Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
I’ve found that when most people ask this question, there’s a hidden personal pronoun in it. It usually is “Why do [you God, let…] bad things happen to people?
It’s an accusation we bring to God, sometimes because we don’t understand, but most usually when we are experiencing an acute pain in our life…a relational hurt; a physical problem or illness; maybe even a painful circumstance, like being falsely accused, blamed, fired, or generally put upon.
You get the idea. Now, let’s take the most gut-wrenching example, the death of a child, and see if together we can’t make better sense of why God would allow the bad to exist.
Why would God allow that? Why would God allow a child to lose his or her little life? From God’s perspective, that life is not lost. God is able to restore to that child their life, so no loss is suffered on the part of the child. Life is not lost to the One who can restore it.
What about the grief that parents and family experience? In our loss, the presence of God is available for us to experience His strength, His comfort, His sustaining love and assurance in the face of the evil that exists. God sustains those who grieve for those He calls to Himself.
What about the skeptics, who wonder how a loving God could allow such a thing? The taking home of a child to be with God can awaken in the most hardened of skeptics the moral reality of God. In asking “How could you God?”, it presupposes a moral authority who chooses the “hows” of life, the “hows” that it works by.
So whether it’s the child, family or skeptic…all have a witness of the reality of God. The existence of evil points to the reality of a God who can overcome even the bad. And we’d want no less a God.
My hope is that in asking this question, you will find His the comfort of His presence breaking through the hurt to reveal the love of His Son Jesus right where you are.