This is a TOUGH lesson to teach yourself, and even more so a child. We have to understand it first. Why do bad things happen if God is so loving and really exists? The bible gives us some answers, and some are not so easy to swallow:
1. SIN - the whole world is broken. God made it perfect. Sin brought death. Read Genesis to see how this happened. A person only needs to look to themselves to know that sin exists and that no person loves God and their neighbour as they are supposed to.
Why are there starving children in the world? SIN. There is enough food to go around...
Why do tornados destroy and hurricanes kill? SIN. This isn't the garden of Eden. We got kicked out of that because of sin. And its not heaven yet... God is waiting for more people to come to Him before that day comes. HE LOVES US SO MUCH THAT HE PROVIDES A WAY OUT OF THIS MESS.... heaven forever with Jesus. We can choose to believe it. Wow.
2. TESTING - my faith grows when its tested. I change and grow when I am challenged. When everything is good, I get lazy and forget God. God is concerned about our eternity, and helping us to grow, just like we are concerned about our children's growth!
3. PERSECUTION - People exist who hate God, and God's children... and hurt those who try to follow Him. One day God will make this right. Be sure you are on the right side. Jesus suffered for us and we are called to suffer for Him. Everyone who desires to live a godly life will be persecuted... 2 Timothy 3:12
4. DISCIPLINE - When our kids do wrong and need to be turned back for their own good, we discipline them. Same goes for God. And I'm so glad he loves me enough to do this. God disciplines those He loves... Hebrews 12:6
Remember the GOOD stuff about this awful topic:
a) God's hand is on the thermostat, and will protect His children. If He brings you to it, He'll bring you through it.
b) Suffering and bad stuff gives us an opportunity to show God's glory! How we deal with stuff really does matter..
c) When we suffer, we get more like Jesus who suffered, and understand more what He went through for us.
Remember!! 2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So what do we do? And what do we teach our children to do?
Ephesians 6:13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
We need to talk to our kids daily about their struggles and guide them in the Lord's ways on this... it is a crucial element to our faith. And talking is really the best way to tackle it.