Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled,
and the kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the gospel."
Mark 1:15

The Question After a Tragedy - WHY?  




By: Todd Friel

This was a response to the tragic shooting that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

Pigpen makes a mess everywhere he goes as people get caught in the storm of filth that follows him. God is not like Pigpen. While the world may look like it is spinning out of control, it is not. The world is completely, totally, thoroughly under the sovereign reign of God and nothing happens without His consent. Every molecule in the universe is under the authority of King Jesus (Heb.1:3).

If I told you about a wonderful man who loved everyone he met, but the people he loved brutally murdered him, you would think that was evil and senseless. But if I told you that man was actually the God-man Jesus Christ who came to save us from our sins as part of God's pre-arranged plan, you would say, "While His murder was still evil, it makes sense.

The murder of Jesus was the worst expression of evil in history, yet we rejoice at His death and resurrection because we see how God used sin sinlessly for His good purposes and our benefit.

You see, nothing happens by chance. While God may send a storm to punish a guy named Larry, He sends the storm with every single human in mind knowing exactly how it is going to affect them. In other words, tragedy is custom designed for every single person. The same is true with evil, God knowingly allows evil because He uses it to glorify Himself and grow us.

Knowing God's plan for evil can help us make sense of what appears to be senseless. While no man can claim to be a prophet and tell anyone exactly why God is permitting evil, Christians can proclaim general reasons for suffering and allow each individual to apply that information to his or her life specifically.


Here are 12 responses to the "Why?" question.

1. In order to manifest His attributes of mercy, grace and loving-kindness, God created a perfect world knowing that man would fall into sin and commit evil acts. The result of our sin is death, but God is rich in mercy, grace and loving-kindness and He sent His beloved Son Jesus to die for sinners to save them from the punishment they deserve for their sins. If there was no sin, we would never see God's amazing kindness demonstrated in Jesus.

2. When does water taste the best? When you are thirsty. When is food most appreciated? When you are starving. When does God's kindness shine the brightest? When it is darkest.

3. Jesus was asked the "why" question in Luke 13: "Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

4. We sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children" because it is true. Jesus loves little children MORE than their own parents (Matt.19:14). He is the One who knit them together in their mothers' wombs (Ps. 139:13). It is possible that Jesus wanted those beautiful little children with Him right now.

5. A hunter shakes a tree to make the birds fly away. Sometimes God shakes our trees to make us desire to fly away to heaven. Evil makes us long to go and be with Him (Romans 8:22).

6. Consider the crowded churches and candlelight vigils after a national tragedy. God can use a disaster to shake an entire country out of its collective spiritual slumber to draw us to Himself.

7. God uses evil in our lives to prepare us to comfort others in the future (2 Cor.1:3,4) and be grateful for what we have today. Who of us didn't hug our kids a little tighter on the day of the shooting?

8. God uses evil to prepare us for a future experience. Have we not all said, "Wow, if I hadn't gone through that, I would never have been able to get through this.

9. When we see evil played out, it should prompt us to remember that there is a battle that is far greater than any earthly skirmish. There is a battle in the heavenly realms for the souls of men, including ours. Tragedy can remind us to be more heavenly minded (Eph.6:10,11).

10. If God limited our ability to commit truly atrocious acts, then we would not be able to make genuine choices. Our ability to choose was on display in Connecticut.

11. As a society abandons God's ways for sinful ways, the results will always be evil. The Proverbs teach us that if we live in a godly way, things will generally go well. If we follow our own paths, they will lead to disaster. A nation can collectively reap what it sows.

12. God is far more interested in our holiness than He is in our comfort. God can allow evil to discipline us. God NEVER punishes Christians for their sins (Jesus was punished for our sins), but pain can be God's loving, fatherly, corrective rod (Hebrews 12:5-8).

There are many more reasons God allows evil, but it is His sovereign prerogative to not tell us what those reasons are (Deut.29:29). Why? Because He is kind. Just like a child who cannot bear to learn certain adult truths, sometimes we adults cannot bear to learn some of our heavenly Father's reasons.

