In my life, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of volunteers. What repeatedly strikes me as odd, is how unhappy many volunteers seem. After all, presumably they are choosing to do whatever work in which they are engaged; what’s the purpose in complaining, when they simply can choose not to do it anymore?
Of course, on a grander scale complaints are not limited to volunteer work. They are many who refuse to follow God simply because of the list of complaints they have against Him. Chief on that list is usually that bad things happen to “good” people. “Why,” the argument goes, “should I follow a God who lets evil rain on the good?”
However, as R.C. Sproul, Jr. reminds us, “that only happened once, and He volunteered.” In other words, the only time that a truly good Person experienced evil was when His Son voluntarily went to the cross to die for our sins and rise again in order to conquer death (I. Cor. 15:3). There is no reason that God the Son “had to” provide this path of redemption, but He choose to because of “His great love for us.” He did it without complaining and without regard for His own personal comfort. He did it voluntarily – because of us.
This should cause us to realize that the question isn’t “why does God let bad things happen to evil people?” but “why does God let any good happen to evil people?” Until we are His children, we are in complete rebellion against Him. Yet God, in His mercy, “send[s] the rain on the just and the unjust” (Mt. 5:45). We experience what philosophers call His “common grace,” even though what we deserve is His abject wrath.
So when we do experience evil as a result of this sinful world in which we live, may we be mindful of the great sacrifice that our Lord willingly made for us. May this cause us to thank God for all the good that we are experiencing and to be content in Him even when we might think we have “reason” to complain.
How does the fact that Christ voluntarily went to the cross for us change our perspective when we experience bad things?