Tragedy, Suffering, Problems – Whose Fault is it?

Early this morning a 10-ton meteorite hit the earth in Russia.  About 500 people are injured and some dead.  The physical recovery has already started, but the emotional recovery from this disaster will take far longer.

Meteorite in Russia

You may not be affected by this disaster.  But something unforeseen can happen, because life is full of problems and tragedy and you may experience it.  The Bible teaches that this is not a perfect world, there is sin in the world, and people do wrong things and suffering results.  The Bible is brutally honest about this.  Ecclesiastes 8:14 “Sometimes something useless happens on earth. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people.” (NCV)

We don’t always get what we deserve. There are two mistakes you can make regarding tragedy, pain, suffering and problems: You might think all the good things that happen to me prove I am good, and all the bad things that happen to me prove I am bad.  That is not what the Bible says.

In Luke 13:1-5, Jesus is talking about two tragedies that happened in His day. He said you know there were innocent people worshipping at the temple, they came in and were brutally slaughtered. And he said there was a tower that fell on eighteen people and killed them. And He posed the question, “Whose sin caused this tragedy?” Was it a result of their sin?  Jesus said, absolutely not!  Now, that doesn’t negate cause and effect. Most of the problems we have in life are our fault.  We do reap what we sow, but not always.  And sometimes we suffer innocently. Not everything that happens is God’s will.  Sometimes after a tragedy people say, “Well, it must have been God’s will.”  This is just not true! We cannot blame God for the tragedies. God’s grieving too. God’s will is not always done.

God could have stopped the tragedy from happening. He could stop a mass murderer by taking away his/her free will, their freedom to choose.  God gave us the freedom to choose, and it might sometimes be our greatest curse because we often choose the wrong thing. And when we choose the wrong thing innocent people may suffer.

God’s will is not always done in this world.  2 Peter 3:9 “It is God’s will that all should repent and none should perish.”  Not all repent and therefore perish.  God will never force His will on your will.  That is the reason why we pray: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We pray this because God’s will is not always done on earth.  God’s will is done perfectly in heaven.

There are several reasons and causes for suffering, which I am not going to explain now, but I want to share a few principles next week on how to respond and recover from pain, suffering and tragedy