In 1999 a relationship ended abruptly and with a great deal of pain. The grief and distress I experienced over this loss also brought to the surface some of those same questions I had wrestled with previously. Why? Why did bad things happen to good people? Who is this God I claim to serve and love?
Deep soul searching and study of Scripture led me on a path that first went down into an honest exploration of my view of God and into my doubts and then to a realization that changed my perspective.
Had someone asked me if God was good, I would have said yes. During this time of soul searching, I realized that at the very core of things I doubted God’s goodness. I doubted that a God who was good would let these things happen. While I believed that he was mostly good, I couldn’t understand how He let these bad things happen if He was fully good. I came to realize that there is no middle ground. Either He is good or He is not. If He is not, then He could not be God.
The Bible describes God as pure, holy, righteous, and good. This is His moral character. The Bible describes Satan as evil. I realized that if God was evil in even the tiniest of ways, then He was not absolutely good, pure, holy, or righteous as the Bible declares Him to be. If that were true, He could not be God. If He was not good, then we were left only with an evil ruler of the universe and both God and Satan would be evil. We would be left with nothing truly good. As I processed this and worked through it, I realized that I believe there is good in the universe, in the world AND I believe there is evil. Better stated I believe there is a Good God ruling the universe and an evil Devil seeking to overthrow him. I realized that if that were a true premise, then God had to be 100% good.
If God were 100% good, then He could do no evil. Nothing that comes from His hand is evil.
But how does a God who is 100% good even allow evil?
Despite knowing how things would go, despite knowing that His only Son would have to become a human being, suffer, and die to rescue humankind from the clutches of evil, He chose to give human beings the ability to choose. The ability to choose God or reject Him, the ability to choose good or evil, the ability to choose to love or hate, the ability to have a true will of our own, was so very important that God created us with it, despite knowing all that would happen because of it.
God’s design is not for evil. God’s design is for 100% good and He is working out His plan to bring that about one day. In the meantime He has allowed evil to enter the world, to exist because that is what humankind, in Adam and Eve, chose. God valued us having an ability to choose so very highly. Humankind chose to disobey, chose evil and every second of every day we experience the consequence of that choice and of our own continued choices. One day God’s purposes will be accomplished and He will establish a place where there is only good and where we choose only good. Evil will be eradicated and good will prevail.
In this I found the answer to my question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
The reality is there are no morally pure people, only imperfect people, experiencing the consequences of sin in this world . . . BUT ONE DAY this will change. One day we will live in a perfect place where death and sin and pain and sorrow are no more.
What do you think it will be like to live in a perfect, good place where evil has been eradicated?