Ask Your Preacher
I have struggled with this my entire life, including my entire Christian life. NO one will even try and provide an answer – only quote Scripture that doesn't provide an answer.
I have been taught God is all-knowing, all-powerful, can do anything, etc. That being said and believed... why do such evil things happen to little kids (molestation, rape, murder)? It might make sense if they were adults... but little kids?
How can you be all-knowing, all-powerful, watch what is happening to little children, and not help?
Everyone says, “FREE WILL; God doesn't mess with free will.” Then why pray? IF He will not intervene to prevent an evil done to a child, why would He intervene and help you with patience or sickness or anything else?
I just don't get it. I'm a parent. I could not watch an evil done to my child and do nothing. PERIOD.
Please explain… if you can.
Dear Angry Mother,
All suffering is caused by mankind and sin. When God made the world, He made it to be good – it was sin that destroyed that perfect vision. All wickedness and evil brings pain to God and grieves Him, and He will only endure it for so long. In Noah’s day, God saw all the violence that was in the world, and it made Him deeply sad (Gen 6:5-6). God gives mankind the freedom to make our own choices, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pain Him to see the evil upon this earth. God tells us that the only reason He endures it is because He is longsuffering and desires to give as many people as possible the chance to repent and turn to Him (2 Pet 3:9). God's longsuffering is what is hard for us to comprehend because if we were in His shoes, we wouldn't be as patient with wickedness as God is. But then again, we also wouldn't send our own son to die for wicked people – so it is a trade off.
God's patience is greater than ours, which feels like a blessing when we think of our own need for forgiveness... but it feels like a curse when we look at others’ behavior going unchecked. It is a dark and ugly world, and God’s love is the shining light in that darkness (Jhn 3:19) – His love is deeper than ours, and His patience is profounder than ours. Just remember this: all the blameless (including children) will be comforted in His arms in heaven (Rev 21:3-4). This darkness will not last forever, and it will seem like a mere wisp of time when we get to eternity (Jas 4:14).
I am a fifty-two-year-old christian mother. My thirty-four-year-old son is dying of ALS. I am furious with God right now… not only that my son is dying, but how horribly devastating this disease is. He is married with three children. Please, without the usual christian rhetoric that we all preach, please explain to me WHY God who loves us lets horrible things happen – not only to my son, but others. Are we just rats in a cage to Him for His amusement? Is He loving, or is that just a myth? Are He, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit one? I think no. I think Jesus represents love, and I think God represents power, control, wrath, and arrogance. Please help me to understand.
Dear Angry Mother,
Life here on this planet is full of heartaches, and we here at AYP cannot imagine how devastated you are right now. This world is full of all sorts of disease, pain, violence, and strife – but God didn’t cause those things, sin did. All bad things are a result of sin. When God made the world, He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden and gave us a joyously blissful existence in that paradise. Who caused the pain? We did. It is sin that has brought all of the death, disease, decay, pain, suffering, troubles, and heartaches into our world. We all, in varying degrees, are reaping the benefits of a world with sin in it. Sickness is a consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. One of the curses of their sin was that we all must face our own mortality – life is finite. Sickness, disease, and pain are a part of the human existence. Sadly, this is true even for our children. When God gave us freewill, He gave us the right to cause problems for ourselves and others, and if He simply removed all the consequences for our actions, He would be removing our freedoms as well.
Sometimes bad things simply happen because they happen. Job suffered greatly, and his children died, but it wasn’t his (or their) fault. Job hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had his kids. It all happened because Satan wanted to do evil (Job 1:6). As long as we live in this world of sin, there will be troubles. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone at fault… just time and chance wreaking havoc in a sinful world (Eccl 9:11).
Regardless of the reasons, your son’s illness is devastating to you – and rightfully so. You have every right to be hurt, but don’t let that hurt cause you to turn your back on God who wants to save us all from this sinful world. After all, God gave His Son’s life for us – He knows how painful this is for you and knows exactly how to give you comfort through this dark hour.
