Three times this past week I heard someone say, “I’m mad at God.” The best of us surely play the blame game from time to time. I will leave it to the psychiatrists and psychologists to explain why we do that, and instead try to shed some light on why God is not responsible for the tragedies in life.
In 1 John 1:5 we read, “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Tragedies are not a form of punishment from God, but they are a form of evil at some level. It’s easy to blame God for ‘doing’ or ‘not doing’ something that causes us pain, but He is not to blame, because there is no evil in God. So, why do tragedies occur? According to the Bible, there is “mystery in lawlessness” (2 Thes. 2:7) but there will come a time when it will be clear to us. Meanwhile, we can only discuss it with the knowledge that we do have.
The first reason tragedies occur can be from our own shortcomings. We have free will and that free will allows us to do wonderful things and to love our God and our neighbor. But, we can also misuse our free will. When we choose to eat too much, drink too much, smoke or abuse drugs and the list goes on, there are a whole host of bad things that can happen to us, and these bad things are not God’s fault. Sometimes these behaviors lead to tragedies that hurt or even kill innocent people. The take away is that bad things can be our own fault, or they can be someone else’s fault, and then there are occurrences like disease and injury that are the consequence of being human and mortal – but again they are not God’s fault.
Natural disasters are at the top of the list when it comes to blaming God. But let’s look at this. God’s plan was for us to live with Him in the Garden, a veritable paradise where there were no earthquakes, hurricanes or diseases. But man’s sin shifted that paradigm and we live in a fallen world, where Satan is in charge for the time being. Natural laws are in place when it comes to our planet, and Satan doesn’t need God’s permission to cause an accident or create the circumstances that lead to an untimely death. Satan takes particular delight in using man as his pawn to create chaos and destruction in this world. He is always on the prowl looking to turn one person against another. And, his very favorite trick is to get us to blame God when bad things happen. But, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!” (Ps 92:15) It’s time to wake up and put the blame not on a faithful Father, but on the devil where it belongs.
Tragedy usually consists of loss and in the face of unspeakable loss, we quickly learn that questions such as, “Why me?’ or “What did I do to deserve this?” are pointless. The important question is what do I do now? And that is when we find that, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 That is when we pray the resources of Heaven into the events of hell on earth. That is when God’s light will pierce our darkness and light our way.
If we blame God for our situation, how can we turn to Him for help? Romans 5:3-4 tells us to find, “glory in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” If we are “mad” at God, how can we trust Him to lead us to “hope” in the midst of blinding pain? We can’t. So let’s take God out of our blame equation today and commit our hearts to Him.
Christ died on the cross for us so we may live victoriously today. The battle is won and the living water of God’s grace is ours. This doesn’t mean we won’t face challenges and tragedies in our life, but when we do, we can be assured that God is with us and He will carry us through our trials. He will lift us up and fill us with the strength and energy and grace to move forward.