers”, my goal is to help you, by sharing with you short, Biblical answers to questions that people have been asking me. Today’s question:
Why Do Bad Things Happen If God Is In Control?
Many people ask, “Why do bad things happen if God is in control?”
- God Is Always IN Control.
Isaiah 14:24, NIV – (24) The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.”
Ephesians 1:11, NIV – (11) In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.
God has a plan for every person, and every situation, and God will make sure that those plans will be accomplished. So yes, God is completely in control.
- God Does Not Always TAKE Control.
However, God does not always TAKE control.
You see, God created each one of us with a free will, and He honours our free will. However, with our free will, we often make poor choices, and so He allows us to experience the consequences of those poor choices.
So even though God is “IN control”, and will make sure that His plans are accomplished, even when we make poor choices, He does not always “TAKE control”, because when God TAKES control, there is no free will, and we are not allowed a choice.
For example, when God wanted His people to come out of Egypt, He was “IN control”, but He still allowed His people to make their own decisions. As a result, it took them 40 years to get to the promised land, when it should only have taken a few months.
However, when God decided to flood the earth, He “TOOK control”, and there was absolutely nothing that anyone could do, to stop the flood.
- God’s Plans Versus God’s Will
So although God is always IN control, He does not always TAKE control. So God’s plan is always accomplished, but God’s specific will is not always done.
Matthew 6:9-10, NIV – (9) “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (10) your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Why did He tell us to pray this? – Because His will is not always being done. Discrimination is not His will, child prostitution is not His will, murder is not His will. But He often allows it, because He has chosen to honour our free will.
- Our God-Given Authority.
Luke 10:19, NIV – (19) I have given you authority to … overcome all the power of the enemy.
Jesus has given us authority over all the power of the enemy. When God’s will is not being done, often, it is because we are not using our authority to ensure that God’s will is be done. Much of the evil in the world today is because Christians are not using their authority to overcome the enemy.
Police officers have authority, but when they do not use their authority, there can be much crime and violence. In the same way, when Christians do not use their authority, and bind up the works of Satan, much evil can happen on the earth.
- God’s Control And Free-Will.
Why can’t God just TAKE control? He could, but then everything that happened would be because He forced it to happen, and we would not longer have any choices in life.
But then, love would be meaningless, because love only has meaning if we have free-will, and the choice not to love. Compassion would be meaningless, because compassion only has meaning if we have the choice not to show compassion. Mercy would be meaningless, because mercy only has meaning if we have the choice not to show mercy.
So God has decided that we must have free will, but sadly, that means that people may choose to do wrong, and that’s why much of the evil in the world happens.