Why Do Good Things Happen To Bad People?

In our Sunday morning bible class we’re looking for biblical answers to the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?”.  But as I studied this question it seemed like the answers I found were actually answering three different questions….

  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Why don’t bad things happen to everyone else?
  • Why do good things happen to bad people?

All of these questions usually stem from the same sort of circumstances, but all require different sorts of answers.  And the Bible provides unique answers for all of those questions.

So I think when we’re presented with the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, it would do us good to examine the circumstances surrounding the question and the person asking it…so we can be sure that we’re giving them / ourselves the answers we really need.

I thought it would be best to address each of these questions independently over the course of several posts.  So we’ll start with this….

Why do good things happen to bad people?

When we find ourselves asking this questions, we need to realize that ultimately, this question is rooted in jealousy and discontentment.  Because when we ask this question we’re not worried about our problems, we’re worried about someone else’s success.

And when a bad person is successful, it suddenly makes our own situation seem bad.

  • I was happy with my job, until I saw a bad person get a promotion and now I’m discontent.
  • I was happy with my home, until I saw my worldy friends buy a newer one…and now I’m discontent and what I have seems bad.  (Not based on what I have, but on what other people have.)

There are 3 things I think a Christian should consider when asking the questions “Why do good things happen to bad people?”….

1-What is the foundation of our salvation?

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Our faith is not the assurance of things that we already have, or the conviction of things that we can touch and hold.

If God provided unending blessings on his disciples and ravaged the lives on the ungodly….Would more people convert?  Of course they would.

  • But would they have faith in God or in the things that they could see and touch?
  • Would the have assurance of things hoped for or things possessed?
  •  Would they have a conviction of things seen or not seen?

John 20:27-29  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

If good things didn’t happen to bad people, there would be no faith in God.  We’d have a world full of people who had converted to Christianity because their faith was in the stuff of this life, rather than the life to come.

2-When good things happen to bad people, God is glorified.

1Kings 8:41-43  “Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.”  Solomon acknowledged that when God blessed those outside of his chosen children, God’s name would still be glorified.

The simple fact is that we often don’t know what’s going on in other people’s lives.  The people in 1Kings 8 were people who weren’t God’s children and didn’t know exactly how to serve Him, but who realized that God was in control of their lives and wanted His blessings.  And the same thing can happen today.  When we see “bad” worldly people who are being blessed by God, it might be because in their hearts they’re wanting a relationship with God–but they’re not aware yet of what that relationship is supposed to look like.  And in that circumstance, God’s blessings in their life would do nothing but push them closer to Him.

And seeing God’s grace (unmerited favor) to those who rebel against him leads us to #3.

3) When we ask this question, it’s because we’ve forgotten the cross.

Romans 5:6-10  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

After Christ died for our sins and gave us the gift of eternal life, WHILE WE WERE REBELLING AGAINST HIM, how dare we ask why God would bless the physical life of someone who is rebelling against him.

When we realize just how ugly our sins are to God and how unrighteous we really are…..But how much God has blessed us with eternal life…..Then we’ll never again question why God would bless all of those “bad” people around us.

Over the few days I’ll post the other two parts of this study….Why can’t this bad thing happen to someone else? & Why do bad things happen to good people?  If you’d like to be notified of new posts by email you can subscribe in the box at the top right of this page.

This post is part of a series Challenges To Our Faith.  You can see the rest of the posts by clicking HERE.