QUESTION: Why do bad things happen to good people?

ANSWER:   The same question could be asked in the opposite order:  Why do good
things happen to bad people?. The assumption is that if we are good people then
nothing bad should happen to us, and if we are bad people we should not be receiving
good things. But the Bible teaches that God loves everyone and it "rains on the just and
the unjust" (Matthew 5:45).  God has made us free creatures because we have been
created in the image of God to understand good and evil and right and wrong. We are
limited to some degree because we have no choice about where and to whom we were
born. We have no choice in whether should eat, breath air, and live on this planet earth.
But we do have a lot of input about the choices we make in life. However, to think that  just
living a good life and trying to obey God's teaching should give us special consideration
is not what the Bible teaches. God promises to be with us, to help us, to guide us and
remain faithful but He has never promised that we will be given special treatment if we
will just be good. Remember, Jesus was perfect, he never sinned, yet, he had lots of
struggles and serious problems. God did not provide an escape from his suffering, pain
and death even though Jesus asked for another way. A good question you might ask
yourself is this: Who am I to think that I should never suffer because I am a good person
when the Lord that I claim to love and obey did suffer and die and He was a perfect
person? Deal with that question and I think you will have your answer.
Questions & Answers
Dale is often asked questions about the Bible as well as other general questions that
cannot be answered specifically by some reference in scripture. Each month Dale will list
a question that he has been asked and will share with you his response. He would like
for you to consider the question and the answer and if you disagree or have an answer
that you consider would have been more appropriate to the question then contact Dale
through email at the "Contact Us" section of the web page and Dale will be more than
happy to read and discuss your response.  
Dale and Gilda Riddle
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Riddle Evangelistic Association
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QUESTION:  Why are people so anxious about the world's struggles and problems? Don't
they realize that God is in control?

ANSWER:   This is really two questions: why are people worried about what is going on in
the world and don't you think that God is in control?
I assume the theory behind these questions is that if you believe God is in control then
there is no need for you to worry about anything. I do not think this is true and I will attempt
to explain.
First, let me say there are two types of worry. One type of worry is useless because we
have no control over what is happening around us.  For example, I do not worry about
what people think of me because I have no control over their thoughts. I cannot live my life
worrying about what others might think. I cannot control what people think even if I
attempted to live a good life. Jesus lived a perfect life and they called him a drunkard,
glutton and accused him of being demon possessed. I cannot imagine what people
might think of someone like me. Never get caught in the trap of worrying about things over
which you have no control. The next kind of worry relates to practical concerns. This type
of worry is certainly valid, and God expects us to use the minds He gave us in these
situations. The Bible indeed tells us not worry about shelter, food, clothing, but God does
not expect us to sit down and do nothing about obtaining shelter, food and clothing. He
expects us  by faith to trust Him and then get off our lazy butts and get busy putting action
to our faith. If you just sit and wait for God to provide you shelter, food and clothing, then
you will probably perish and still blame God for not being in control of your life by
providing for your needs. This teaching is foolishness, yet, it is taught by many false
prophets in our world today.
God has given man a lot of control over his life. We cannot choose our bodies, our minds
or live someplace other than earth. We are also required to breathe air and drink water
and eat food to survive and God has provided us with these resources. However, God
has also allowed us the freedom to make choices and He informs us that we will indeed
reap the consequences of our actions. Consequently,  most of what is going on in the
world is the work of man and not that of God. God does not cause wars, hatred, murders,
starvation and pollution of our earth. Man is responsible for this. We should be concerned
about what is going on in this world and do all in our power to make things better by
loving the way Christ taught us to love and live. Saying you do not worry or care because
God is in control is just an excuse to be lazy and ignorant.  God is in control and part of
His action is to allow mankind to exercise freedom and reap the consequences. If you
choose not to believe in God and not trust Him and you live your life on your own terms,
then God will let you do it because He is in control and has chosen to allow you the
freedom to control your choices. God sounds sort of foolish, doesn't He? Should He
actually trust His creation to live their own lives? Do you have a better idea than God? Let
me know  about it.
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The Right to Live or Die...

ANSWER:   A lot of people have been talking about the 29-year-old who decided to end
her life because of a painful brain tumor.  The choice to end one's life is not available in
most of our states.  I am not sure what is the best choice, and I can only respond with my
personal feelings.  I do know that if I were terminally ill, in terrific pain and no hope for
recovery, then I would like the choice to end my life for my sake, as well as for my family.  
Naturally, I would want my family to agree with my decision, and if they decided they would
rather have me suffer and spend all their resources in keeping my body functioning as
long as possible, then I would allow them to make that choice; however, it would certainly
not be something I would choose for myself.  Love thinks about others and is willing to
sacrifice for others.  Look at Jesus when He said that no one could take His life but He
was giving it as sacrifice for His love of others.  When someone chooses to end his life
the sake of others, then we call it an act of love.  If a soldier jumps on an explosive to save
his friends, one does not say he committed suicide but that he is a hero for sacrificing his
life for others.  If some is terminally ill and dying and he realizes that his lingering illness
will be the financial ruin of his family, who is to say what is the right choice for that
person?  Jesus did not want to die and asked the Father if there was some other way for
him, but He believed the Father wanted him to sacrifice His life, so He did.  Why not allow
others to decide what they feel is God's choice for them.  "No greater love has any man,
than he lay down his life for a friend."  I struggle with these questions just as you do, and I
always try to base my decisions centered in the love of Christ.