What does God think about infertility? I have a disease that has caused me to not be able to conceive a child on our own. Is that in God’s plan for us, or is it the devil? I do believe that He has a plan for everyone and He tests your faith, but if we've been trying for eight years, does that mean that I've failed? What does God say about infertility treatment? Is it a sin?
Dear Heart-Broken Wife,
Infertility is another consequence of Adam and Eve's sin. When God created the universe, He made everything good (Gen 1:31). The world didn’t have disease, thorns, suffering, and all the other problems we see today. Originally, Adam and Eve lived in the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8). It is only after Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden because of their sin that all the problems we see today began.
God can cause all things to work together for good for you and your husband (Rom 8:28), but He didn't cause the diseases that affect our lives. The fact that you haven't conceived doesn't mean you have "failed" any sort of test; just like other people dealing with sicknesses aren't failures because of their illnesses, you aren't a failure because you can't conceive. Some of the most faithful people dealt with the same infertility issues that you do. Hannah and Sarah were both faithful women that wept many tears over the fact they couldn't have children. The burden and pain you are carrying isn't an indicator that you are unfaithful – it just is what it is.
As far as infertility treatments, that is a big issue because modern technology allows us to do things that are both good and bad – some treatments are fine; others aren't. Read our post "Apples Of Our Eyes" for what to consider before undergoing treatments.
My daughter thinks it's okay for women to love women in a way that men and women are supposed to be in a relationship. She tells me, “God is love,” and that's what her relationship is, and she also believes that I am judging her. I know that the devil has blinded her, and my heart aches because I raised my children in church, and I pray for her deliverance. What do I do?
Sick Over This
Dear Sick Over This,
If you are looking for verses to show your daughter on the subject of homosexuality, the clearest two in the New Testament are Rom 1:26-27 and Jude 1:7. However, as you implied, the problem is more than just finding the verses; it is how to act toward a child that has chosen a sinful lifestyle.
There may not be any greater pain on this planet than the pain a parent feels on behalf of their children. Whether your children have hurt you or you are watching your children hurt, it is a devastating heaviness upon your soul (Pr 10:1).
All you can ever do for your grown children is be a good example, pray for their souls, and stand firm in the truth. Be that light of Christ that they need to see (Matt 5:14). Hate the sin, but love them. Sin causes pain in people’s lives, and hopefully, when that pain gets deep enough – they will choose to look to your example and the Lord’s Will for answers.
I have two children who are into meth. I have been praying for them along with other family members. I don't understand why these prayers are not being answered. Is there a certain way I need to pray or ask? I'm new to this, and think I'm not asking in the right way.
I also feel like Satan is starting to attack my family and me for praying. Does this happen? I have no peace, and I'm afraid to go to sleep because of nightmares... but those could be from all the stress I have in my life.
If you can suggest any books to help me become stronger in my faith and learn to pray, I would greatly appreciate it; I'm too embarrassed to ask. Thank you for your time.
Mom Who's Trying
Dear Mom Who’s Trying,
God desires to answer our prayers, and He says that a righteous christian’s prayers do make a difference (Pr 15:29, Jas 5:16). However, when we pray about things, it isn’t as simple as we just get what we are asking for because God has multiple principles that He must keep in balance at all times.
If God simply forced people to become better people because you prayed for them, that would remove our freedom of choice. After all, He tells us that we reap what we sow in this life (Gal 6:7). We make certain choices that get us addicted to sin… we must make choices (often painful – like disclosing the sin) to remove the addiction. The fact that you are praying for your children is wonderful, but they are responsible for their own decisions, and God won’t force them to change if that isn’t what they want.
As far as books we would recommend, the best thing you can do is read your Bible – especially the Psalms – to get you through this time of grief. The Psalms are songs and prayers written by faithful people who sometimes suffered greatly. That is our number one recommendation to someone in your situation – read the Psalms. Otherwise, if you need help finding a congregation, we would be happy to help you find one.