When Tragedy Stikes: Why Do Bad Things Happen – Part 3


Friday we discussed that bad happens because we live in a world cursed by sin.

A second observation is that Bad Things Happen Because of Satan’s Continued Activity in the World. I hear people say “Everything happens for a reason.” They say that as a statement of faith that indicates that they are trying to trust that God has a reason for causing an event in their life or the life of someone else to occur. But the Bible does not teach that everything happens for a reason predetermined by God! Not everything that happens in this world is “The Lord’s Will.” Our gracious and loving Father does not cause or desire all that happens in our lives. From the life of Job we can learn that God may permit things, or better yet does not prevent them, but He does not cause them. The truth is that Satan is still active in the world to some degree.

Satan is the source of sin and sin brings about consequences in our lives. Jesus says that the devil “was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

And John tells his readers “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” 1John 3:8

Satan was the source of Job’s sorrows. He was the source of Paul’s thorn in the flesh (messenger of Satan) according to 2 Corinthians 12:7. On at least one occasion, Satan hindered Paul’s ministry (cf 1Thessalonians 2:18). Add to that this scripture in Luke 13:16, “And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” According to Jesus, this woman was infertile because of Satan’s work.

Consider this scenario: A young mother is driving her children to preschool. They are singing the songs they sing in Bible School every Sunday and Wednesday. This mother and her husband are faithful members of an active and Bible based church.  All seems to be going well in their life.  She is sitting at a red light waiting for the light to change and traffic to clear, when an inebriated driver slams into the rear section of her mini-van sending her and her children into the intersection where there is likely oncoming traffic.

God did not cause someone to drive drunk. Satan tempted an individual with alcohol. That person driving under the influence caused the accident – not God.

Bad Things Happen Because of Satan’s Continued Activity in the World.

But what do we do when tragedy strikes? How can we survive what are seemingly catastrophic events?

5 thoughts on “When Tragedy Stikes: Why Do Bad Things Happen – Part 3

  1. Great article. If you haven’t become aware of an author by the name of Gregory A. Boyd, put him on your radar. Unequaled in his material. He has two excellent books that are eye openers. :God At War,” and “Satan and The Problem With Evil.” Anything he writes is worth your reading. I buy most of my books off Alibris.

  2. Thanks Scott for the comments on God not predetermining every event of our lives. He has put in motion the many physical traits of our world, but we minimize the influence of Satan if we believe that he is not using his power to bring about temptation in our lives. It’s important to be careful not to lay every excuse for why things happen at the feet of God at the expense of us accepting responsibility for our own actions.

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