This is the question I often read or hear, and because of that, I have pondered the same. Not because I personally am curious, but moreso because I desire an intelligent response to that question. I've been inspired through the Holy Spirit to dive into this subject and I am praying the Holy Spirit leads me through this post. I don't feel at all qualified to talk about God, I too am just on a journey and with that journey is my growing connection to Him. I'm not a Pastor, I'm not a Spiritual leader or counselor, nope, nothing, no qualifications. What I am though, is what God leads me to believe, I am called to share inspiration through my experiences and with that, I can talk today about what's coming to me in relation to the question "Why does God allow bad things to happen?" I've heard the old Satan involvement answer. Satan is in charge of all the bad in the world. All the bad things that happen, are satan's hold on your life. If that's something you believe, I may not be able to change your mind with my words, but read on. Read a different perspective? I like to live as if satan is not welcome in my life, and when bad things happen to me, I don't even give satan a thought, want to know why? I don't want to give him that much power. I trust God in His fight against satan and therefore, I work hard not to even allow him to be a thought in my mind. Now that's out, you won't read another word about the dark side. I am talking today about our Trust in the Lord. The Lord so deeply desires a commitment in our hearts to trust Him at all times. Good and bad times. My current favorite Bible verse is : Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own undertanding." Proverbs 3:5. I've used this as my mantra in my ways, it's written on a post it note and sticks on my dashboard. I find so much hope and promise and a sense of "take the burden off my shoulders" when I read it. Often times when God is trying to share His message with me, I tend to find "clues" that lead to the bigger picture. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time, but then the light bulbs start going off and it all just clicks. That happened to me yesterday. As I was sitting in church, I was feverishly taking notes during the sermon. It solidified the devotion I read just the night before and it was all about the same topic. Trusting the Lord. The Lord makes his promises and the Lord delivers his promises. "The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done." Genesis 8:21. This promise allows me to believe that the "end of the world" talk is simply...T A L K. God states he will not "wipe away" the land, and I believe Him. Noah was obedient to God; but also thought of by others as crazy. He was simply trusting the Lord's message and He was obeying the Lord. I found so much peace in this revelation. I often times find the "ideas" I have to be out of the box. So much so that others tend to think I am a little or possibly a lot of crazy going on :) I struggled with that, until yesterday. It was clear to me that I am to follow the leadership of the Lord and turn away my reliance on caring what others think. Each one of us has our own journey and each one of us have works to do for the Lord. I know wholeheartedly I am here to do the work of the Lord and I am thrilled for Him to reveal to me His plans for me! I trust Him.
In closing, I mentioned a devotion I read, you can read it below, it's from "One Year Women's Devotional" by Kathy Ferguson Litton (unable to locate online...it's showing up as a Kindle edition, I am reading the print version...)
A Sacred Exchange of Trust
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
For believers suffering is a sacred place. It's certainly not always the sacred experience we would choose for ourselves or loved ones, yet it's a place God has chosen for us. The landscape of our suffering may be a life altering accident, a wound from a trust friend, and injustice, or a long term battle with cancer. In that hazy, unwanted, and perhaps mysterious circumstance God creates space for the sacred in our lives. In our unique pathway He calls for us to trust Him and He demonstrates trust in us. Suffering becomes an exchange of trust.
The exchange of trust begins as He calls for us to trust Him. Faith and trust may be hard to find in our dark hours. In the unexpected or unwanted, trust is not always our first response to God. And yet genuine faith as referred to in 1 Peter 1:7 is a faith that is proved in a crucible of a real experience. We may have willingness or readiness to trust, but the surprise visit of suffering gives us a real playing field to demonstrate the trust we claim to have.
Hardships provide us the sacred opportunity to trust God in circumstances in which He may be not clear or understandable. Our trust is tried and purified in hospital waiting rooms, at gravesides, through infertility tests, injustices, or difficult callings, all sites of raw emotions and fears. The stakes are high in these scenarios of trust. It is far easier to trust God in the safe, sanitized church pew agreeing with the often-quoted verses about trust. Yet it is at the scene of car accidents or a bad prognosis from a doctor where trust must emerge. While we may be disoriented, our hearts must find their way to trust the God who loves us faithfully.
God is not always as clear as we need Him to be. God does not always work as we would like Him to work. Fear and mistrust battle in our hearts. Corrie ten Boom has said it well: "When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer." Sit still. Even in a dark tunnel, trust the Engineer.
Dear Father, my faith seems fragile. And yet I know You are still on the throne. Quiet my fears and confusion. In this dark place let me sit still and know that You are God. Amen.