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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

I’m sure at least once in your life, you’ve heard someone say, “If there is a God, why does He let this really bad things happen?”

Or maybe someone firmly believes in God and still questions these things. Maybe you’re one of those people.

A lot of people questioned their beliefs in God after the terrorist attack on our nation September 11, 2001. A lot of people watched September 11 unravel in horror. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day. They may have lost their faith after praying for their loved ones to come home, but never did. A lot of people started questioning how God could let something so horrendous happen.

We ask ourselves, “how could a person take a gun into an elementary school and shoot little kids and teachers?”, or “what kind of person drives a car into a crowd of protesters, killing three people?”

I recently asked myself why bad things happen to good people after the recent loss of one of my school district’s middle school teachers. I was heartbroken. She was an amazing woman with a smile always on her face. Why did this have to happen to her?

There are a few answers that I strongly believe.

  1. It’s not God doing evil. God is not the one who crashed the planes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville on September 11. God did not shoot up Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. God did not bomb a marathon in Boston, nor did He shoot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Imperfect people did. 
  2. Satan. It’s no surprise that Satan strives to turn our hearts away from God. I wholeheartedly believe that when we don’t let God speak to us, we let Satan in. And he isn’t telling us to go to church and read our Bibles. He’s telling us to do evil. All of the events I named above are evil acts. They are not acts of God, but acts of Satan.
  3. Free will. God did not create evil. He created the potential for evil. Because we are imperfect people, we sin — a lot. We do horrible things that God doesn’t approve of. Because of our imperfection, we have free will. We are free to do what we please. Sometimes what we do has great consequence depending on the sin. However, God did not create evil. He created the potential for evil right from the start with Adam and Eve and the poisonous tree. God is always testing us, like He did Adam and Eve. They both were tempted by Satan (SIN) and ate the poisonous fruit, allowing evil to occur. Had they not eaten the poisonous fruit, we would all be perfect people, but God knew that they would sin with the potential for evil.

Are you confused yet?

God is a pretty wise guy. God is wise enough to foresee that we need some pain in our lives for reasons we cannot see; He sees it necessary for eventual good.

Long story short, bad things happen because of choice. God does not sit in the sky with a wand and say, “Hey, I’m going to have this bad thing happen today.” Bad things happen to everyone, good and bad. Bad things happen to good people because all people, good and bad, are imperfect sinners. No matter how nice a person is, they are still a sinner. No matter how much they go to church on Sundays and read their Bible, they are still a sinner. We are all sinners and that is why bad things happen to good people.