Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

by Louise Wilsher

why-do-bad-things-happen-to-good-peopleCan you think of a recent tragedy in your life? How does it make you feel? Sometimes it’s hard to know why tragedy strikes; there are no solid answers. Yet since our miscomprehension might threaten belief in a benevolent God, it is worth reaching for some kind of answer, however incomplete.

When bad things happen, we might question why a loving, omnipotent God allowed them. When the cause of suffering can be traced directly back to an individual, we can understand it in the light of God giving us freewill. However, when the cause is not the fault of an individual – for example sickness, natural disaster or death – it can be harder to comprehend why God didn’t intervene.

This tension between the existence of suffering and a Sovereign God has been explored by Henri Blocher, who suggests we recall three core propositions at the heart of Christianity. He states that we must remember the ‘evil of evil, the lordship of the Lord, the goodness of God’ (Blocher, Evil and the Cross). By looking at the cross, we can see each of these themes displayed: Evil is so terrible that it can only be removed by Jesus’ sacrifice; The sovereignty of God is shown through Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled; The goodness of God is evident in his self-sacrifice for the sake of overcoming evil. As Jesus Himself said, there is ‘no love greater’ (John 15:13). So we can continue to believe in the inherent goodness of God in the midst of evil…

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