Why do bad things happen to good people?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately – What do you do when everything changes?  (I could sub-title this – ‘walking with God through seasons of pain and suffering’)

I have seen people go through all kinds of trials – medical, relational, spiritual, financial etc etc. Sometimes people wonder why these trials are happening. I have heard several ask that question directly – ‘What have I done to deserve this, I’m a good person’. I think people ask that question because of a belief that goes basically like this – good things happen to good people, bad things happen to bad people. So when a godly man who’s faithfully followed God for decades get ill quickly he may well ask – ‘What have I done to desire this? I’m not a bad person’. But when you see a homeless person you are tempted to think ‘I wonder what they’ve done to deserve that life’.

The book of Job is filled with people who believe good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. But guess what – Job’s friends are wrong and they are taken down for their unhelpful advice and their weak theology.

I am going through a season right now that is both heart breaking and perplexing. I know the truths that God is in control and God has a plan but I also know the reality of grief over what I have lost. It feels as though someone has died. My first natural thought is – what have I done to deserve this, what must I do to move on?

I look at other people who are secure in their jobs, secure in their comfort and wonder to myself – are they better than me?

This all comes from this belief – good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people – but that belief is not only unbiblical its extremely unhelpful – think of the Christian family grieving the loss of a child, think of the person out for a walk when they are hit by a car – are they being punished? Does God allow suffering to come simply to punish? I don’t think so – if we were all punished for what we deserved we would all be facing a whole lot more than the trials I’ve mentioned already.

I’m learning that God wants me to just sit in this place right now and trust Him – I want a quick fix, He desires a stronger more pliable Glyn.

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