This is one of the most difficult questions in all of theology. God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Why should human
beings (not eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent) expect to be able to fully understand God’s ways? The book of Job deals with
this issue. God had allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to Job except kill him. What was Job’s reaction? “Though he slay me, yet will I hope
in him” (Job 13:15
). “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21
). Job did not
understand why God had allowed the things He did, but he knew God was good and therefore continued to trust in Him. Ultimately, that should be our
reaction as well.
Why do bad things happen to good people? The biblical answer is there are no “good” people. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that all of us are
tainted by and infected with sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20
1 John 1:8
could not be clearer about the non-existence of
“good” people: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have
together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of
vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the
way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Every human being on this planet deserves to be thrown into hell at this
very moment. Every second we spend alive is only by the grace and mercy of God. Even the most terrible misery we could experience on this planet is
merciful compared to what we deserve, eternal hell in the lake of fire.
A better question would be “Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?”
declares, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in
this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Despite the evil, wicked, sinful nature of the people of this world, God still loves us. He
loved us enough to die to take the penalty for our sins (Romans
). If we receive Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16
), we will be forgiven and promised an eternal home in
heaven (Romans 8:1
). What we deserve is hell. What we are given is
eternal life in heaven if we come to Christ in faith.
Yes, sometimes bad things happen to people who seem undeserving of them. But God allows things to happen for His reasons, whether or not we understand
them. Above all, however, we must remember that God is good, just, loving, and merciful. Often things happen to us that we simply cannot understand.
However, instead of doubting God's goodness, our reaction should be to trust Him. ”Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”