The Big Question 70: Why Do Bad Things Happen If God Is Good?

May 18, 2021 1803

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Why do bad things happen if God is good?

This question assumes that God being good means that nothing negative will ever happen to us. And that assumption just doesn’t hold true.

A mother can be good and create negative consequences for her child. In fact, it’s part of her being good and loving to actually teach her child appropriate behavior. I do believe that God is good, very good. And I believe that because God is good, he gives us free choice. And I also believe that choices have consequences, cause and effect, right?

Cause and effect isn’t some arbitrary thing that God necessarily imposes. I believe that cause and effect is just part of the way that life works. And when we make wrong choices, there are negative consequences. But let’s go a bit deeper here.

The Bible tells us that God is the source of life, of happiness, of peace and everything that is good as long as we are connected with him. We have all of these things. But when our choices result in us being disconnected from God, we no longer have access to true life, to happiness and peace and so on.

Instead, bad choices bring negative consequences. It’s not that God wants to punish us and to see us suffer. Not at all. It’s just how it is according to the law of cause and effect. Now, I’m not saying that God doesn’t punish people the way that the Bible expresses that he does. Because if God is sovereign, if he is in charge of the universe, then he is responsible for the operation of all law, including the law of cause and effect. And just like a loving parent during our lives, God often uses punishment, redemptively to help us realize where we’ve gone wrong and to encourage us to change our ways.

But the bigger picture here is that God really doesn’t want you to be punished for your sins, because the wages of sin is death. And that’s why he sent his son Jesus into the world to take the result of your sins upon himself.

He did it at the cross. So today, if you accept that by taking your punishment, Jesus died for you, you will receive eternal life. It’s an amazing trade. In fact, God’s gift is so amazing that it puts a stop to any doubts that you could have ever had about his goodness.

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