Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

With the recent devastating tornado that hit Joplin the question arises “Why?” Why do bad things happen to good people? I get asked this question a lot and I think it’s a fair one that deserves an answer.

As a pastor I get irritated and pretty angry at some of the ignorant answers that other leaders give. “God is pouring out his wrath on sinners” or some other variation. Most of the time they point to Old Testament accounts such as Sodom and Gomorrah and the flood. What they fail to see is that God poured out his wrath on sinners, not the righteous, and always provided a way of escape for those who loved him.

So, why do bad things happen to good people?

  • I don’t know. Sometimes the best answer we can give is an honest answer. If I knew the answer I would be God and the last time I checked I wasn’t.  

“Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty? Job 11:7

  • God never promised that his followers would be exempt from pain and tragedy.  

For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  Matthew 5:45

  • When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, not only were we cursed, but creation was cursed as well. 

And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. [18]  It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. Genesis 3:17-18

  • God cries over the curse of sin and pain in this world. In scripture we see that Jesus cried two times. One over the spiritual curse of sin. The other over the physical curse of sin.

But as they came closer to Jerusalem and Jesus saw the city ahead, he began to weep. Luke 19:41 

Then Jesus wept. John 11:35

  • There is hope for those who place their faith in Jesus Christ. He is going to make things right.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. [2]  And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. [3]  I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. * [4]  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:1-4