When Bad Things Happen to Good People
It’s an age-old quandary. Why do some of the best people on earth sometimes experience the worst sorrow?
I mentioned to a friend at lunch that it’s been my experience that the “unrighteous,” as the Bible puts it, usually do end up with just desserts. All the ill-gotten gains in the world can’t help when their marriages fail or their children struggle or they don’t enjoy the loving support of family and friends.
But it’s harder to understand God’s purpose when you see good, faithful people experience unendurable trials.
All of this was going through my head when I pulled out my phone and clicked on iDisciple, an app full of Bible verses, sermons, music, devotionals. I read something from Charles Stanley:
“How do we know what the heavenly Father is like? By knowing Jesus. He is the only full expression and explanation of God.”
And this from Brad Mathias:
“We can’t stop the movement of time, we can’t stop the transitions of life. The change of seasons, the growth of our kids into adults and the relentless march of age as we grow and mature and start to slow as everything we know and seems familiar keeps on changing…The assumption that can destroy us all is the belief that things will always stay the way the are.”
I even found a devotional I had written for Daily Guideposts. I kept scrolling through iDisciple.
And then, as though my phone had heard the quandary I’d been asking myself, “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” I stumbled upon something from Anne Graham Lotz, posing that very question.
She reminded me of Paul’s answer, Paul’s reassuring words to the Romans at a time when believers, both the nascent Christians and Jews, were living under a madman with absolute power, the emperor Nero. Why should the good suffer?
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). We can’t know the exact answer but we can trust.
An answer that has been around for 2000 years. Nice to have it on my phone.