Why do bad things happen to good people? Loaded question…
Why does a loving God let bad things happen? Doesn’t He love us?
Let me tell you about the worst thing that happened in my life, and see if I can bring a little clarity to this theological trapping question.
My senior year in college, I tore my ACL before the season started. Meaning that I was going to have to miss the entire year. Spend my senior season sitting on the bench and watching my team.
Not quite the storybook ending that I had imagine to finish my career.
With one plant and twist, my senior season of basketball was toast.
That would be considered a “bad” thing, right? A guy who has dedicated the previous 16 years of his life to something, sacrificing time, sleep, summers to improve.
And I was a “good” guy too. I read my Bible most nights and prayed before bed and before meals. I hosted team Bible studies, I helped start the FCA on campus…good guy right?
So then why in the world would a loving God, let something bad happen to one of His good guys?
I didn’t do anything to deserve that.
What about my dad? He’s an incredible man. Great leader, hard worker, family man, devoted Christian, what did he deserve to have a 6 year long battle with cancer?
What about Christ….? He was perfect. The Son of God. Seated next to God during the creation of the world. What did he do to deserve to die?
Why do good things happen to bad people? Because we live in a fallen, sin filled world, where nothing is guaranteed…..
….but it won’t always be like that…..
Ask “how can a loving God let bad things happen?” And I’ll ask how deep is someone’s love for me that they would let their one and only Son be tortured and die for me, when He could have intervened.
Ask “why do bad things happen to good people?” And I’ll ask who is a “good” person? I know I am not. I’ve sinned. We all have.
I am certain about this though, one day the greatest things is going to happen to “bad” people, people like me.
People like me who are undeserving of God’s love, but who are forever grateful that He loved me enough to send His son to die in my place and to take away my sin so that I can have a relationship with Him.
So that one day I can go to a place where bad things don’t happen.
It’s easy not to question God when everything is going well in life. As a matter of fact, it’s kind of easy just to ignore God when everything is going well in life.
So often, God is questioned when something negative is occurring in someone’s life. If God is in control, why would He let this happen? Why wouldn’t He just allow life to only be all butterflies and rainbows?
Here’s the thing, God created our universe. He created who we are and what we look like and He created a plan for our entire lifespan, even the parts we haven’t experienced yet. He created everything that science is discovering, and he created the nature that surrounds us. If He created all of this, is it that odd to wonder if He can control it for our better?
Let me ask you this, what’s to say He isn’t already?
We’re raised up in the world by the world’s views. Whether our parents try to protect us from the world or not, we are bound to be influenced by it. In looking at that, are we judging the “bad” things based off of God’s standards or the worlds?
We have such a limited knowledge as compared to God’s and He has only blessed us with that which He thinks we deserve to know. There is no equal playing field between who God is and who people are. That’s exactly why He sent His Son to die on a cross for our sins. Because Jesus’ blood was shed, we can live in God’s grace and mercy, not because we deserve it, but because He loves us. When we look at it that way, that God IS in control and that everything that occurs in your life is planned, are we really that wise to say that God is letting a “bad” thing happen to us?
While we might not understand it now or even in ten years, God does. He understands the natural disasters, and the loss of loved ones, and the failed tests. He understands those “bad” things in our lives that make us question life as it is.
I look back on my life and in the times that I remember seeming like the worst of the worst, I can also look back on and see that God reconstructed me into being more like the individual He created me to be.
In high school, I really struggled with fitting into my team dynamic and feeling confident in who God created me to be. Needless to say, I went through a phase of complete rejection, insecurity, and hurt by those who I called my friends. But I grew from it and I can honestly say that I understand it now. Between choosing friends who build me up and mentoring girls who struggle with the same things I get it. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to let the lesson stick all the time and God has taught me a lot through fake friendships or feeling used, but what knowledge do I have as compared to my Father watching over me? I’m merely a human.
I can look back on high school me and thank God for the pain He allowed me to go through so that I could be who I am today. I still have a lot of room to grow and I know that won’t come easy, but through that, I can find hope in the trials. It’s a process, but it’s worth it.
God is always working for the good in our lives whether we have the faith to trust Him or not.