I got an email question today, from someone in and/or around the church.
Why do bad things happen to innocent children?
I have my opinions, but I wanted to speak some life to a difficult question. Responding to an email is always tricky, because I don’t know what circumstances birthed such a question; or what assumptions the questioner is bringing along with the question. So I perused online for some opinions, asked some of those around me, and added some of both with my own ideas for an answer that I think addresses this issue. As well as it can via email.
In regards to your question about why very young children who are helpless and trusting get abused, I can say that there are no easy answers to the question of the purpose of suffering and evil. The tendency is to blame God for these conditions, but He did not create them. They came as a result of man’s disobedience to God, beginning back in the Garden of Eden; (Genesis 3:16-19). Often suffering and adversity are brought about by disregard of God’s will or by the direct efforts of Satan or by natural disasters in a physical world which is also affected by man’s sin and the resulting judgment. God, however, has offered the most effective solution possible by giving His Son to die for all. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price when He suffered and died on the cross, having taken upon Himself the sin of the world and all of its horrible consequences. When Jesus returns in power and glory, there will be a new world completely free from sin with its sorrow and suffering.
We can be sure that God in His divine purpose desires to bring about in us the greatest good and to allow suffering to be a means of discipline through which love, patience, grace, and faith may be cultivated in our lives.
So is my answer different than yours might have been?
Thanks and credit to the BGEA for some great scriptural answers to tough questions.