Why Do ‘Good’ People Suffer?

July 10, 2008

by Shawn Brasseaux
Published in
The (Opelousas, Louisiana) Daily World

In her recent letter to the editor, Ms. A.L.B. proposed a very intriguing question (Daily World, July 7): why do so many good people have so much trouble? I do not have all the answers, but God has shed some light on the subject. Once sin entered into the world, God righteously and fairly placed a curse on creation. It was not God’s fault, as He warned Adam and Eve of the consequences. In addition to this curse on the earth, the devil has been temporarily allowed to make us all suffer even more. Again, we cannot fully understand every aspect. We can rest assured that God has not lost control of anything.

Why do good people suffer? Did you know that most of the apostles met a martyr’s death? As the apostle of the Gentiles, Paul endured all sorts of pain: nearly 200 lashes, stoned once, and caned, for instance (2 Corinthians 11:22-28). It was all for the sake of spreading the Gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 to the Gentile (non-Jew) world. Did you realize that millions of Christians have been persecuted for the last two millennia because of their adherence to the Bible’s teaching instead of basing their salvation on men’s ideas? Jesus Christ, God incarnate, suffered horrific and graphic pain—just so you could have a chance to reside in His presence forever!

Even before people tried to merit favor with God, He had already poured out His grace on us and He poured His wrath out on Christ. Now, a similar question is proposed: “Why do bad people receive good things?” Why do undeserved humans have the free gift of salvation? I am undeserving, but why is salvation without cost for me? Why did God not make it to where we would have to complete a “to-do” list before we could get salvation? We do not deserve anything, and God owes us absolutely nothing. So, why would God be generous, when we do not even deserve a single ounce of grace? It is because grace is unmerited favor; it was His grace that prompted Him to suffer in your stead.

Fellow Christians, in our sufferings, God’s grace is sufficient, and His strength made mature in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9,10).