Bad Things to Good People? or Good Things to Bad People?

"I talked to you last night."

It was just a matter of fact statement from a fellow associate at Home Depot. She caught my attention 'cause I hadn't seen her in two days. "Yep, in my dream." Now I was hooked and just a little freaked. I don't usually roam around in people's dreams. "I was asking you about why bad things happen to good people. You didn't answer me." "Sorry" I said. "Wanna talk?" We chatted just a little. HD doesn't appreciate associates entering into deep philosophical discussions when a customer is hovering around looking for light bulbs. It ended with my promise to bring her a better book than the Rabbi Harold Kushner's When Bad things Happen to Good People. A quick scan of Amazon will show you he's not the only person to write on this question.

What would you do with the answer?

There are a host of assumptions behind the question. An obvious one is that there is consensus on the definition of "good" and "bad." Another is that if we knew the answer life would go better. Try this one on. Your good friend is enduring a long terminal bout with cancer. You feel helpless and frustrated. The question keeps popping into your head. So Jesus himself appears to give you the answer. Will knowing the answer make you feel less helpless and frustrated? I doubt it. Maybe that's why some questions don't have answers, at least not helpful answers. How wise of me not to answer my friend in her dream!

But the question persists

Let's first dispense with two popular but very misguided answers. Kushner's answer is that God would love to fix all the wrongs but can't. Why do bad things happen to good people? 'Cause God can't help it. The God who introduces himself in the Scriptures is all powerful. There are hundreds of Bible passages that say that, but let's stick with one simple statement from Jesus. "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

The other answer I suggest you ignore is that God doesn't really care about fixing wrongs. Atheist don't believe there is a god. Agnostics don't know if there's one. Deists hold that if there is one, he is far removed from us and doesn't engage in human affairs at all. All three find the notion of a loving caring God rather fanciful and offensive.


The best answer

A young man named Joseph was once sold into Egyptian slavery by his jealous brothers. In Egypt he became a powerful bureaucrat second only to Pharaoh. When his brothers came to Egypt to buy food, Joseph was there to deal with them. It's a long story, but needless to say, the brothers feared that Joseph would avenge his mistreatment at their hands. But Joseph gave them a line that has rung down through history. "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Genesis 50:19,20

The same thing can be said of those who crucified Jesus. If ever a bad thing happened to a good person this is it. But listen to this prayer offered by the disciples gathered in Jerusalem. "Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." Acts 4:27,28

In both cases something deemed bad by man was used for good by God. Methinks the answer to our question lies in this direction. But enough for now. This is the first of several hubs on this subject. I'm partial to short and simple. Besides, your responses will, no doubt, sharpen my next few hubs. So let me hear from you.

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Comments - I'm listening 20 comments

Frank7777777 3 years ago

liftandsoar, We Sincerely Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for your kind words and advice and we gratefully appreciate your prayer of healing for my wife. Please include in your prayers that we may find a GOD Loving Attorney who will help us through all of what we are going through, and that with GOD'S intervention enable to turn this whole horrible ordeal around and bring Healing, Goodness and Blessings through all this pain and suffering, Thanks again and GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS.

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liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Frank7777777, I am so sorry to hear this story about your wife's illness and her mistreatement by the medical professionals. Of course I'm not a physician nor an attorney and thus would be reluctant to offer any specific advice. However, from a spiritual point of view the content of the article above certainly applies to your situation. Notice that there are two other articles on the same subject that might prove helpful. Check out the "privious" and "next" at the bottom of the article. At the time of trauma it's very hard to keep God's perspective in mind. Do you have a Christian support group with whom to confer and pray? If not, I may be able to connect you with someone. Secondly, it seems obvious to me that you need an attorney to sort through all this. I don't know the system in Australia so I can't be real helpful. But see if there is an attorney that would take your case pro bono, perferably a Christian but anyone who is competent would be ok. I shall pray for your wife's healing and a satisfactory resolution. Until then keep you eyes on the Lord and his promises rather than on the immediate disappointments. Remember Joseph and Jesus. (last paragraph above)

Frank7777777 3 years ago

Hi and GOD Bless to ALL,

My name is Frank and I’m from Sydney, Australia and we are currently and have been so far for two and a half years going through an extremely difficult situation, which my wife, son and I are have been constantly Praying about, but sadly things have not been getting better. So I asked GOD where do I go to from here and this happened to be one of the sites that caught my attention.

Our problem all started when I took my wife to the local Hospital with an Orthopeadic Doctor’s Referral Letter for what we believed to be for a simple check-up of her right hip/leg area for a slight right leg limp she had and to possibly just have some X-Rays/ Ct Scans or an MRI of that area and THAT’S IT and leave with the Results for him. (as the Orthopeadic Doctor that we had seen earlier that morning stated that he only works one day a week and he has no machines where he’s at, so to just take his referral letter down to the Hospital). But the nightmare which then followed from that regrettable visit is UNBELIEVABLE.

