*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
As I was coming home, I started smelling smoke. When I turned the corner, I saw firetrucks and firefighters everywhere. Our apartment was gone. I found my mom in the parking lot. She was okay, but everything we had was gone. Some guy in the apartment below us had accidentally left his iron on and it burned down three other apartments, including ours. THIS IS SO UNFAIR! We are good people and we were just barely getting by as it is.
- God, why did this happen?
- If this happened to your friend, what would you tell her?
We are going to look at a similar situation found in the Bible in the book of John and find out what Jesus says about these things.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
1. What do you think Jesus is trying to accomplish in his relationship with the blind man?
2. Read John 9:6, 7 and 11. How does God bring good out of this man’s blindness?
3. How did God use this man’s blindness to point him to Jesus?
4. What are some things we know to be true about God? How can knowing these things affect our reaction when something bad happens?
There are a few more things to mention as we wrestle with why bad things happen:
Many bad things happen because people are sinful and do sinful things. Violence, theft, abandonment, selfishness, and mass murder all cause webs of pain that go far beyond the moment of the sin. God has given us free will to love or to sin. When people choose to sin, people get hurt. God could stop the consequences by taking away our free will and making us robots, but he values our free will too much to do that.
5. What are some ways you see people’s sin affecting you and those around you?
*WE LIVE IN A FALLEN WORLD
When Adam and Eve chose to sin against God in the garden, the whole world was affected. Weeds began growing and making it harder to produce food; animals became dangerous to humans; humans’ bodies began wearing down, becoming diseased, and dying; storms became deadly; the world was no longer a safe and comfortable place for humans. This was not God’s original plan for the world—it was because of a choice that Adam and Eve made and it is still impacting us today. Today we see storms wipe out whole towns, family members die of disease, and many wrestle with life challenges like poverty or illness because we live in a fallen world.
6. What are some ways you see this fallen condition in recent world events or in your personal life?
*GOD CHOOSES LOVE
God doesn’t like it when people suffer, but he values love above all. He could remove all evil by taking away any human choice, but if he did that, he would also be taking away the choice to love. To God, love is just too valuable to take away from us.
7. Would you rather live in a world where bad things happen, but there is love, or a world where nothing bad happens, but where love does not exist?
8. Keeping these things in mind, how might you react if you were the girl in our story at the beginning of this lesson?
9. Have you had anything happen to you that caused great sadness or hurt? Did it pull you farther away from God or draw you closer to God?
10. Sometimes when people go through hard times, they become more interested in God. How can you love them well and help point people to Christ in the midst of their hard times?
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