A friend of mine was severely sexually abused as a child and even though she prayed for God's protection, none came. This has made her very angry towards God because He failed her when she needed him most. I grapple with this because I've heard other stories where a group of evangelists were ministering in a night club, only to be violently removed by the doormen. They prayed outside and after a while the doormen testified to seeing Angels who pressed them against a wall. Why would God ignore the cries of this girl, but move on behalf of the evangelists to keep them safe? I understand the concept of Free Will and choosing to love God out of our own will, so He can't violate that, but the two scenarios just don't make sense to me.
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Hello, I want to first start by saying that this question popped up in an e-mail. It was in a line of other questions and I clicked on it to actually look up another topic for a friend of mine. However, God moves/works in amazing ways! From the title of the question, an onlooker wouldn't know this would pertain to sexual abuse. However, I was sexually abused growing up and have been in Bible college for several years now for pastoral ministry and substance abuse counseling. I've faced alot of heartache in my life due to the choices I've made, some of which, stemmed from my abuse. It's not an excuse for poor choices but more a "why" behind the "what". I prayed about how to respond to this question. I also pray that the holy spirit can give me the words to help you to help your friend. Before that, I want to recommend a couple things that have helped to develop some of my understanding in my own life. 1- I would suggest watching the documentary by Kirk Cameron called "Unstoppable". In the documentary, he takes us on a journey to understand the very question you asked, "Why do bad things happen to good people?". (YouTube link for trailer) https://youtu.be/nzKijw7v6AM 2- I found myself with a copy of "Knowing God more intimately many years ago" by Joyce Meyers, who also suffered sexual abuse by her father for many many years. She addresses the anger and problems in her book and how God used it to help heal others. *Either of which you could get used copies on Amazon That being said, we ALL have a testimony. We ALL have questions about life that we do not understand. God doesn't promise to give us all of the answers but, what He does promise is that if we seek Him, we shall find him. I had to go through healing that I was unaware I even needed. Sexual abuse can affect so many areas of our existance. Yet, I KNOW without a doubt in my heart that God would not have divinely inspired this moment in both of our lives (mine and yours), for me to be able to leave a response if I had not gone through this myself. I would not be the person that I am today, without my trauma. God doesn't cause bad things to happen but, He also doesn't always intervene to stop them. The enemy plants the lie that if God loves His children SO much, then WHY doesn't He stop all of the evil in the world? The enemy is very patient and uses things for bad to deceive us that God will use for good. She has the capacity to allow God to heal her, bring forgiveness into her heart - for her own grief- not to forget but, to move forward or allow the enemy to consume her very existence. Hebrews 12:5 says, "Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many." I know this isn't always the most comforting answer but, a root of bitterness can destroy our very lives and the calling which God has placed on our lives. My testimony involes so many harmful & spiraling paths/choices in my life, which the enemy meant for harm. But, God is now using for good. These things stem from sexual abuse by men in my family that I trusted as a child (I later learned that these people were violated in the same way. Again, not excusing it but the "why" behind the "what"), teenage pregnancy, 2 failed and destructive marriages (taken place while I was surrendering to the world), many more destructive relationships, promiscuity, a seemingly endless battle with depression and anxiety, becoming addicted to pain pills after being prescribed for back pain, my son ripped from my arms by a father he never knew at age 6 (now 14 & I'm still fighting for him), an even deeper fall into the evil of heroin, overdosing and dying. It is ONLY by the grace of God that I am alive, well, and sober 6 years now. I share these to give my testimony that if God can allow me to walk through all of these awful things in life, I can either be bitter or better. Will I choose to let my life fall apart asking Him why, God? (That's not to say that I haven't) OR I can use those things that the enemy set as a trap to turn it around Nx help others who have struggled with some of the very same things in this life. I've taken both paths. It's not that I don't still struggle as we are all in the flesh until we are called home with the Lord. I do. Sometimes, I need reassurance in my own life. However, I have to remember that there are always women out there, just like your friend, that need a gentle hug and to say, I understand your pain. It's okay to be upset. It's okay to ask the question why but, let's find it together. My heart grieves for this friend of yours knowing that the enemy is keeping her away from the love of the Father. I will keep you both in my prayers. She's blessed to have a friend like you and God will work through you to help her!
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