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Why Bad Things Happen to God's People

Updated on January 26, 2015

Let's enjoy this video first.

So many times do we find ourselves going through life happy and working hard. Then BAM! We get smashed in the face with one of life's watermelons.

  • Family members die.
  • Parents get divorced.
  • Loved ones get assaulted, abused, kidnapped.

And way too many more.

One of the most commonly asked question today inside and outside Christian walls is this:

Why Do Bad Things Happen To God's People?


Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen To Good People?

Why is there so much death in this world? Why is there so much hurt? So much murder? So much anger, hatred, rape?

If there was truly a loving God out there, why does he allow so much pain in our lives?


First Things First


Now, this may seem harsh, I know. But really, truly think about it. No matter how many good deeds you do, you still have evil inside of you.

If you've undressed women in your mind, you are lusting and an adulterer. Matthew 5:27-28

If you pirate music online, you're a thief.

If you've hated someone, you might as well have murdered them. 1 John 3:15

Read the bible. I'm not lying. We are all guilty of sin. Romans 3:23 Tells us that "ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." We've all broken God's law and we've all openly chosen against him. When we break the law, we are guilty, and as such, deserve punishment for that. No good judge would right the wrongs of a murderer because he started a charity. He still broke the law and is susceptible to punishment for that. And God is a good judge. We deserve punishment for our sins, nothing less. That's why God gives grace.

So, we need to realize something that one of my college professors once told me, "if good things happened to good people and bad things happened to bad people, there would be no good things in this world." The fact that any of us has any good thing is proof that God loves us unconditionally. We've all sinned and fallen short. We are all evil in our hearts. And none of us deserve grace, mercy, joy, or peace. This makes God's grace so much more amazing. The fact that we don't deserve it.

Which draws us to a deeper question...


Why Doesn't God Just Rid the World of All Evil?


If God were to rid this world of all evil, He'd have to rid the world of us too. And he doesn't want that. He loves us too much.

Jesus, himself said in Mark 7:20-23,

"It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

If we really want God to rid the world of all evil, than what we are doing is prayful suicide! We are literally asking God to recreate the flood of Genesis and wipe out mankind.

Think about it. Who brings pain and sorrow to others? Man. Who murders, lies and steals from people? Man. Who lusts, envies, hates, accuses others? Man. Who brought evil into this world? Satan? WRONG! Mankind did. We cause ourselves to believe that we are not at fault for the pain and suffering that the world endures. So we place blame on God. We shake our fists at heaven and ask why would a gracious and caring God create evil!?

But that question in itself is at fault.


God Did NOT Create Evil

God made evil possible, but mankind made it happen.

Without the opportunity to choose evil, we wouldn't understand God's great goodness and love. So, God gave us a choice to follow him.

If every man were attached to strings held by God, and he controlled our moves and words and worship and we pleased him by his pulling of the strings, we'd have absolutely no purpose. We need a choice to show that we can sincerely love him. This is the whole point of our existence. I love my girlfriend to death. But what makes her love so incredible is that she chose ME over all the other men in this world. Despite them being better looking, more charismatic, and more wealthy, she still chose to love me. That makes the love valuable.

Without evil, we would simply be a bunch of brainless robots programmed to worship God. And There is absolutely no love revealed in this.

God desires true love from us. But, In a world of free choices, God's will is rarely done! This is where pain, betrayal, hurt, and death come from. If He were to rid the world of evil without killing mankind, he'd have to strip them of their free will.

A world without Pain, without Death, and without Disease, doesn't need God.

Finally we should consider this statement. If our lives were completely perfect and faultless, without pain or death, we would never really have a reason to come to God. We would never need to talk to him, take comfort in His words, or gain council in his thoughts.

