Why Does God Allow Good People To Get Sick Or Die?

Let’s Explore the Answer

When a loved one dies, it can feel as if the stable earth beneath your feet has crumbled away forever. Facing loss and death can lead us to question everything. Life feels unfair and broken. We wonder why pain exists at all and where God fits in. We may begin to wonder if He’s good, or present, or cares, or even exists at all. It’s hard to understand why God might allow a seemingly good person to get sick or die while others are allowed to continue their dark path untouched.

Whether we like it or not, sickness and death are a part of life. Every human being alive will experience loss and the death of a loved one. Struggling through tough questions about death with no simple answers is natural and normal. It’s ok to be confused and angry and sad. These are all a part of a normal grieving process. It’s also normal to wonder how God fits into your loss. Atheists, skeptics, and believers will respond to these challenging questions differently.

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What Skeptics & Atheists Say

If God is good and loving, then why do bad things happen to good people? Many people try and fail to find a reasonable answer to this common question. In fact, this question alone has led some to abandon their faith altogether. They might argue that if God was good and loving, then good people would get sick less than bad people; and if God was fair and just, then evil dictators and drug lords would die of cancer or disease at higher rates than others. But because this isn’t the case, people are often unable to balance their belief in God with the seemingly unfair reality they face.

In light of these difficult questions, skeptics may doubt the reality or goodness of God, whereas atheists reject God’s existence altogether.

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What The Bible Says

Pain has a tendency to inspire the greatest searchings of our souls. Through grief, it’s natural to question and wonder and seek answers to life’s greatest questions. Scripture is filled with people struggling through loss and trying to understand God’s presence in the midst of dark times. Even King David once wrote, “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” If you’ve ever had these questions, you should know that you’re normal.

The truth is, we do live in a broken world. Death and disease will always be a part of our experience. But this doesn’t mean that God’s not present. As Jesus spoke of God’s love, even for those who deserve it the least, He explained how God, “causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Whether you’re considered “good” or “bad”, all are offered the daily grace of sun and rain, but also, all will experience the unfortunate consequences of sin permeating every cell of creation. It’s impossible to understand why one person prays and experiences a miraculous recovery while another is allowed to die. There are some questions we may never fully understand this side of heaven.

God never promised that the believer would have an easy and carefree life. In fact, Jesus promised people would experience trials and troubles in the world. But, He also declared that nothing the world throws at you is greater than God. And no matter what happens, He will never, ever, ever leave you or forget you. God promises to walk with you through every dark valley, giving you the strength to take your next step forward.

If you’re struggling through the loss of a loved one right now, you may never find a good enough answer to your deepest questions of why. But, would you consider opening yourself up to the God who sees your pain, cares for you, and wants to help you through?

What would happen if you embraced the possibility that the God of the Bible really did create the world and really does care for you?

Pascal's Wager

In the seventeenth century, a famous philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, encouraged people to make a wager when it came to belief in God. If a person chose to believe in God and God did exist, that person would gain everything (eternal life). If a person chose to believe in God and God did not exist, that person would lose nothing. On the other hand, if a person chose not to believe in God and he was right, he would lose nothing. But if that person did not believe in God and he was wrong- he would lose everything (lose eternal life).

This wager can be said another way:

Based on this logic, Pascal suggested the rational person would choose to believe in God as believing offers a person everything (eternal life) while losing nothing. Wherever you are in your faith journey, would you consider taking Pascal’s wager? If the good God of the Bible exists, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by believing in Him today.

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Life can feel truly overwhelming for everyone at times, which is why people so often use prayer - or simply put, a conversation with God - to ask for hope, strength, guidance, or circumstantial change in difficult times. "Putting it in God’s hands" when we’re facing any number of obstacles can provide great comfort and peace in a world that we know is out of our own control.

The Bible teaches us that prayer is powerful and effective, both in communicating with God and in bringing peace to those who pray. We consider it an honor to be able to talk personally with the God who created us, with confidence that He listens and cares. No matter your faith background, and whatever the challenges you’re facing, we’re eager to pray for you, your family members, or any of your loved ones. There’s nothing we’d love more than to present your requests to God and pray with you.