Why do bad things happen to good people?
For thousands of years, people have asked this question… without really being able to explain the answer. It is one of those questions of life that only God knows the answer to. Some people believe that in order for something bad to happen, that there has to be some sort of sin involved. These people believe that when that person repents, the punishment from God will be lifted.
Instead of being encouraging friends, these two friends berate Job, thinking that his “good man persona” has been just that, a persona. Since Job has lost everything he once owned, they are convinced that there is some sort of sin in Job’s life. Job disagrees. Commentator Matthew Henry believes this to be the main point of dispute between Job and his friends. While Job’s friends believed that “those who are righteous and good always prosper in this world, and none by the wicked are in misery and distress,” Job says that it is a “common thing for the wicked to prosper and the righteous to be great afflicted.”*
I happen to agree with Job on this. Bad things often happen to good people for no apparent reason. While we live in this world, we will experience hardship, sickness and distress. Perhaps sin is attached to sickness at times, but I do think it would be a mistake to look at our suffering brother or sister and assume that their sickness is punishment for some sin. God is the judge, not us. He holds the world in his hands.
Perhaps, like Job, some of the trials we face in this life are tests from the devil, to prove if we really will praise God through good times and bad. If that’s so, then I want to sing and worship my Lord all the louder.
Questions: Have you ever experienced trails that pulled you closer to the Lord?
What was that experience like? Do you want to react similarly or differently to future situations.
Prayer: Lord, help me to stay true to you in good times and bad. Use each circumstance in this life to draw me closer to you. Even if a situation was meant for evil, bring some good out of it.
*Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Job 9." Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996. 2009. 21 Jul 2009.
< http:// www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?