  • Without danger, we don't need a Refuge - Psalm 46
  • Without sickness, we don't need a healer - 1 Peter 2:24
  • Without death, we won't appreciate Life - John 11:25
  • Without evil, we will never truly understand God's goodness - Psalm 26


Lets Look at Job

We're beginning to understand the causes of pain and destruction in our lives, but what are we supposed to do about it? I believe we should look back to the one man in the Bible who wrestled with all of these questions we've been asking. We need to talk to Job.

If you don't know the story of Job, it begins like this:

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty windswept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:13-22

Job's response to all this pain and death and loss in incredible! He fell to his knees in worship of God! He still had the hope, peace, and joy that God gives. Now, of course he wasn't happy, but he had God. We need to realize that there is a difference between joy and happiness. Joy comes from relationship with Christ; happiness only comes from circumstances. If you believe that the purpose of life is for you to be happy, then you will never fulfill your purpose because life's circumstances don't always work out according to your plan.

Now, God allows bad things to happen, yes. But when they happen, we need to go to Him for comfort, help, and direction. He yearns to help us through the trials and the pain.

But, There's also a difference between God allowing things to happen and God wanting things to happen. God doesn't enjoy seeing us in pain and sorrow. That's why he offers himself to be our refuge, our healer, our strength!


"God will never give you more than you can handle."

This is one of the biggest LIES that is thrown around churches today. It's pure baloney!

Why? Because sometimes we need to be driven to a place where we realize that we cannot make it on our own. This is where true humility is born. True humility that leads us to the understanding that we cannot endure life's circumstances on our own. This is where we are pointed to Christ. He is the only one who can lead us and help us endure the struggles of life that we face.

Only in Him can we endure the pain, suffering and bad things that come into our lives.

Psalm 91:2

I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!"

When life throws watermelons in your face...

Take shelter in him, in prayer, and in his word.

Trust God. He knows what he is doing.

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Free will is not an illusion (we make choices everyday). It is in fact existent but it is limited according to our sinful nature. That is why the bible has verses like Romans 3:9-18; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 8:7,8. For 2 peter 3:9 please refer to my previous comment to see that God is patient to usward (the elect) not wishing that any should perish (hence why God is slow concerning His second Coming).

      Now I hope we can both agree that the word world bears many different meanings in the bible and not just "all people past, present, and future" Romans 1:8 (obviously south America was not part of this but it is the world in respects to Rome); John 17:9,13-16. If the word world in John 3:16 is everyone then everyone is saved according to John 3:17. Unless Jesus failed in saving the world.

      According to scripture God hates the wicked (psalm 5:5) yet in His love He chose to predestine some to salvation (Ephesians 1:4) that is why blessed is the man that the Lord does not impute their inquity upon them (Psalm 32:2).

      Considering your idea of God loving everyone and the fact that God doesn't change (Hebrews 6:17). That means God loves those that He is tormenting and is actively loving them in Hell yet He cannot do a thing about it. That means that God is not omnipotent in saving those whom He loves and He is thwarted by man's almighty free will. That would also mean that Christ died for and paid for the sins of everyone (Hebrews 10:12 the sins have already been paid for once for all time) and that even though that sin is paid for they will have to burn for eternity even though the debt is paid. Would a just God accept a payment for a debt (Christ's sacrfice for our deserved death) and then require some to pay it again even though it has been paid off? If any mortgage company did that, they would be in a lot of trouble. You may say that they had to pay for their sins because of their unbelief but then wouldn't unbelief be a sin and if unbelief is a sin then didn't Jesus die for all sins? That would also mean God in His perfect knowledge knowing who would not pick Him placed on His Son the sins of those that would never believe just to make them pay the debt again in Hell.

      If God died for all then why are there so many verses that limit Christ's death to the many? No need to do that if He died for all. And if His death is restricted to the many then all would refer to all for whom He died (the many).  Matt. 26:28 Jesus died for many, John 10:11, 15 says that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats Matt. 25:32-33), John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given to Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which says that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bear the sins of many.

