“Why do bad things happen to good people?”
I have heard this question asked in so many forms, by so many people. For two years, I consistently shared the gospel with someone, who during each discussion always reverted back to this question. This question was, for him, a stumbling block to faith. I have heard people who face death, divorce, infertility, job loss, and countless other situations ask similar questions.
It almost seems that no matter how hard we search, we rarely find a satisfying answer to this question. I submit to you the notion that we are asking the wrong question. Perhaps, in our sinfulness, we don’t have the right perspective. So, what perspective should we have? There is no other place to look but God’s Holy Word.
Romans 3:9-10 & 18. "I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: None is righteous, no not one; no one seeks for God....There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Romans 14:23 "Whatever is not from faith is sin."
Romans 7:18 "I know that no good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh."
Romans 8:7-8 "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
What do these verses tell us? We are sinful. We cannot please God apart from the Spirit of God. All that we think and feel apart from God’s spirit is NOT good. Not one person is good. Humanity is in complete and total rebellion against God.
I understand this may make you uneasy. Yet, this is scripture. This type of thinking is not popular today; however, we can’t ignore or sugar-coat this because it makes us uncomfortable. It is dangerous to minimize our sinfulness. Minimizing our sinfulness minimizes the death of Christ.
The truth is that we are corrupt, wicked people. As such, there is only one thing we deserve: death and eternal separation from God.
So, the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” is a faulty question because it assumes (1) that there are “good” people and it (2) that we deserve good things from God for that “goodness.”
So, instead of, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” we should ask, “Why do good things happen to bad people?” The answer is grace.