Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Human arrogance tends to believe that if we had been in charge of creation we would have done it better. With a little more care about the details, we would have kept the beauty of sunsets, but eliminated pain, disease, and death. The more we understand the processes of the world, however, the less likely it seems that this would be possible.

As finite human beings we should not claim to know God’s will exhaustively. But it is clear that God did not intend to create an enormous machine whose sole purpose is the elimination of human suffering. Suffering is very much a part of God’s plan for our brief sojourn upon this planet.

Why do bad things happen to good people? An often–heard variant of this question is "God would have a lot more friends if He treated the ones He already has better."

The fact of the matter is that If God rescued from every problem those who are true to Jesus, Christians would not need faith. Their religion would be a great insurance policy, and there would be lines of selfish people ready to sign up.

In addition, we cannot expect to understand God fully - or His will.  If we were faced with no mysteries or unknowns in the will of God, He would be a god in man’s image, and therefore an imaginary god.

Scripture assures us, however, that God uses everything that occurs (whether for good or ill) in the lives of those who believe in Him for the good - to benefit His plan for our lives and the lives of others.  Through trials, we and those around us have the chance to get to know God in deeper ways.  This is just one way in which difficult times can bring about good results.

God wants us to trust Him, and He promises that He will follow through if we do.  We can be confident that nothing happens without a reason or purpose in His eternal plan.


Text adapted from "Questions Intellectuals Ask About Christianity" by Henry F. Schaefer III.  Original document can be found at http://www.leaderu.com/offices/schaefer/docs/questions.html