      You have not yet shown me where the Bible says that God chose men based on His foreknowledge of what they would choose and that is also ignoring the fact of the verses stating that no man seeks God and that the Gospel is foolish to the perishing (Romans 3:11, 1 Corinthians 1:18). So no man would pick Him without God's intercession. Excuse my run on sentences (Paul did it too).

    • James Aspito profile image

      James Aspito 

      3 years ago from Cumberland, Maryland


      I was excited to see that you commented back. I am enjoying this conversation as it is leading me to further study into this topic. With that said, I have a question for you.

      If it is true that God chooses who will be saved apart from the free will of man's choice, meaning that God wills some to be saved regardless of their choice (for free will is just an illusion). If it is also true that God wishes that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), that God loves the whole world and not merely the elect (John 3:16), and also that Christ's atonement is not limited to that of a select few but extended to the "whole world" (1 John 2:1-2), then why doesn't God who is omnipotent choose to save everyone? If in fact He loves the world and wills that none should perish and that man's salvation is based fully upon God's choice and not their own at all then why doesn't God choose to save all?

      I am certainly not a universalist but I believe that God has given free will to mankind. I reject the idea that salvation is based solely on mans choice though because that idea is unbiblical (Eph. 1:4-5), but I believe that salvation is an act of God based on His foreknowledge of mans free choice. I know you do not like extra biblical quotes but I totally agree with C.S. Lewis here when he says that, "the gates of hell are locked from the inside." Though I do not believe all of Lewis' doctrine on hell, this I can agree with.

      I look forward to your next comment.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      A main issue is that extrabiblical quotes should not be cited unless they are comments on exegesis of the Bible. The goal is to see what the Bible says on the issue. In Romans 6 Paul is talking to those that are already freed from slavery to sin. In Romans 6:18 it states that they were set free from sin. And if anyone commits a sin then they are a slave to sin (John 8:34). John 8:36 states that if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed. Whereas in Romans 8:7,8 it states that those that are in the flesh cannot please God. Repentance would please God and the mind set on the flesh could not turn to Christ. God's grace is for all who believe, that is correct. But who believes? Christ's sheep.

      John 10:14-15, 26-28 ESV

      I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

      Christ's sheep believe and come to Him and those that are not His sheep do not believe. You do not become a sheep by believing but you believe because you are a sheep.

      2 peter 3:9 can be understood in context. The verse also says that "He is patient toward you not wishing that any should perish but all should reach repentance" the you or in other translations us-ward is referring to those that "have obtained a faith in equal standing with ours by the righteousness of Christ" 2 peter 1:1. The promise is referring to the second coming (2 peter 3:4). The verse means that the second coming is delayed because God is patient so that all those he predestined will come to Him.

      Those verses on foreknowledge make no mention of man making a choice. The 1 peter verse only says that there were individuals chosen based on God's foreknowledge and the Romans verse says that those that were foreknown are predestined but neither imply mam making a choice and reading that into those passages would be an eisegetical error. The word foreknew does not mean a special knowledge that God had because He has always known all things. He is unchanging. The word foreknew is basically forelove. The word know in this case is a special love. He loved those He was planning to save before the foundation of the world and He justified this by having His Son lay down His life for His sheep so that their sins would be atoned for (John 10:11).

    • James Aspito profile image

      James Aspito 

      3 years ago from Cumberland, Maryland


      I love you as a brother in Christ. I fear that we are continuing a centuries old debate on Calvinism vs. Arminianism views of theology that many men much smarter then I still have not been able to form a consensus about. But yet I very much so enjoy your thoughts and this discussion.

      I think the main things here that we can agree upon is that Satan and man are the authors of evil and not God. Where I disagree with you is on the idea that when we are a slave to sin we have no free will. "If sin were necessary, then we would not be responsible for it." - Norman Geisler; St. Augustine said we were born with the propensity to sin, not the necessity to sin.

