We’ve all been asked that question. Perhaps we’ve at least asked it ourselves. The answer is hard. It’s hard to understand why seemingly bad things happen to seemingly good people.
I would like to say that this is entirely the wrong question to ask. It’s not a Biblical question. I recently saw a quote on facebook from R.C. Sproul. He said, “why do bad things happen to good people? It’s only happened once, and He volunteered.” (note, I have not checked the validity of this quote actually being from Dr. Sproul, regardless it is a good thought no matter who said it).
Truly the only one ever “good” was Jesus and truly the worst thing imaginable He volunteered to do on our behalf. I read from Isaiah 53 this morning and it speaks of how it was “the will of the Lord to crush Him” (vs 10) and yet “he poured out his soul unto death” (vs 12).
He willingly volunteered to take our sin and our punishment when He was was totally undeserving. 2 Cor 5:21″For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Truly a bad thing happened to the only person who was ever good.
So maybe the question we need to ask is why do seemingly bad things happen to those who are seemingly good (or perhaps innocent is a better word). Why was Joseph sold into slavery and hated by His brothers? Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Sometimes bad things happen for the good of others. Sometimes bad things happen to serve as reminders of how totally depraved we as humans are, Gen 6:5 “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (not much has changed since the days of Noah).
I think ultimately though seemingly bad things happen to both the seemingly good and the seemingly bad to show us the goodness of God in our salvation. We aren’t good enough to be saved. We are good enough for “bad” things to happen to us. God would be just in sending us all to hell. Yet, Rom 5:8 ” but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God is good when good things happen to us, and God is good when bad things happen to us (see book of Job). We might not understand it (see book of Habakkuk and Job). Yet his ways are not our ways nor his thoughts our thoughts (see Isaiah 55).
We were created for His glory, to give Him glory. Let’s do that by rejoicing in the hard times, by weeping when bad things happen to the innocent, by pointing others to our good God who saves and rescues us from the ultimate “bad” (hell).
I am thankful for a savior. I am thankful for the cross. I am thankful for the worst “bad” in human history, that happened to the best “good” person that ever existed. I am thankful for my Jesus.