When bad things happen to good people


When we are in the midst of pain, suffering and tragedy, we dare to ask the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” If God has a wonderful plan for me, why is it that these bad things are happening to me?

In 1981, Harold S. Kushner wrote a book entitled “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”

Let me quote some of his words.

“Let me suggest that the bad things that happen to us in our lives do not have a meaning when they happen to us. They do not happen for any good reason which would cause us to accept them willingly. But we can give them a meaning. We can redeem these tragedies from senselessness by imposing meaning on them.”

The question we should be asking is not, “Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?” That is really an unanswerable, pointless question. A better question would be “Now that this has happened to me, what am I going to do about it?”

How then should we respond to the bad things that are happening to us?

First, let us still believe that God has a purpose for our life.

Pain is a great teacher. We can learn a lot from the negative things that happen to us. Let us see problems as lessons and crises as opportunities.

Roman 5:3-4 says, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Second, let us continue in doing what is right.

When something bad happens, we are tempted to abandon the Christian way of life. We tend to take shortcuts and divert to ungodly ways. We also observe that the righteous suffer while evil people seem to prosper in this world.

Let us neither be resentful nor retaliate. Ecclesiastes 8:11-12 says, “When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.”

Third, let us affirm our faith in God in confusing times.

2 Corinthians 1:9 says, “This happened so we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God.”

We need to be reminded that there are a lot of things in this world that we do not understand. When we can only see the ugly cocoon, God has already seen the beautiful butterfly. God is telling us to trust Him.

Bad things happen to good people, so as good things. It is not on how bad they are, but on how we react towards it, that matters. – NWI