Some people wonder why God allows “bad things” to happen to good people. First of all, this question is not from the Lord rather it is from the devil. It is saying, “Would God do something bad?”. It seeks to put doubts into people about God just as the Serpent did in the garden when he said to Eve, “Indeed, has God said…”. In other words, what the serpent was really saying was, “Would God withhold something good from you?”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
The question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” implies that God is the author of bad and that people are actually good.
There is no one who does good.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:1b-3
There is no person that does good. We have all failed and gone our own way. Apart from God none of us seek after Him. Not only is God the only One who is good but no bad is in Him. No evil dwells with Him. One of the meanings of evil is to cause grief. The Lord does not cause grief to anyone. We bring grief upon ourselves when we disobey God and what He has told us to do.
No evil dwells with You. Psalms 5:4b
Adam and Eve brought grief to themselves and to their offspring when they disobeyed God. Death, sadness and every other “bad thing” never was in God’s plan for Adam and Eve. However, it was God’s mercy that even allowed the grief to come to them. If God had not been true to His Word then they would have continued in their rebellion against God by doing what they wanted to do rather than doing what they ought to do. There is no record of them ever disobeying God again. Sometimes, it seems, we learn more from the consequences of our sin than we do through the instruction of not to sin. However, how much better life is if we will learn from His instruction to do what is right rather than learn from His discipline.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11
Understanding is knowing the Lord. He wants us to believe and trust Him first and then we will understand.
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10b
It is unbelief that wants to understand first and then obey. Anything that is not of faith is sin.
and whatever is not from faith is sin. Romans 14:23b
By faith we obey and in obeying we are preserved from the destruction of sin.
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39
The Lord often will speak to us through three different ways. The first way that He wants to teach us His way is through His Word. He wants us to listen to Him and obey Him by doing exactly as He says. If we don’t listen to His Word then sometimes He will send someone our way who will speak His truth to us. Of course, no one knows you as the Lord does and often this person will not be as gentle as the Lord is with us. It can be painful coming from someone else but it is still love. The Bible says “faithful are the wounds of a friend”. A true friend will speak the truth to you. If you still will not listen and obey then circumstances will speak even more loudly to you through the pain and sorrow that comes to your heart from not obeying and following the Lord.
Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding, But in the hearts of fools it is made known. Proverbs 14:33
The Lord loves you. He never wants anything bad to happen. He wants you to learn from Him. He is gentle and humble in heart. His ways are good.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him. Psalm 32:8-10
The Lord wants to surround you with His lovingkindness. That is who He is. He wants to instruct you and teach you the good way. He will counsel you with His eye on you. Don’ be like a stubborn animal that needs a bit and bridle to hold them in check. Draw near to the Lord. He will draw near to you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8a
As you learn to seek Him day by day and look to Him moment by moment you will be able to tell of His amazing love and what He has done for you. The nearness of God will be your good for you will have made Him your refuge.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works. Psalm 73:28