The NIV Quest Study Bible (website) is the result of two publishing companies, Zondervan and Christianity Today International, working together to enhance the Bible text with answers to challenging questions people have as they read Scripture.
More than 1,000 average Bible readers helped determine questions the notes explain, creating a resource featuring more than 7,000 notes written in question-and-answer format that provide insight into the common, uncommon, and sometimes perplexing passages from the Bible, such as “What prevents God from hearing our prayers?” and “Why does God test us?”
Question Four: Why does God allow bad things to happen? (Deuteronomy 31:16–21)
No one knows the mind of God, except for God himself. He is infinite; we are finite. We are not entirely clueless about his character, however, because God speaks to us through his Word. According to the Bible, one reason bad things happen is because the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19). That’s why Jesus taught us to ask God to deliver us from the evil one when we pray (Matthew 6:13). Even in the Garden of Eden — in paradise, before Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit — Satan was already there, waiting to tempt them to disobey God (Genesis 3:1–6).
Another reason bad things happen is because people sin. The reason why God allows people to sin and be tempted to sin is not for us to know — at least for now (Deuteronomy 29:29). What we do know is that when bad things happen, we should not rage against God. To revolt against God is to fall prey to the devil. The devil is a liar (John 8:44) and wants us to believe that God is blameworthy. But the Bible says that God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God is not the enemy; Satan is the enemy. Through his Spirit God empowers us to war against the enemy by following Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior — during good times and bad times.
Question One: How Do We Know the Bible Is True?
Question Three: Who Is God, What Does He Value, and How Can We Approach Him?
Question Five: What Is My Purpose in Life? And How Can I Be Certain of It?
The NIV Quest Study Bible is published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.
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