When bad things happen

I would rather be writing an article about the Christmas season, but with the tragic events of the past week in Connecticut, I felt as though I should address what occurred.

Posted Dec. 21, 2012


By Pastor Allen Wickstrom

Assembly of God Church

When Bad Things Happen

By Pastor Allen Wickstrom

I would rather be writing an article about the Christmas season, but with the tragic events of the past week in Connecticut, I felt as though I should address what occurred. It’s hard to imagine anything as horrible as the murder of innocent children and their teachers. The anguish of the families, friends, police and emergency responders is impossible to comprehend. Even the family of the young man who did such a heinous thing must be devastated. The whole nightmare caused shock and grief worldwide. Tragic, horrible, anguish, heinous, devastated, shock, grief. Not words that I thought that I would need to use at Christmas.

When something like this happens, one of the statements that you are likely to hear is, “How could God allow this to happen?” Or “Why would a loving God do this?” Or “Why do bad things happen to good or innocent people?” Or “Why God, why?” Questions are normal, even to question God. But is God to blame? Did God cause that young man to murder children? It’s times like this when we need to turn to the word of God for answers. God would rather have us come to Him with our hurts and questions than to run away from Him.

1 John 4:8-10 (NLT)

8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

The thought that God is to blame for tragedy is to ignore the very nature of God. John wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he wrote this, and it very plainly says that God is love. Love is an attribute of God that we have inherited from Him. True love sacrifices. True love gives. We could never out-love, out-give, or out-sacrifice God. When we truly know God’s love, we will never accuse Him of the opposite. In fact, God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8 (NLT) God loves even sinners!

So what is the source of the wickedness we see? Jesus told us the answer in John 10:10 “The thief (satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that .they may have it more abundantly.”

Ephesians 2:1-2 (NKJV)

2 And you He (God) made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

Adam and Eve were created to have dominion over the earth, but when they sinned they turned that authority over to satan. Ever since then he has ruled as “the prince of the power of the air.” He uses his power to influence and shape society globally and within each culture. He also can influence people to do horrible acts against others.

Sin brought death, sickness, grief, loss, sorrow, and many other things. But Jesus came to bring life to those who will place their faith in Him. We all will have bad things happen in our lives, but there is a peace and even a joy that we can have when Jesus is there with us. I know this; because God loves us so intensely (that He sent Jesus to die for us), He grieves and feels our pain and sorrow. Just like we grieve for others, He grieves too.

Hebrews 2:10 (NLT)

10 God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.

Jesus suffered all the things that He did, so that He can truly say that He knows what we are going through. He knows your pain. He knows your sorrow. Why not turn to Him? He’s waiting with arms wide open. You can trust Him every time.

Lord, we cry out to You for the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary. Please be with and comfort the families, friends, classmates, police, emergency workers, and all those grieving at this time. We admit that we can’t understand why or what would have driven someone to do such a thing, but we do know that You care and love each one. Send some light into this dark time, just as You sent the star to guide wise men at Your Son’s birth. Send the peace that the angels proclaimed that night to those hurting. They need Your help and comfort. And please protect our nation’s schools and children. Thank You Father for answering our prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.