This cannot be stressed enough, God does not cause sin, He allows it and He hates it but He uses sin sinlessly. If God simply responds to evil, then He is either unaware, uncaring or unable to help. He is not! God is not oblivious. God is not distant. God's arm is not too short. God is entirely engaged, involved and redeeming something good from every evil situation He sovereignly allows.

Jesus suffered more evil than all of us. He understands our pain. He is in our pain. Do not waste this tragedy. Let Him grow you, teach you, prepare you, comfort you, love you and if necessary, save you.





The Big Question

Does God Exist?

What Is The Bible?

Is The Bible True?

Who Is Jesus?

Is Jesus In Every Book Of The Bible?

Is Jesus God?

Did Jesus Fulfill Any Prophecies?

Did God Create You?

What About Reincarnation?

Are You Going To Heaven?

What Is The Truth About Hell?

What are the Essentials of the Faith?

Who Will You Believe?

Want To Find A Good Church?

Looking For A Church In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?

Which Bible Translation Is Right For Me?

What is the TULIP, and is it Biblical?

What are the Five Solas, and are they Biblical?



"All Religions Lead To God"

"Never Talk About Religion Or Politics"

"Judge Not..."

"The Bible Is Full Of Contradictions"

"A Powerful God Wouldn't Allow So Much Evil..."

"The Church Is Full Of Hypocrites"

"What About Those Who Never Hear About Jesus?"

"A God of Love vs. A God of Wrath"

"A Loving God Wouldn't Send People To Hell"

"You're Only A Christian Because You..."

"As Long As You're Sincere In What You Believe"

"How Do You Know Which Religion Is Right?"

"God Would Never Forgive Someone Like Me"

"I Can't Believe In Miracles"

"Unanswered Prayer Shows God Doesn't Exist"

"What's With All The Different Denominations?"

"Jesus Was Just a Copycat of Pagan Myths"

"What About The Crusades?"

"What About Slavery In The Bible?"

"What About Evolution?"

"What About Homosexuality?"

"Jesus Didn't Say Anything About Homosexuality"

"What About Abortion?"


Other Stuff

   Other Beliefs


     Roman Catholicism


     Jehovah's Witnesses


     Seventh-Day Adventism




     New Age

     Christian Science



     Oneness Pentecostals

     Unitarian Universalism




What I Believe

Theological Terms and Definitions

Belief Comparison Chart

An Eschatological Overview (End Times)

Good Quotes

Paul Washer Quotes

20 Logical Fallacies

17 Questions Every Christian Should Think About

My Prayer - I Have A Problem...

More Than A Holiday

Honest Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses

Honest Questions For Mormons

Questions For Skeptics

10 Reasons To Tell Your Kids The Truth About Santa

A View From The Life Boat

A Collection of Helpful Bible Passages

A Story About A Boy Named Mikey

Thoughts On The Doctrine Of Definite Atonement

Questions To Ask A Child Before Their Baptism

A Critique Of An Origin-Of-Life Article

No Hope In The Pope

Terrorism - What You Can Do About It

The Impact Of A Blind Elderly Woman

Evidence For The Resurrection - W.O.M.E.N.

Quotes About Sin

17 Ways To Fight Sin In Your Life


Apologetics / Evangelism

What Is Apologetics?

Why Should We Do Apologetics?

What Is Presuppositional Apologetics? 

What Do You KNOW? 

What Is Evangelism? 

Why Should We Evangelize? 

Are Christian Doing A Good Job Of Evangelizing? 

7 Reasons People Don't Share Their Faith

The Question Of Evangelism - Words Or Works? 

Is The World In Which We Live In Today Tolerant? 

Preaching What We Practice and Talking The Walk

Man vs. God Centered Evangelism


Around the Web

A Letter From An Atheist

Are You A Good Person?

