Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

     Why does God let the righteous and innocent suffer?  I have learned that bad things happen to the innocent because God allows it–for a very specific purpose.  It is a tough concept for us to swallow because we would not, of course, do it that way.  “Our thoughts are not His thoughts; our ways are not His ways.”  But “one event happens to them all” (Eccle. 2:14).  And that event is the suffering, usually at the hands of others.

     God allows bad things to happen to us so that we will have something or someone to forgive.  We are to be like Him; therefore, we need something to forgive. 

     We have to enter into the mind of God as seen in the scriptures in order to see His purpose, which is to make us His sons and daughters.  First, we are born of God.  He is our Father.  And then the law of harvest says, “Each seed bears its own kind.”  

     So if we indeed are His children, then we will have to do what He did, which is to forgive. If no one ever wronged us, we would never have an opportunity to forgive someone for the betrayals, lies, cheats, thefts, broken promises, et al, that we suffer at their hands.  Even when “acts of God” happen to us, we must forgive this “perceived wrong” that “God has done to us.”  If we don’t forgive, we harden into a bitter knot of gall that rises up in the center of our being and ruins us and those around us.

     I searched for this answer for 30 years before God was gracious enough to show me.  For, you see, I was accused wrongfully by someone that I loved, and it hurt with a pain that surpassed mere heartbreak.  This about forgiveness was not learned from a book, for one cannot take this in intellectually.  It was a revelation to me one day while I was, as Emerson and Thoreau said, in a receptively transcendental mood. 

     This knowledge healed me of the pain.  “The truth shall make  you free.”  Free from the wondering why, free from the tricks our hearts and minds play on us, free from the imaginations, doubts, and recriminations. 

     And so I pass this on to you.  Hope this helps.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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5 Comments

Filed under children of God, forgiveness, sons and daughters of God

5 responses to “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

  1. I like the idea of tying in allowed suffering to God’s call for us to be like him. Yet, this is the very thing that people of today’s world like to poke holes in… how do you think the postmodern atheist of today should be encouraged to understand this idea about God?

  2. wayneman5

    Thanks for the comment along with a very good question, ntseabolt. “Only the fool says in their heart there is no God.” So in God’s eyes, they are the fools who have now become the “wise” in this world. If they think that a concept of a “Creator-God” is foolishness, how are they going to be convinced that He has a plan? But “the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men…For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise…” (I Cor. 1: 25, 19). So, the answer to the question is tell them the truth and know this in the telling: If I tell you of earthly things (physical sufferings) and you believe not, how are you going to believe heavenly things–the heavenly purposes that are secrets only to those who are in awe of God (fear Him, which is true wisdom)…Thanks again for the comment…KWHancock

  3. M. Patterson

    Are there really any “good people?” I can’t imagine Adam and Eve experiencing bad things happening to them prior to the fall. I can’t imagine someone made perfect in Heaven ever having a bad thing happen to them. Who, on Earth, is a good person? Haven’t we all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? Isn’t everyone stuck in this fallen world together?

  4. wayneman5

    Thank you, M. Patterson, for the comment and questions. You are exactly right. There is none good but One, that is God. I should have put the word “Good” in the title in quotation marks, signifying <so called ‘good’ people, as in — Why Do Bad Things Happen to “Good” People? This question has been asked in this form forever. It probably should be rephrased, Why Do the Righteous Suffer?
    But to answer some of your specific questions: You must take a look at the prophet and righteous man Job, whose book is the quintessential exploration of this issue. Scripture says that Job “was perfect in all his generation…in all this Job sinned not.” He spends 30-40 chapters trying to figure out why all those bad things, really bad things, happened to him, who was undeserving of that fate. In the first chapter we see that Yahweh allowed it all to happen.
    Almost all of the righteous prophets of the God of the Bible suffered greatly at the hands of others. They were righteous and were the very oracles of God Himself. They were “good people.” They were tortured and hunted down like animals and hid out in caves and dens of the earth.
    Yes, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. “Have sinned” is present perfect tense, an action that at present is completed. Scripture also says, “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin” (I John 3:9). So I have to believe that there are a few righteous ones in the earth yet.
    I appreciate you taking the time to comment. KWHancock

  5. kirk

    the term for give is in a way written to say that we just go ahead and before we have ,give what is needed . which we dont have we ask God for it , The term give in forgive is very interesting , enjoyed reading it .

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