Why do bad things happen to good people?


This is a very sensitive subject and common question, especially in the times we live in today.

I often hear people respond to tragic events by saying, “That must have been a part of God's plan,” or “It was God's will for that to happen,” or “Why would God allow such a thing to happen?”

According to 1 John: 1:5 in the Amplified Version of the Bible, “God is Light [He is holy, His message is truthful, He is perfect in righteousness], and  in Him there is no darkness at all [no sin, no wickedness, no imperfection].”  So if this is the case, how can someone being hurt, getting a disease, or losing of life be a part of God's plan or God's will? 

It doesn't line up with the nature of God.  In a lot of situations, when people try to comfort others or try to reach an understanding of their own situation, this is the only thing that they know to explain why a certain thing might have happened.

Sometimes it’s just easier to place the responsibility of certain situations on God knowing that God is omnipotent.  What some fail to realize is that even though God is omnipotent, He does not cause the bad things we see happening.  Being omnipotent and being in control are two separate things.  Omnipotent is having unlimited power and being able to do anything. 

This does not necessarily mean that He is responsible for everything, such as tragedies, that happen. When asking these tough questions, we must consider that in the beginning of time, when God first created mankind, He gave them authority in this earth, which brings with it a level of control.  (See Genesis 1:26).  Now in reading about creation in the Bible, we also see where mankind made a choice, a choice that went against God’s instructions for them. 

This choice brought sin into the world, causing all kinds of evil things to come into play.  Thank God for His Son Jesus and His plan of salvation for us all.  However, there is still evil in this world that causes bad things to take place. 

The toughest part is when these things affect people that we know and love, people we respect and hold in high esteem…people we see as truly good people. 

But that’s just it, whether a person is seen as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is not the issue at hand. 

We must consider the fact that we have no idea of the innermost thoughts and beliefs of a person.  We don’t know their personal lifestyle, their eating habits, driving habits, personal decisions, personal beliefs, fears, etc. Mankind was given free will, the freedom to choose…whether good or bad, life or death. 

These are factors we can’t control in another person’s life.  And although it’s tough, we have to consider these things. 

We may never fully understand in this life why bad things happen to anyone.  One thing you can be sure of, however, is that God is faithful and will help you through it all and give you peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). God bless you.


This column was co-written by Pamela Lawson.




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