Monday, August 16, 2010
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
Lately, I have been hearing a lot of God-fearing Christians ask the question “why do bad things have to happen to good people?” I myself, have been guilty of beginning the line of thinking that certain things shouldn’t be happening to someone who is doing everything the way their supposed to. The problem is, this is faulty thinking. This one question is a ploy that Satan uses time after time after time among Christians in an attempt to thwart the work of Christ. If Satan can come in and destroy the life of a good Christian family, and in the process lead other Christians to blame God for it, then he can successfully stop our attempts at reaching a lost world with the Good News of Jesus Christ. So, what about our question? First, we have to go to scripture for a definition of a “good person” and see who we are actually referring to here. Romans 3:10-12 says “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is non who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” Romans 3:23 says that “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Jesus says in Matthew 19:17 that “no one is good but One, that is, God.” The first problem with this question is that the Bible makes it clear that there is no one who is “good” except for God. We are all sinners, and those of us who have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our only way to God are saved by grace. So let’s re-define the question to make it more relevant now that we know there are no “good” people. Someone is a follower of Jesus Christ, they are active in their church, they witness to everyone they meet, they are the most generous people in the world, and then at a pretty young age they are diagnosed with a serious illness that will likely take their life leaving behind a young family to pick up the pieces. In a situation like this it is very human to wonder why God would let this happen. Some people would even turn away from their faith because they figure, why try if it will still end up that way. I have a big problem with that thinking! First of all, we need to realize that we live in a sinful world. When sin entered the world, so did death, pain, and suffering. No where in the Bible do I see God promising a perfect life if we obey. I do see that He promises to never leave us. I do see that He promises an abundant life. I also see that He promises that if we love Him and are called to HIS PURPOSES, then all things will work out for HIS good. Do you see the key there? He has a purpose in even the darkest, most painful situations in our lives. Secondly, who are we to take all the blessings and accept all the joy and peace that God gives us in our lives, and then turn our nose up at Him when hardships come into our lives? The other side of the coin is true for some people; they ignore God when things are good and only cry out to Him during the bad times. I think it’s time to stop blaming God every time something doesn’t go the way we think it should. We need to accept the fact that we could spend our entire lives devoted to serving God in every area of our life, and we still might die from cancer at the age of 35, or in a car crash in our 20’s, or a heart attack before we hit 50. I have seen a lot of death in my life, including a 3 year old that we were very close to (one of the most difficult funerals in my life by the way). I’ve been through a lot of other heartache in my life as well. I would be lying if I told you that I’ve never had these kinds of thoughts before, because I have. I have had to learn that God is God, and I am not. It is not fair for me to assume I know why He’s doing what He’s doing. It is not right to blame Him for the “bad” that happens in the world as a result of sin that man brought into the world. I am only 30 years old and I could give you a huge list of “bad” things that have happened in and around my world during those years. I can promise you that my list will grow exponentially as I get older. And I can promise you that my God will be there with me every step of the way. He will never leave me or forsake me. He will give me the strength I need to get through any circumstance. I don’t have to ask the question of “why do bad things happen to good people” because I know that all things happen for a reason. Nothing is random, nothing surprises God, and the sooner we understand that and start trusting Him in everything, the sooner we can experience the full, almighty power of God in our lives. It is unlike anything in this world, and if we harbor these thoughts of “why” we will miss it altogether. The real question should be, “how can I reach people for Christ through this circumstance?”