Why do bad things happen to good people?

One of my coworkers lost his son recently in a tragic accident. He wasn’t breaking laws or engaging in high risk behavior. He was just completing a chore in their back yard. Our company as well as our community has been shocked and heartbroken by this sudden loss and I know many people are asking “why”? Of course no one has a good answer that will make things better for those mourning, but I think it’s important to clear up some things people say about God during times like this.

My enthusiastic son helping paint our bathroom. Losing him would be devastating to our family.

I’ve heard people say things like, “God must have needed him” or “I guess it was just his time to go.”

The idea that God “takes” people through causing their untimely death is atrocious. I know people mean well and are just trying to make sense of a senseless situation, but this idea is just wrong and not helpful. And it’s not biblical. (When God took Enoch he didn’t strike him dead, he just took him; and this is the exception rather than the rule)

God doesn’t kill young people because he needs some extra hands in heaven. God doesn’t need us to do anything for him and he certainly doesn’t cause tragedy in our lives for his own benefit.

The truth is this: crap happens and it doesn’t make any sense.

We live in a fallen and broken world in which sin and evil and death prevail. God loves people enough to let them make their own choices, even if it means walking away from him or hurting others. God didn’t design us to die–he designed us for eternal life. But sin entered the world and caused death to result. So even now, we live in mortal bodies that are subject to pain, sickness, and death. Not one of us will get out of this life alive.

But here’s the good news…

God made a way for us to overcome the power of sin and death. He carved out a provision for sinful and broken people to be reconciled to him and once again be designed for eternal life.

This life on earth as we know it is temporary and full of troubles. It’s often much shorter than we think it should be, and certainly it’s unfair. But what we do here and how we live matters. The choices we make now will have a lasting impact not only in this life, but also in our eternity.

God made a way…we just need to trust him and accept the gift of eternal life he offers. You see, when we lose a loved one it’s difficult because we miss them and can’t be with them anymore. But for those who have trusted in Jesus and accepted the gift of eternal life there is tremendous hope. Not just hope for themselves, but hope for the ones they leave behind.
Bad things happen to good people all the time…and it will continue to be this way indefinitely. But God has intervened so that death is not really the end and he has given us hope beyond this life so that we can live this life to the fullest. God is not the cause of our suffering, but He is our comfort and our cure.


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