Why Do Bad Things Happen? Answering Kids' Tough Questions

At my home church, we are currently doing a teaching series for the kids called "The Enormously Gigantically Big Game Show." The series teaches kids how big and powerful God is and why He is worthy of our worship.

Below are some video samples. If you are reading this in an email and can't see the video, you can go to this link to see lesson and video samples.

Today we explored Biblical answers with the kids that showed them how powerful He is.

That was good...but it wasn't enough for today's kids.  We needed to dive into some deeper questions with the kids and teach them some apologetics that were related to the lesson.

These are tough questions that even we, as adult believers, struggle with at times. 

Here are some of the questions we discussed.  These type of questions should be explored with kids so they can gain an understanding about why we believe what we believe.  I believe we should address these type of questions now, when they are children, instead of waiting until they are teens.

If God is all-powerful, then why doesn't He stop the devil and evil?

Here are some answers we talked about together: 

  • God doesn't do evil.  The devil and people do.
  • God doesn't remove evil because then we wouldn't have the ability to choose to love Him. We would be like robots with no choice and that is not love.
  • The devil is an example of this. He chose to not love God. If God had immediately destroyed him, it would have shown that God wants to rule us with fear instead of love.
  • One day, God will stop the devil and evil once and for all, but not until He has given all people the opportunity to choose His love and forgiveness.

If God is powerful and can control nature, why does He allow natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and hurricanes?

  • God created a perfect world, but it has been broken by sin.
  • Natural disasters are a tragic part of life on this broken earth.
  • God can prevent natural disasters from occurring and does at times. An example is Jesus calming the storm at sea.
  • Sometimes God doesn't prevent natural disasters so our attention is refocused on Him and the greatness of His power.
  • God can use disasters to bring about a great good.
  • We can't always understand why God doesn't prevent disasters.  But when we don't have all the answers, we must depend on God's power and trust that "all things work together for good to those who love Him."

As I posed these questions to the kids and we discussed them, one of the 4th grade girls raised her hand and said something that was brilliant.  Here was her answer...

"I believe the reason why bad things happen is because we are not living in heaven yet.  If the world we live in was perfect, we would already be living in heaven.  One day we will live in a perfect world...a perfect place, where nothing bad or evil ever happens. That place is called heaven.  Until then, we are living in a broken, hurting, imperfect world. A world where bad things happen."

I thought her answer was brilliant for a 4th grader.  

Some would shy away from discussing the tough questions with children. But I believe that mindset is a mistake. We only have a short window of time to reach kids.  We must invest in them now, while they are open to God and His Word. 

If we can help them get solid, Bible-based answers to the tough questions, we can help them have a strong foundation that will weather the tough questions that they will face now and in the days ahead. 

What are you teaching the children God has placed in your ministry?  

Is it preparing them to address and talk about the tough questions?  If it is not, then remember...you only have a short window of time to disciple them. 

Did you know that Brad Pitt was raised in a Christian home?  In interviews, he talks about how he went to church every week with his parents. When Brad became a teenager, he begin to have serious questions about the faith.  He went looking for answers but no one helped him.  He grew up without the answers to those questions and became an agnostic.  

Each week you are ministering to kids who have questions...deep questions about the validity of the faith. God has called us to help them explore those questions and find the right answers. 

Will you teach kids apologetics?

Will you prepare kids who are growing up in a post-Christian America to be able to defend their faith?

Will you prepare kids to know God and trust Him?

Will you teach kids how to navigate the tough questions about God that will come their way?

Will you join me in this endeavor?