No doubt you have heard or read something about the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People. The book, a national bestseller was written by Rabbi Harold Kushner.  In the book, he told of a personal tragedy that caused him to rethink everything he had believed and been taught about God. His son, Aaron, died at age 14 of progeria, the “rapid aging” disease. Aaron was short, bald and appeared to be an old man even as a young child.

Understandably, the book is written from the author’s grief over the death of his son. His grief made both the title and the content of the book so poignant that the question has become a part of our language. It’s certainly a haunting question, especially because it can never be answered to everyone’s satisfaction. Since then the question is the cause of heated debates.

The real fact of life is that we all suffer some kind of trial. Our life in this world is buffeted by suffering.  Even Christians are not immune to sufferings. Trials come to us in diverse manners such as tragic accident or illness or dreadful disease like cancer. We will have other crosses to bear. Perhaps its loneliness, rejection, oppressive poverty, loss of a job, a broken relationship, a troubled childhood, fear or guilt. And none of us escapes the ultimate tragedy which is death.

Now the obverse of When Bad Things Happen to Good People is When Good Things Happen to Bad People. Perhaps, it is even more a haunting and appalling question than the first one that is certain to stimulate and provoke more heated controversies.

We should not be surprised a bit when good things happen to bad people; for Jesus himself said that his Father who is in heaven makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. And he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. (See Mat. 5:25, Luke 6:35)

He is saying in the context of loving others even our enemies.  The way how we are to relate and treat “bad” people is to love them as we do our families, friends and brethren. Because the “bad” people are also the recipients of God’s common graces such as sunshine and rain; he also treats them with kindness despite of their thanklessness and evil deeds.

“No one is righteous and  no one does good, not even one” are the indictments God pronounced on man as declared by David and Isaiah to which the apostle Paul inferred to in Romans 3:10,11.  All of us are sinners in the sight of the Holy God.   We are not made sinners because we’ve done sinful things.  We sin with our minds, with our words, and with our actions because our natural constitution and state are sinners. That’s what we are. We are only considered good and righteous by the imputation or accreditation of Christ’s righteousness on us.  Paul declared in Rom. 5:19  For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Jesus Died on the Cross for Us

God loves all people so much that’s why He sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (See John 3:16, 17). Paul wrote in Rom. 5:8  that God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

So its not surprising then when good things happen to bad people including us. By God’s grace our state or position or standing before the Holy God is changed from sinner to saint, from slave to son, from captive to cherish or care deeply by God.  Praise and Glory to God for His wonderful works which he has done for us through our Lord Christ Jesus!  Amen