Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

This morning as part of my quiet time devotions, I read John 9 in the natural progression of where I’m reading. Then at the women’s Bible study I attend, even though our study is currently on Ephesians, the same verse (3) from John 9 was shared. Have you ever had a moment where you knew that God was speaking directly to you? It’s too exciting not to share!

John 9 begins: “1 As He [Jesus] went along, He saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked Him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ 3 ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'”

I know someone who is dealing with a serious illness who was questioned if she might have sin in her life. What awful things people say, even with the best of intentions! While we may reap the consequences of our actions, I know, I see many people who suffer in this life who seem like angels here on earth.

Have you ever wondered or heard the question raised, “If God exists, why do bad things happen to good people?”

I think John 9:3 answers this in a round about way. God created man for His glory and honor – Isaiah 43:21 says that God formed people “that they may proclaim My praise.” If we can grasp the bigger picture of life – going beyond just day-to-day actions – I think that we need to remember that our purpose in life is to bring glory to God.

In all of Solomon’s wisdom, he realized that life on earth is fleeting – here today but gone tomorrow (isn’t Ecclesiastes a little hard to read?). Why were we made? What is the significance of life? What purpose do we have? What legacy are we leaving?

I’m hoping we can look beyond our earthly sufferings to see that when we do have trials on earth, it is so “the works of God may be displayed in our lives” as John 9:3 says.

Would we be willing to walk through suffering if we remembered that by doing so we were worshiping, bringing honor to and glorifying our heavenly Father in the process? Can we be quicker to thank Jesus for His work in our lives than to complain? This is a difficult call – to realize that we are being used, often even in our darkest hours of life and in our most sensitive trials.

Last night as I was driving home, I heard this song once again on the radio (and I realize it’s a little older now) from Laura Story called “Blessings.” It’s a good reminder that sometimes our greatest trials and disappointments in this life are God’s mercies in disguise.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Can we say that anything that happens in this life – good, bad or even ugly – can be used for God’s ultimate glory, which is the purpose we were created for? Can we choose to live our individual lives this way? Praise God in every moment…

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