Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God allow suffering? Why does God allow evil?
These are difficult questions to grapple with for Christians because since God is omnipotent, He does have it within His power to make this a heaven on earth. Moreover, since God cares about us, why would He allow harm to come to us if He has it in his power to stop it? When God can change the world at His whim, why is His help usually so subtle?
Well, consider two things: faith and choice.
First of all, if God wanted to remove all doubt about his existence, He could do so — but, He doesn’t because the cornerstone of Christianity is faith.
Imagine what would happen if bad things DIDN’T happen to good people. What if when an airline crashed, only the non-Christians died while all the believers walked away unscathed? What if the moment someone became an atheist, he was immediately struck by lightning and killed? What if every rape, murder, robbery, and painful illness only happened to non-believers? If that were the case, then no faith would be required to be a Christian.
Additionally, if God wanted automatons who bowed to His will mechanically, He could have made us that way. Instead He chose to give us free will and the ability to choose our own path — but, without real options, there can’t be a real choice. Put another way, a “choice” isn’t much of a choice when you have a gun to your head. So again, if bad things DIDN’T happen to good people, there would be very little real choice. If you wanted to live and prosper, you’d have to be a Christian because non-Christians would spend their short, unhappy lives wandering from one disaster to the next.
Of course, knowing that God wants to allow us to have faith and a choice is often a cold comfort when something terrible happens in the world, to us, or someone we love — but, it’s worth remembering that we Christians believe, “Our days on earth are as transient as a shadow,” while what comes afterwards is eternal. Sometimes on this side of eternity, all we can do is realize that we are going to see our share of sorrow, accept that, “God moves in mysterious ways,” and keep on keeping on, secure in the knowledge that there is something better to come when this life is over.