“Why do bad things happen to good people?” “Why would a good God allow evil to happen in the lives of his people?”
After the events of last week, it is no wonder why many are asking these age old questions all over again. How do we answer these questions? How should we, as believers, respond in crisis situations such as these? Here are 3 simple ways every believer can respond to individuals asking these questions:
This almost sounds obvious, but often we can cause more damage by talking too much and listening too little. A friend who is dealing with these questions usually has several layers of questions. Like peeling an onion, we must be willing to investigate the questions behind the questions that our friends ask.
Many times, these questioners fall into one of two categories: 1) they have had a personal tragedy that makes them callous to the idea of God, 2) they have an ideological difference of opinion and want to test the coherence of your Christian worldview. Both are fair reasons. People with the first reason are almost always the most honest seekers. So, don’t merely answer the question, but address the questioner.
One the most amazing things about God is his willingness to love and even relate with the doubter. Jesus was willing to show Thomas his scars and even eat with the disciples after his resurrection to help alleviate their doubt. God loves and helps the doubter.
Relate with the questioner. Tell them about your losses. You don’t need to have a highlight reel full of wins to show that God has been faithful. Tell them about your personal tragedies and how God helped you personally deal with loss.
During a very severe plague that claimed the lives of thousands of Romans in the 3rd century, Christians rose to occasion by the droves. Led by Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage, Christians banded together and served the sick and dying, at a time when most people abandoned the city and existing social system had broken down. The kindness and generosity of such believers grew the church and saved the lives of many more.
We are called to serve. When we love those that are wounded and hurt by providing tangible aid, we present the best apologetical argument for Christ to our unbelieving friends and neighbors. Jesus says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Jn. 13:35)