Why Bad Things Do Happen to Good People?
Text: Job 1v1, 8,14-21. 2v3-9
Often time, I have hear people asking the above questions over and over again. As a matter of fact it has been directed to me personally on some occasion while passing through a very trying , harrowing and indeed desert experience, I remembered I would respond bravely and faithfully with the bible reference “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” Romans 8v28.
Then I would follow it up with a song deep inside me:
“Sibe Oluwa dara, Bo ti wu kori o,
idamu aiye le po, Sibe Oluwa dara(3ce)
The truth is that, when most people ask this question, there’s a hidden personal pronoun in it. It usually is “Why do [you God, let…] bad things happen to people? It’s an accusation we bring to God, sometimes because we don’t understand, but most usually when we are experiencing an acute pain in our life…a relational hurt; a physical problem or illness; maybe even a painful circumstance, like being falsely accused, blamed, fired, or generally put upon.
You get the idea. Now, let’s take the most gut-wrenching example, the death of a child, and see if together we can’t make better sense of why God would allow the bad to exist. Why would God allow that? Why would God allow a child to lose his or her little life? From God’s perspective, that life is not lost. God is able to restore to that child their life, so no loss is suffered on the part of the child. Life is not lost to the One who can restore it.
What about the grief that parents and family experience? In our loss, the presence of God is available for us to experience His strength, His comfort, His sustaining love and assurance in the face of the evil that exists. God sustains those who grieve for those He calls to Himself.
What about the skeptics, who wonder how a loving God could allow such a thing? The taking home of a child to be with God can awaken in the most hardened of skeptics the moral reality of God. In asking “How could you God?”, it presupposes a moral authority who chooses the “hows” of life, the “hows” that it works by. So whether it’s the child, family or skeptic…all have a witness of the reality of God. The existence of evil points to the reality of a God who can overcome even the bad and I tell you, we would want no less such a powerful and loving God. My hope is that all that has asked or is asking this question, will be comforted by the Holy Spirit and His presence breaking through the hurt to reveal the love of His Son Jesus right where you are. You must not loose hope or be discouraged, the bible told us:
“Withstand him steadfast in your faith, knowing that your brothers who are in the world are undergoing the same sufferings” 1 Peter 5v9
“ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” Jeremiah 29v11
This is our hope. This is our Comfort no matter what.
Now let us go back to our Text:
Job was a blameless and upright man, a man who feared God. He had been greatly blessed by God with great wealth, ten children, excellent health, and the love and esteem of his neighbors. Suddenly, through an incredible series of events Job lost everything–wealth, children, respect! His anguished cry was, “Why?” “Why was I ever born?” (Job 3.11-19.) “Why didn’t God take my life when everything else was taken from me…?” (Job 3.20-26.) “Why has God turned away from me..?” (Job 9.13-24.)
1. Some suffering is built into the universe.
God has natural laws, which order and maintain our world. Powerful forces are unleashed by the working of these laws. If we get in the way of God’s natural laws we can get hurt: Examples are floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
2. Some suffering is self-inflicted.
God has both spiritual as well as natural laws. When those laws are violated, we suffer the consequences. God made man a creature with freedom of choice. We can choose evil or we can choose good. We can make mistakes, blunders, and wrong choices. And we suffer for it. We speak of breaking God’s laws; but actually we don’t break God’s laws; we disregard God’s laws (natural or spiritual) and they break us!
Unfortunately , sometimes we embraced unhealthy habits. Such as unprofitable association (that leads to peer pressure – Peer pressure is an especially strong factor for young people. Loneliness – being alone and feeling lonely can lead to the consumption of substances as a way of copying. Indulging in careless habits and Living an empty Spiritual life. This can lead to Addiction to Drugs and other harmful substances and very unhealthy eating habits and ways of life. It invariably bring about untold sufferings.
3. Some suffering is passed on from others.
Sometimes our suffering is the result of choices and actions of other people. Other people can misuse their freedom of will in such a way that it harms us! It is men who riot and rape and kill and lie, men and women are capable of choosing evil over good and innocent people suffers! Another factors is wrong marriage say for example between unmatchable blood cells. Imaging SS marrying SS, SA marrying SS, SA marrying SA. This is no doubt would lead to having children suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia. This may be as a result of ignorant or share stupidity which will result to anguish and untold sufferings.
The Issue of “Collective Captivities” (as a result of family or lineage) also could not be over emphasized. It is unfortunate that good people can inherit generational curses which if not broken will lead to perpetual sufferings. Good example here is that of Reuben in Genesis 49v1-3
“1And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. 2Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. 3Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:4Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch”
This curse reigned in the entire tribe of Reuben. It took an anointed man of God like moses to break the curse in Deuteronomy 33v6: “Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few”
4. Some suffering represents the rage of Satan.
It was Satan who afflicted Job! Paul calls his thorn in the flesh a “messenger of Satan:
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” 2 Cor. 12v7-10)
The Bible speaks of Satan causing disease (Luke 13.16,) and having the power of death. In Hebrews 2.14 the bible declared
“ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil
It was Saran who trashed God’s creation by unleashing sin, disease and death on the world. Let’s never lose sight of this. Satan hates those who seek to do right and will do all in his power to hinder and oppress them!
5. Some suffering is educational.
Suffering confers spiritual insight; it can teach us patience and can build character and strength. It can prepare us for greater service. Romans 5v3-5 declared:
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us”
James1 v 2-3 corroborated this: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers
temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience”
6. Some suffering is therapeutic.
It may make us better people; it may lead us to repentance; it may discipline us spiritually. The Psalmist revealed ” It is good for me that l have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119v71 (also see Hebrews 12.6-11:
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby”
Thus, God may permit suffering for the sake of our spiritual health and well-being!
Now Note this: No Matter What happens: We must know that suffering does not defeat or thwart the purposes of God for us. The scripture says
” And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8v28
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” Deut. 31v6
We must remember to trust God and rely on Him whatever comes!
You may not understand all that happens or have all the facts. Our vision is limited; we see from an earthly vantage point instead of from eternity. We must, therefore, trust in the wisdom, power, and love of God! This is the message of the Book of Job! God didn’t tell Job “why”! He said “trust me!” Since God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46v10) Trust him in all situations and circumstances.
Conclusion: Notwithstanding all the trouble and pain, we believe that there is a better land—a new, Holy and Celestial City where suffering and sorrow are unknown. God has prepared a home for us there and to that home He wishes us to come:
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. 9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife”
IJohn 3v 3: And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. So while we are still here what must: Watch and Pray! Pray for:
- Mercy, and
- Anointing in the Holy Spirit.
May God be with you and comfort you on every side in Jesus Name. Amen