A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford
Why do good things happen to bad people? People more often ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” But it’s also important to find out why good things happen to bad people, because, obviously, they really do!
Unfortunately, many people have a skewed image of what God is really like. In Frank and Ernie cartoons, for example, God is pictured as a senile old man with unkempt beard, leaning over the battlements of Heaven wielding a 2 X 4 board, hoping He’ll find somebody doing something bad so He can bash them.
But that is such a corrupted picture of the God who created human beings so He could shower His love on us. That God is inexpressibly kind to His whole creation, bad people as well as good.
In Matthew 5:44,45 Jesus told Christians to “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Why? Because “In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.”
In Romans 2:4, the Aposle Paul wrote, “Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind He has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?”
Before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He promised Christians He would come back. But He hasn’t come back yet. Why not? Because, 2 Peter 3:9 answers, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent.”
That’s the clear, simple answer to the question of why good things happen to bad people. God keeps eagerly calling human beings to come to Him for forgiveness, so they won’t suffer punishment for their sins.
The next question might be, “Which am I? Am I bad or good? Do the good things I do outweigh the bad so that I can call myself ‘good’?” Thank God, there’s a clear answer to that, too, in Romans chapter 3:23-25:
For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty.
He has done this through Christ Jesus,
who has freed us by taking away our sins.
For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins
and to satisfy God’s anger against us.
We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood,
sacrificing His life for us.
Glorious news! God gives good gifts to all of us, so we will learn to love Him. Thank God!