Christian Dialogue: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Live life, watch the news, walk around, and this truth becomes very, very clear. Bad things happen all the time. No one is immune. You can’t buy health. You can’t buy safety. You can’t buy long life. You can’t undo a car accident. You can’t even add a second to your life. The world is a dangerous place. Bad things happen all the time. So, how does a Christian respond? I use a dialogue to answer this question in my book,  Always Be Ready to Give an Answer!

“I” is for Inquirer and “Me” is for you, the believer.

I: Why do bad things happen to good people?

Me: Define for me a bad thing.

I: (The answer will likely be about personal trial, loss, sickness, pain, suffering, or death.)

Me: Do you expect to escape this life without any of these?

I: Of course not! (Sometimes a person will say they do expect to have none of these. With that answer, I find a puzzled look makes them reconsider quickly.)

Me: Then ask me again. What’s the question?

I: Why do bad things happen to good people?

Me: What’s a bad thing? Let me give you an example of a bad thing. A young woman in her last year of high school dove into shallow water broke her neck and became a quadriplegic. Is that a bad thing?

I: (They agree, it‘s a bad thing.)

Me: The Bible says, “All things work together for good for those who are called by God.” Joni Erickson Tada’s life would probably have had little impact on the world if she had not had that accident. In her ministry, she advocates for the handicapped around the world and has given away many wheelchairs to many who never could have afforded one. So define for me again a bad thing.

I: (Answers will vary.) OK, now let’s wrap it up!)

Me: Bad things are going to happen because we can’t stop a particular trial, loss, pain, suffering, and death. We are powerless. We can sometimes delay the inevitable with our modern medicine, but we can’t prevent eventually dying. It is how we respond to these circumstances, not the circumstances themselves that bring about or change our attitude.  Jesus is the hope that I have.  (Now, share a short testimony.)  My hope is in Christ. He alone can give us a new perspective, grant us redemption, and restore us to God.  This world with all its personal trial, loss, pain, suffering, and death, will pass away, but God brings men and women to eternal life in Him. How about you?

To add depth, bring up Job, who is an excellent example of the “bad thing” issue.  Share his trials and reactions and cite the irony in Job’s wife’s advice: “Curse God and die.” Advice which Job doesn’t follow.

This question provides an opportunity to share the gospel, so in casual conversation, steer the discussion so that they ask this question.

NOTE:  This material is from pages 9-11 of ANSWERS For: “The Hope That Is In You.” Get your copy at

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Contact Charlie at or 336-337-4975 (call or text).



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