My godly mother
was beaten and left for dead by a young prison parolee.
Mother lived five more years, faithfully praying for the
mans salvation. Many asked, "Why would God
allow such a good woman to suffer such a bad thing?"
God has not
given one simple answer that will satisfy everyone, but
His Word has given us all we need to know in order to
live victoriously (2 Peter 1:3,4). Being all-powerful
and all-loving, He absolutely works all things for good
for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
are subject to common calamities. If God protected His
children from all storms, disappointments, poverty and
plagues, people would be tempted to serve Him for selfish
reasons, as Satan falsely accused Job of doing (Job 1:10,11).
Good people have no insurance against physical death;
even innocent children and babies die. Heartbroken loved
ones can be comforted by Gods promise that He sometimes
takes the righteous one away "from the evil to come"
sow to the flesh, they reap bad consequences; Galatians
6:7 was written to Christians. God chastens His children
(Hebrews 12:5) to correct wrong attitudes and prevent
sin. Paul suffered a painful infirmity, "a messenger
of Satan" to keep him from pride (2 Corinthians 12:7).
come to purify our faith (1 Peter 1:7). Tribulation is
essential to perseverance, and these produce character,
the only thing we can take with us into heaven for eternity
(Roman 5:3,4). As believers, we share in the "fellowship
of his suffering" (Philippians 3:10). The same world
that hated Him hates us (John 15:18-21); all who are godly
will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). The sufferings
of Christ abound in good people so they can know the comfort
God gives. Then and only then are they prepared
to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-6).
Why do the
wicked prosper? Job wrestled with this question (21:7-15).
Psalm 73 tells how Davids steps nearly slipped because
he was envious when he saw the prosperity of the wicked
why bad people prosper. He said the world loves its own
(John 15:19). Satans people help each other. From
the far-reaching Mafia to local scams, bad people shrewdly
cheat others out of wealth (Luke 16:8). Abraham reminded
Dives (the rich man) that in his life on earth he received
good things (Luke 16:25).
For the present,
God allows the devil to be "the god of this world"
(2 Corinthians 4:4). He can give the kingdoms of the world
to whomsoever he will unless God overrules (Luke 4:6).
goodness toward the sinner is intended to lead him to
repentance; if he spurns Gods mercies, he stores
up greater wrath for himself at the final judgment (Romans
final answer to these questions is in the Cross. Jesus
used the ultimate "bad thing" to crush the serpents
head (Colossians 2:15; Genesis 3:15). Soon Gods
people will be in the only place in the universe that
is totally free of all bad things; all who follow Satan
will have lost all that is good forever.
Reddin, D.Min., an Assemblies of God minister, is distinguished
professor emeritus in Bible/theology at Central Bible
College in Springfield, Mo.