      Paul implies free choice when he says, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" (Rom. 6:16). We all have been given the choice whether to be slaves of God and righteousness or slaves to sin. Of course we cannot be slaves to righteousness without the Holy Spirit's work of regeneration in our lives, but I believe that God's grace is for, "all who believe" (Rom. 3:22).

      God has given the opportunity of salvation to all for He is, "not willing that any should perish" (2 Peter 3:9). God's omnipotence could allow Him to save everyone, but instead He allows some to choose death.

      As to the question about predestination based upon foreknowledge, 1 Peter 1:2 says, "who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood," and Romans 8:29 says, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters."

      I am not to proud to admit where I err you are right in saying that no man deserves anything but hell. God is absolutely just in sentencing men to hell for their sin, but I do not believe that God's atonement is limited to an elect group.

      Again thank you sir for the stimulating discussion. I hope this is helping you as much as it is helping me to excite my mind to the beauty of God's wonderful plan of salvation.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      We cannot be compared to pre fall Adam because he was a perfect human and a free moral agent. After the FALL, man was cursed and then unable or actually unwilling to do good. "Anyone who commits a sin is a slave to sin" John 8:34

      Adam became enslaved to sin and lost his "free will" as you are defining it. You must prove with scripture that free will is necessary for salvation rather than from today's common philsophical, non biblical ideas. Again, prove with scripture that God predestines based on one's foreseen decision of Him. Ephesians 1:4 states that we were predestined acoording to His [God's] purpose. Romans 9 states (Romans 9:10-11, 16 ESV)

      "And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy."

      John 1:13 speaks of the children of God being born not of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God

      God is unjust if He sends people to Hell without a chance for salvation?

      No man deserves anything but Hell. A just God would with every right send everyone to Hell. Thank God that our God is also merciful and gracious. Is God evil if He decides to save some and let the rest go to where they deserve to go and are already headed to? No. He is merciful. God would be infinitely merciful saving one person from their just damnation. No man deserves heaven. Man does not have free will. He is enslaved to sin. The bible only says that God elects for His good pleasure and glory and nothing else. Adam and Eve's ability to be able to be perfect under their covenant of works (obey God perfectly and live with Him eternally) was ended by the fall. Only with God's grace and sacrifice of His Son can we ever be removed from the curse of death, Mr. James.

    • James Aspito profile image

      James Aspito 

      3 years ago from Cumberland, Maryland


      In the garden, God gave Adam and Eve free will to choose either to be obedient to Him, or to disobey His direct command. Free will is necessary to salvation. Though I do believe you are correct in saying that, "in love God predestined us to adoptions as sons," it is important to also clarify that God predestines some based on His foreknowledge of their free will to choose Him. We cannot think away our own free will for if we do so we make God out to be an evil being who not only predestines some to sonship but also predestines others to eternal damnation. God is just (2 Thess. 1:6), and a just God cannot send people to hell without the possibility of them ever being saved. God is Sovereign but He has given man free will to chose, but in His omniscience He knows who will choose Him and who will not and therefore His predestination of some to sonship is based off of His omniscient foreknowledge of all contingencies. In this way God's Sovereignty still stands as well as mans free will.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      The idea of free will cannot be proven in scripture as well as your assumption that without a choice it wiuld not be love (because all kids hate their parents from 1 to 18) Our will is not free it is limited by our sinful nature that does no righteous thing, does not seek for God (Romans 3:11,12), cannot understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14). We could never choose God because that would be pleasing and we are by nature hostile toward God (Romans 8:7,8). That is why in love he predestined us to adoption as sons to be holy and blamess according to His own will (Ephesians 1:4,5). We (Christians) only love Him because He first loved us and made us alive through Christ while we were dead in our trespasses only able to do evil (1 John 4:19; Ephesians 2:5)

    • Dip Mtra profile image

      Dip Mtra 

      3 years ago from World Citizen

      Great hub. Voted up. Wish all of us were like Job.


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