Smita,* a 35-year-old woman in Dhaka, Bangladesh, had the reputation of being a loving and caring person. People knew her as a hardworking and happy young wife who wanted to help others know what she had learned about God. How shocked her family and friends were when Smita suddenly contracted an illness that claimed her life in less than a week!
James and his wife, a young couple in their 30’s, had a reputation similar to that of Smita. One springtime, they went to visit their friends on the West Coast of the United States. They never returned to their home in New York. While away, they were involved in a fatal automobile accident, leaving a tremendous void in the lives of their loved ones and coworkers.
You do not have to look far to see that evil and suffering abound today. Wars kill civilians as well as soldiers. Crime and violence victimize innocent people. Deadly accidents and crippling illnesses occur irrespective of a person’s age or status in life. Natural disasters wipe out communities indiscriminately. Prejudice and injustice are widespread. Perhaps you have personally suffered as a victim.
It is only natural to ask questions like these:
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Is God to blame for such things?
Are calamities random occurrences, or are they man-made?
Could it be Karma, that is, the result of one’s actions in a past life, that causes personal suffering?
If there is an almighty God, why does he not protect good people from harm?
Will life ever be free of evil and suffering?
To answer those questions, we need to understand the answer to these two basic questions: Why do bad things happen at all, and what will God do?
Names have been changed.