August 10, 2018

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

August 10, 2018


Genesis 1:26-31
Psalm 8
This weekend’s reading: Genesis 1:26-31


If God loves us, why do bad things happen to us?
In a mirror, you see an image of you. It is only an image.  God created us in God’s image, yet we are not God, only images.  The difference: the image of us in a mirror only reflects what we do.  It has no free will.  Leaving the mirror, the image disappears.
As God’s images, we are free to reflect God or anything else.  Why?  So we can be free to love God.  If God controlled us as puppets on a string, there is no love, just God pulling our strings.  If God pulls our strings, then God is very cruel causing so many worldly horrors.  However, we are free, an awesome gift of grace. 
Because we lack God’s wisdom, we make mistakes and bad choices. Many times we intentionally do unloving things.  Thus, bad things happen to good people. God’s grace even allows us to sin! Again, God allows us the choice to reflect God or not reflect God.
There is no way for God to allow freedom for love in a world without sin and pain. It still comes down to God loving us enough to give us free will.  Whether we sin or make horrible mistakes, God’s love will still take “All things (which includes evil) and make them work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28).


  • What are some unfair things that have happened to you in life?
  • What are some mistakes you’ve made?
    What are some unfortunate things you did in the past?
  • In what ways is God still loving you in spite of your past?
  • In what ways might God have transformed negative experiences of the past into positive outcomes in the long run?


  • What are some things that you did in the past that were not helpful to your family?
  • Are there some things you are doing now that are not helpful to your family?
  • In what ways does your family show you love in spite of what “unhelpful things in the past” you did?
  • In what ways has your family helped you “clean up messes” and made something good out of the mess?
  • In what ways does God love you like your family loves you?
  • In what ways are your loving your family the way God loves you?
  • In what ways is God’s love different from the way your family loves you?


Most kind Lord, thank you for your grace and love that allows me to sin and make mistakes.  Thank you, Lord, for your grace that still loves me in spite of what I may or may not do.  Thank you, Lord, for helping me go forward into this sinful world transforming “negatives” in my life into “positives,” working all things together for good.  In your gracious name, I pray.  Amen.