Firstly in ER they deceitfully wanted to admit my wife (aged 42) in, by insisting that she supposedly had “Shingles” that we were told could be causing the limp. But it was confirmed by SIX different Doctors out of Hospital that she NEVER had “Shingles,” and a couple even further stating that she was Never Even sick - therefore she should NEVER have been admitted and (supposedly) treated for it. But this particular Specialist in this Hospital insisted that she Did (even though she did not have the classic shingles rash and was in no pain at all) and wanted her admitted and simply placed on the IV Drip for five days to treat her for it (and he approached us a number of three times to convince us.) So due to my wife’s very trusting nature she agreed, believing in what they were saying and explained to the Nurse that we are Privately insured and would want to be admitted into the Private Hospital instead. But this ER Nurse on purpose repeatedly lied to us and gave us various excuses as to why my wife should remain under their specific care. We also had the ER Doctor and a Specialist also lie about my wife’s condition and treatment in their Medical File, as they were not informing us what they were secretly recording in the medical notes and we also later discovered that this hospital specialist was wearing SOMEONE ELSE’S cardigan and Name Badge when he first approached us in ER.

They were falsely making her out to be so much worse than she was, as they then started making out on their paperwork ONLY that she had something ELSE even more serious than “Shingles” in order to have her initially admitted (which they later unbelievably stated that they had made a “Data Entry Error” on that) just so that they could then do whatever specific Tests/Scans on her that they wanted as they knew that their made up “Shingles” diagnosis wasn’t going to be enough to justify having my wife admitted, treated and placed on the IV Drip.

The reason we now know all of this is because after six days in that particular Hospital my wife was suddenly discharged out of the blue by a Nurse and not even a Doctor, with so much more wrong with her (than just her slight right leg limp) than ever before. (but unfortunately at that stage we still had no idea or the seriousness of what they had done to her). So we requested for her Medical File from that Hospital and approx. a month later we received it, as we were told it had to go through their Legal Team first.

We could not believe the state of her Medical file, with incomplete forms; they made NO RECORD of this Orthopeadic Doctor and His Referral letter anywhere on their paperwork that we handed to them; then they had my wife placed under incorrect Dates and Historical dates on Test Results and Documents under the year 2000 (As if she was not supposed to exist in their books), there was missing paperwork and plus all their lies they had recorded without us being aware of any of this, with them recording fictitious visits and conversations that NEVER took place. Then as my wife went to photocopy her Medical File she came across a HIDDEN page which had been folded into her Medical File so that No One would ever see it unless they physically took every page out of the Medical File and on top of all that, a page number had been manually altered to conceal that fact.

This is when we discovered a hidden and tampered medication page showing that an “Omniscan“ Contrast had been injected into my wife without our knowledge or consent, even though my wife had specifically told them in ER that she DID NOT want any Contrast used on her, due to having had a previous bad reaction to one, two years earlier – but what did they do instead? They had her PURPOSELY sedated so we would Never know what they injected into her without her permission, knowledge or consent.

Also all evidence points to them over two nights, after INSISTING that I can no longer stay in the Hospital (that had not been a problem before) they now wanted me to leave. So after I left to stay in the car outside the Hospital, out of concern I was communicating and texting with my wife on our mobile phones in the early hours throughout the night, when my wife was texting suspicious going ons after I was made to leave. Which all signs and evidence points to them sedating my wife through her IV Drip an performing an unconsented “Lumber puncture procedure” on her, (misshaped in the process-as we months later were notified of a lesion found in that area ) and ONLY GOD knows whatever else was done on her, as throughout the Medical File they had been constantly recording about doing a Lumber Puncture, without us having ANY knowledge of this either and coincidently after these two suspicious nights they all of the sudden stopped COMPLETELY, recording doing a Lumber Puncture Procedure, - How Unbelievable.

The Hospital Specialist made excuses for not showing us any of her Test/Scan results BOTH IN and OUT of Hospital. Then ten weeks after my wife was unexpectedly discharged from that Hospital we were told by a local Doctor to go back to that Hospital for Help, due to all the problems that my wife was experiencing. But on arrival to this Hospital we were told that “THEY HAD NO RECORD OF MY WIFE EVER BEING A PATIENT THERE AND THEY WANTED TO START UP A NEW FILE,” which we of course did not agree to.

These are ONLY three of the MANY wrongs doings BUT THERE ARE SO MANY MORE and everything points to the Hospital having used my wife specifically for their OWN Research, purposes and agendas, but then it all went wrong (especially when she woke up in a mess of blood from unexpected and unexplained bleeding the morning after that they had unbeknown to us used the “Omniscan Contrast” during an MRI Scan). At this point they urgently placed her back in the MRI machine again without any explanations and a few days later she was suddenly unexpectedly discharged by a Nurse and not even a Doctor in a worse state (with NO ADMISSION PAPERS, NO DISCHARGE PAPERS AND NO CONSENT FORMS SIGNED OR GIVEN AT ALL FOR THE ENTIRE SIX DAYS THEY HAD HER IN THERE AT THAT HOSPITAL.)