Is This Your Life?

What Does It Mean To Accept Christ?

What's Wrong With The Sinner's Prayer?

An Important Aspect of Baptism

Must We Believe Jesus Is God?

Turn or Burn

Top 10 Reasons Our Kids Leave Church

10 Reasons Not To Ask Jesus Into Your Heart

10 Principles For New Christians

10 Pitfalls Of The Foolish Apologist

Evangelistic Phrases That Produce False Conversions

The Secret About How Some Christians Witness

Preaching God's Love In Acts?

The Gospel In Every Book Of The Bible

7 Key Differences Bewteen Protestant And Catholic Doctrine

A Different Perspective On Halloween

10 Reasons I Kissed Halloween Goodbye

The Question After A Tragedy - WHY?

The Impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thoughts About Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner

A Pastor's Response To The Marriage Debate

Sin By Any Other Name Is Still Sin

Should a Woman Be a Pastor or Elder?

Wives, Submit To Your Husbands?

The Shack - Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment

Universalism - A Problem for Everyone

5 Problems With Roman Catholic Theology

5 More Problems With Roman Catholic Theology

5 Truths We're Keeping From Our Youth Groups

Charlottesville, Racism and God's Word

8 Signs Your Christianity is Too Comfortable

Maybe Elvis Was Just a Carnal Christian?

Is God Calling Me to Be a Pastor?


Audio / Video

    Original Sermon Jams

     Born Again - Paul Washer

     Does Jesus Know You? - Paul Washer

     We Got An A! - Paul Washer

     A Boy On The Street - R.C. Sproul

     Fearless - R.C. Sproul

     Hypocrites - R.C. Sproul

     Smiling Faces - R.C. Sproul

     Authorized Personnel Only - Tony Evans

     Drive-thru - Tony Evans

     One Flesh - Tony Evans

     Sex - Tony Evans

     The Satisfier - Tony Evans

     Who to Serve? - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     The Voice of Truth - Pastor Ben Maxie

     Transformed - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Where is the Love? - Pastor Ben Maxie

     He Claimed to be God - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Love is a Behavior - Pastor Ben Maxie

     Examine It for Yourself - Pastor Mike Leonzo

     Perfect Love - Pastor Ben Maxie

     We Need Preachers - Mike Bongo

     The Sovereignty of God in Evangelism - Mike Bongo 

     I'm Ready - Mike Bongo

     Our Day in Court - Mike Bongo

     Examine Yourself - Mike Bongo

     Exclusivity - Mike Bongo

     Our World - Mike Bongo

     The Great Exchange - Mike Bongo 

     True God - Mike Bongo

    The One Minute Apologist

     Intolerance - Greg Koukl

     Legislating Morality - Frank Turek

     Intelligent Design and Creation - Bill Dembski

     Tolerance is Unbiblical - Josh McDowell

     Homosexual Forgiveness - Michael Brown

     What Must I Do To Be Saved? - Hank Hannegraaff

     Is Jesus A Copycat Savior? - J. Warner Wallace

     The Resurrection - Gary Habernas

     Contradictions In The Bible - Mike Licona

     Is It About Winning Arguments? - Mary Jo Sharp

     Does Christianity Oppress Women? - Dianna Newman

     Is Evil An Argument For God? - Brett Kunkle

   WWUTT (When We Understand The Text)

     Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner?

     Thou Shalt Not Judge?

     God Will Never Give You More Than You Can Handle?

     Do We Have To Prove That God Exists?

     Preach The Gospel, If Necessary Use Words?

     You Don't Have To Go To Church To Be A Christian?

     I Stand At The Door And Knock?

     God Has Already Chosen Who Will Be Saved?

     Spare The Rod, Spoil the Child?

     The Bible Says Slavery is Okay?

     Are Catholics Saved?

     God Foreknew Who Would Be Saved?

     Does The Bible Say Homosexuality is A Sin?

     Alter Calls And The Sinner's Prayer?

