Perhaps you or someone you know has had the thought “why do bad things happen to good people”. This is a common reason given as to why people refuse to believe in the God of the bible. They think, “how could a God that is called loving allow this to happen to a good person”.
The problem is they have taken the God of the bible and made Him a god of their own making. There are fundamental problems with a question like this that, intentional or not, lead people away from a right understanding of God and us.
First, it is a misnomer to call anyone good. To have the understanding that you are genuinely a good person is to profoundly misunderstand and discredit your sin. No one is truly good as everyone is a sinner.
Romans 3:10- “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”
Romans 3:23- “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
In Matthew 19, Jesus makes this point as clear as can be when He tells the rich young ruler who called Him good master, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God”. If God alone is good (and He is) and He alone sets the standard for goodness (and He does) we fall a far cry short of being good.
Next to the perfection of God’s holiness our sin is a nasty blot that marks us as guilty. Our righteousness, the best we can actually produce, is nothing more than “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, no one is truly good.
Furthermore, to think of God as only a God of love and not also a God of justice is to believe in some false view of God. Since God is the creator He decides the standard by which to judge the world. His standard is His perfect holiness and, as we’ve seen, we vastly fall short.
Therefore, He is perfectly righteous and just to judge however Je sees fit. As it says in Romans 2:2, “we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth”. God is a God of justice and He will do so perfectly.
So, the question shouldn’t be why do bad things happen to good people, it should be how does anything good ever happen to sinful and wicked people. The fact that any of us have anything we consider good is nothing more than the grace of God. The fact that any of us have breath in our lungs is nothing more than the mercy of God.
The truth is there has only been one time in the history of mankind where something bad happened to someone good. And it is only because of this event we can be justified before God. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21- “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”.
So, let’s make sure we’re not throwing false accusations against a God who loved you enough to do for you what you could never do for yourself.