Due to the many difficulties we have had in trying to have my wife properly checked and assessed out of Hospital we prepared and handed numerous Binders of information and Evidence to the Police and all the relevant Government Authorities, with the hope that they could help and at the same time make sure that other unsuspecting patients may not have to go through what my wife has gone through – but being a Government Hospital they have ALL refused to investigate and look into this matter AT ALL. – UNBELIEVABLE. So aside from not being able to find out exactly what was done to my wife, we are now even DENIED JUSTICE IN HAVING THIS MATTER LOOKED INTO OR INVESTIGATED. HOW INHUMANE AND CRUEL CAN THEY BE?

We are in a constant living nightmare as they have left my wife disabled, that she basically just lies in a bed all the time with all these problems happening and has been in this state for such a long time (over two years now) and she lays there in this bed except when she struggles to make her way to the bathroom. S

Frank7777777 3 years ago

God Bless you all

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liftandsoar 3 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thank you, Pool Of Thoughts, for dropping by and commenting. It's always an encouragement. Yes there are other Scriptures but didn't want to give people a drink as from a fire hydrant. :-)

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Pool Of Thoughts 3 years ago from Southern Ohio

Just saw your hub advertised below one I just wrote. I like what you have said. Of course, you could have used many other familiar scriptures that speak of why these things happen but you said enough. Paul said that the Lord told him that in weakness He is made strong, Peter said that we all have to be tried by fire and not to not think it strange when firey trials come upon us. Another in one place said that if we cannot take chastisement, then we are bastard children.

My advice is to receive the Holy Ghost and rely on God. None of us have all the answers but we should have a relationship with the One who does. God bless you. Voted up and interesting.

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liftandsoar 4 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks, Melindas Mind, for your thoughts on this hub. God indeed is equipping you to be an understanding friend and mentor to many. Delighted to read in your profile that your husband is preparing for ministry. I pray God's blessing and favor upon your efforts.

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Melindas Mind 4 years ago from Oregon

Good hub - this is a question I'm asked often. Because of my chronic health problems, people feel safe asking me this because I understand 'unjust' punishment. (For background I have crohns disease, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, chronic anemia, and severe scoliosis ... along with a host of minor complaints) What I usually tell that is that if God was always understandable to me, then I'd be God. The way I explain it to them is that God is infinite, in comparison we are infants. Does an infant understand why they have colic or an ear infection? No. Does a toddler understand why they can't run into the street? No. That doesn't mean their isn't a reason, it just means they aren't capable of understanding it. So, too, is my illnesses. I do not understand why I'm sick - none of my conditions are because of anything I did; it's just one of those things. I also don't understand why God didn't heal my nephew, who died at the age of three. That doesn't mean that He who made the world doesn't have a reason for not healing me. I have trust and faith that I will, someday, understand.

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liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Good to hear from you Michele. I so appreciate your comments. I did read you last hub. Not sure what to think, but it certainly was thought provoking.

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Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

liftandsoar I am so glad you share hubs like this, people need to be strong. You help them. I think my last hub scared them or they thought it was a lie. But we both know the truth. God bless you!

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liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Thanks for stopping by CJ. Yes, the wicked unwittingly do God's bidding.

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CJ Sledgehammer 5 years ago

Another great Hub, Liftandsoar, thank you!

The Bible states that rain falls on the righteous as well as on the unrighteous. One cannot know what the Almighty's purposes are and most of the time we are not meant to. For His ways are much higher than our own.

It is clear, to me anyway, that the Almighty and His Son, Christ Yeshua, created the universe and all that is in it.

I think, perhaps, that even those who ignore or hate God, somehow serve His purpose, if for no other reason than to keep the world moving along or possibly serving to test the faithful.

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liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Glad to hear form you Dragnhaze. It's always nice to find someone who agrees with me.

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dragnhaze 5 years ago

I believe exactly as you mentioned with the implications of the story of Joseph, bad things happen to good people so that the bad can be used by those good people to do good for the majority of the other good people that bad things are happening to. There is often more then one single good soul subjected to the evil deeds, it is for those good people to strengthen themselves so that can turn that bad into good.

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liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Good to hear from you Michele. Glad you found it helpful. As always, check all out with the Scriptures.

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Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Very good hub liftandsoar none of us are perfect, we have all sinned. But, the thing about good things happening to bad people or bad things happening to good people we do not know enough to understand these things. We try to understand, but God and only God knows. At least that is what I think. This is a very good hub. Thank you for this hub.

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liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Good to see you again, Artin. Thanks for your comment. I be hubbing probably next Saturday or Sunday

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Artin2010 5 years ago from Northwestern Florida, Gulfcoast

Very good topic, look forward to reading more on this. You have heard the Indian folklore about the two wolf spirits living in a person and feeding one of them actually starves out the other? That kind of reminds me of the battle between good and evil going on in each of us keeping our minds working to choose what is good rather than going astray in thought. Thanks LS, Voted up and very interesting. Keep on hubbing. Blessings

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liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA Author

Why thanks, Jo. So glad you stopped by. Don't be too surprised if you find yourself quoted in my next missive. :-)

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Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

What a great topic to write about! I grew up being taught that in the *best of us, there is a little bad, and in the *worst of us, there is a little good.*

I believe that this is due to the nature of born sin that we all have. Some have the little spark of light, but we allow bitterness to blow out the candle. I voted up and SHARED! :)

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