     Worse Than An Unbeliever?

    Kids Section

     The Gospel

     David Platt On Sharing the Gospel With Children

     For The Children: Are You Saved? - Paul Washer

     2 Amazing 11 Year Old Boys

   Other Audio / Video

     Rescue The Perishing

     Emeal Zwayne's Dialogue With A Homosexual

     The Big Questions of Life - Voddie Baucham

   Explore God

     Is There A God?

     Can We Know God Personally?

     Why Does God Allow Pain And Suffering?

     Is Jesus Really God?

     Are Christians Judgmental?

   The Bible Project

     The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 1 of 2 

     The Book of Genesis Overview - Part 2 of 2 

     The Book of Exodus Overview - Part 1 of 2

     The Book of Exodus Overview - Part 2 of 2

     The Book of Leviticus Overview

     The Book of Numbers Overview

     The Book of Deuteronomy Overview

     The Book of Joshua Overview

     The Book of Judges Overview

     The Book of Ruth Overview

     The Book of 1 Samuel Overview

     The Book of 2 Samuel Overview

     The Books of 1 and 2 Kings Overview

     The Book of Job Overview

     The Book of Psalms Overview

     The Book of Proverbs Overview

     The Book of Song of Songs Overview

     The Book of Isaiah Overview - Part 1 of 2

     The Book of Isaiah Overview - Part 2 of 2

     The Book of Hosea Overview

     The Book of Joel Overview

     The Book of Amos Overview

     The Book of Obadiah Overview

     The Book of Jonah Overview

     The Book of Micah Overview

     The Book of Nahum Overview

     The Book of Habakkuk Overview

     The Book of Zephaniah Overview 

Street Conversations

Street Conversations Disclaimer

Street Conversations - George & Paul

Street Conversations - Don

Street Conversations - VeeJay

Street Conversations - Joe

Street Conversations - Ralph 

Street Conversations - Charles

Street Conversations - Ed

Street Conversations - Ken

Street Conversations - Jessica

Street Conversations - Ida

Street Conversations - Earl & Evadel 

Street Conversations - Jim  

Street Conversations - Raheem

Street Conversations - Raheem part 2

Street Conversations - My Mom

Street Conversations - Eddie

Street Conversations - Renee

Street Conversations - Ron

Street Conversations - Rash

Street Conversations - Preacher

Street Conversations - Luis

Street Conversations - Keith

Street Conversations - Hippy

Street Conversations - Rich

Street Conversations - Hippy part 2

Street Conversations - Butch

Street Conversations - Scott

Street Conversations - Marcos

Street Conversations - Will & James

Street Conversations - Alexander and Valerie

Street Conversations - Jerry and Steve

Street Conversations - Blake

Street Conversations - Elteresa

Street Conversations - Pete

Street Conversations - George

Street Conversations - Jacob

Street Conversations - Nolan

Street Conversations - Fred and Frank

Street Conversations - Phillip



My Baptism

Survey Says  

A Faith Worth Thinking About  

Resolutions From Revelation  

Takin' The Gospel To The Streets  

Responding Rightly To The Gospel Of Grace  

A Defense That Honors God And His Word  

Encouragement In Corinth

Why Are You Here?  

The Dash

Surrendering To Win

The Gospel

The Laborers Are Few; Therefore...

Love Has No Labels - A Response

Faith That Works

Atheists: They Don't Exist


Making a Difference - Outreach and Evangelism  

Luke - A Careful Investigation to be Sure  

Be Kind! Yeah, But Why?

A Close Encounter of the Divine Kind

The Formula For Forgiveness

The Parable of the Soils

Jesus in the Storm

Dealing with Difficult Disciples


Repent or Perish!

Demanding Discipleship

Seeing the Seeker

Having What You Need When You Need It

This is Us

The Motivation to Sacrifice



The views and opinions of this website are the sole opinion of the author, not Living Water Community Church, its staff, congregation, or leadership.


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