One of the hardest arguments I think we tend to face as Christians is, "If there's a God then why do bad things happen? Why do cancer, AIDS, and natural disasters exist? Why do good innocent people die young from awful things?" Usually the best answer we can come up with is "I don't know, but there's a reason" and that's true! I don't know why bad things happen, or why they particularly happen to good people, but I know there's a reason! And maybe we won't ever get to know what that reason is, and maybe we will get to know the reason once all is said and done. Regardless, I'll do my best to explain that negative events serve a greater purpose.
One of my favorite examples of bad things happening for a better reason is in an episode of Scrubs. In case you aren't an avid Scrubs fan like myself allow me to fill you in, don't worry no spoilers. There's a character named Dr.Cox who is a major narcissist and who gets joy from demoting others, yet he always seems to be fighting for the right cause and you grow to love him throughout the show. Dr.Cox had a rough childhood and doesn't believe in God because of all the bad things he endured. Lavern, a nurse in the show, has a strong Christian faith and even sings in her church's choir. In this episode, Cox is questioning why bad things happen to good people and how his good patients don't deserve to be ill and in the hospital ect. Lavern tries to be encouraging and continues to insist that everything happens for a reason. Then, a patient arrives, she is a young child who is the victim of a stabbing. Cox is doubtful that there could be any good reason for those turn of events and Lavern insists otherwise. I promised no spoilers, so let me just say the outcome of her being stabbed is rather remarkable. If you'd like to watch the episode the show is called Scrubs on Netflix and the episode is "My No Good Reason" season 6 episode 14 (I'd highly recommend it). I think this episode beautifully portrays how bad things can happen for good reasons.
I know that's a fictional scenario, although it could happen in real life, but how about a real life example just to kind of put things into perspective. Think about the Bible, I'm sure there are hundreds of examples of bad things happening, and despite all of them the outcome is always OK because God cares for his people and he has a plan for them, even if it involves some turmoil. Here's a major example: Jesus dying on the cross. That seemed like a bad thing, like a horrible, horrible thing, and it was. But, Jesus knew the purpose for his suffering and He faced His death and He trusted in God, knowing what would come of it all. Crucifixion is probably one of the most painful ways to die, and no sane man would willingly face that sort of death. Jesus even had his moment of doubt. He questioned why he had to endure such pain and why God did not seem to be with him (Mark 15:34), even if it was only for a second. That was probably the worst day of Jesus' life, but He knew that this terrible event was serving a better purpose; He was saving all of mankind from the same fate He was facing, death. He endured a terrible, terrible thing so that others could have eternal life through Him. If that's not a good enough example of bad things happening for a better reason, then I don't know what is. If you'd like to read more about Jesus dying to save the world you should check out these verses: 1 Peter 3:18, John 11:25, John 5:24, John 6:44 just to list a few.
Next time you face something hard, try to remember Jesus and all he had to face for a greater purpose. It'll be hard, and there will be moments of doubt, but just keep telling yourself that there's a reason for it and you will make it through just fine. I know it can be hard to be your own cheerleader, so pray and ask your friends for help. Whatever you're facing you don't have to face it alone, and just know that someday you might be able to look back on it and realize why it all had to happen. And maybe you won't. But one things for sure, the struggles that you have to endure aren't for nothing, they are all part of a bigger plan.( Psalms 138:8, and Jeremiah 29:11)
So, yes bad things do happen. And yes, they do happen to good people and bad people and all people. And no, usually the person doesn't deserve it, but the negatives in our lives serve a greater purpose whether we notice it or not. And sometimes bad things happen to us so better things can fall in to place. And I know when it's all happening that it can be hard to remember, and I know sometimes those struggles seem too hard, but I promise you, you can get through it because there is a greater purpose for your suffering even if you never get to figure out what it is. But, sometimes when we look back we can see how bad things have happened so better things can come to be. I challenge you to think about a negative event that has happened in the past. Okay, got it? Now, follow your life from that point and piece together how you ended up where you are now. In doing so, I think you'll be surprised how many good things have occurred that never would have happened without that negative event.