Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

In my last post, I looked at how sin and rebellion came into the world and how that affects the world through moral and natural evils. Today, in this second part of this study, I would like to look at why bad things happen to good people- specifically, God’s people… those who are born-again.

The bible teaches that man is universally evil… for we read in Romans 3:9-10… What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE… so, we understand that we are all under the curse of sin and rebellion.

So, perhaps a better question would be… why does God allow good things to happen to bad people? Romans 5: 8 tells us… But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Because of God’s great love for humanity… He paid our sin penalty on the cross… and by that sacrifice, whomsoever trust in Jesus as Savior is made “righteous” or rather have “right standing” before God. So, that’s why good things happen in the world… not because we deserve it, but rather because God is good.

But still, we live in a fallen world… so, seemingly “bad things” happen to Christians… but, there are reasons for this. That’s what we’ll now look at:

  • Sometimes these things happen in a Christians life as a result of bad choices. Galatians 6:7-8… Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. “Cheap Grace” and “Freedom” can deceive… remember, we are free from sinning, not free to sin.
  • Sometimes it is a corrective action from God. Hebrews 12:6… FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES. 
  • Sometimes it is for the persecution of our faith. 2 Timothy 3:12…  Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 
  • Sometimes bad things happen to reveal areas in our lives that need to be removed and refined. 1 Peter 1:6-7… In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
  • There are times when difficulties come that are to prepare us to minister to others in a future similar situation… 2 Corinthians 1:3-4… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

So, there are many reasons “bad things” happen in our lives as Christians… but our attitude towards them should be different from that of society. Instead of being disheartened by them, we should look to see what God is doing in the midst of them… as we are told in: James 1:2-4, Philippians 3:12-14. I hope this helps you to understand these things a little better.

 

What Would Yours Be?

If you could ask God one question, what would it be? The number one question surveyed of people that question responded, “Why is there suffering in the world?”

I can not stand in God’s shoes and give a complete answer. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says: For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. So, the best any of us can answer that question is partial and incomplete. But, we do know some things- which can aid in understanding this question. That’s what I’d like to look at briefly.

Many ask, “Why did God create a world of tragedy and suffering?” He didn’t. The bible tells us in Genesis 1:31… God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. What God created initially was perfect and very good.

On that sixth day, God created human beings. He created us to experience love. In order to experience love, He gave us a free will, which is the ability to choose… because love always involves a choice.

With that free will, we read in Genesis 3:1-7 that humanity rejected God’s love and rebellion (sin) was introduced into the world. That resulted into two kinds of evil in the world: Moral evil and natural evil.

Moral evil is the immorality, pain and suffering of selfish humanity. The bible tells us in Romans 3:23… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… so, all of humanity is under the curse of this moral evil.

So much of the world’s suffering comes from sinful action or inaction. For example: famine in the world. But, the world produces enough food to feed every human being 3000 calories a day. But we prevent the feeding of the world because of greed, wars and the like.

Natural evil would be earthquakes, wildfires, typhoons and such, that cause mass suffering in the world. When sin entered into the world, the earth was cursed. We read in Romans 8:22… For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. So, we see that nature itself longs for redemption.

Now, God undoubtedly knew that humanity would rebel… but think of it from a parents perspective. We know that having children could bring about suffering for them… but we have them anyways. Why? Because of the potential for joy and love. I think that’s why God created us in spite of knowing that we’d rebel… because He knew that there would be those who really want to love and be loved.

So, though God did not create sin and suffering… the bible tells us in Romans 8:28…  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. God can use it to bring about good.

Next time, I will look at this a little closer. Why bad things happen to Christians. Until then, keep looking up. Jesus return draws near.