Why Do Bad Things Happen To Christians Who Faithfully Worship God?



The Sunflower by Saint John of Tobolsk is an excellent book that helps us understand why God does the things He does, and how we can align our actions to serve His will. In the below excerpts, Saint John explains why bad things happen to members of the flock. Previous Article On “The Sunflower”: 6 Signs You Are Following God’s Will Strong Christians are sent <p class="more"><a class="more-link" href="">Read More</a></p>...

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Kentucky Gent

An excellent article! It is a shame that there are so many churches where this is not taught.

And personally, I never learned any of this until I became Catholic and started reading about the lives of the saints. I also got one-on-one counselling from a priest monk, and my whole mindset has changed 180 degrees. Now I know that suffering joyfully, even willingly, is one of the 2 most important tools for becoming holy. (The other is humility.)


Orthodox Catechumen
Whenever I'm witnessing to someone, this is a common form of pushback I receive. 'If God real why bad thing happen'. 'If God real why eternal damnation if I good.'

My response is not to condemn. I say that's between them and God. I would never be so vainglorious as to know the reasons for His punishment or suffering he allows upon humanity or them as an individual, and that God loves them. It's their choice to love Him back or not. He's not forcing them to love Him.

And what if we did know the reasons? What kind of god would that be if our weak little human minds could understand His divine plan for us?

So just like the sun in all it's majesty and greatness, hell in my eyes is becoming extinguished in the face of eternally perfect love of God in all His glory. But I don't know. No one knows what that really is. I do believe that it's not something so superficially and childishly simple as 'burning forever in fire'. This is symbolic.

And I may continue by asking where do they get their morals in the first place? Many times the people voicing these concerns are living by Christian virtues, but at the same time rejecting universal truths in the favor of moral relativism.

Ultimately, the focus shouldn't be on eternal damnation, torment, and hell all the time. Getting mad at God. Why not try focusing on the Beatific Vision, Heaven, His grace? Give that a chance?

And it isn't even just athiests/agnostics that do this - Christians by name only who profess to believe in the God of the Bible will also ask these same questions. They believe God without loving Him. Without trusting in Him. They make up their own idea of what their god is. Some type of 'pagan new age pachamama hippy anything goes type of god' or something. They don't believe they deserve to be punished, that people suffer for sins of those before them, etc.

This also makes me think of some protestants and how they view sola scriptura. They refuse to accept that 'once saved always saved' is not the case if you continue to willfully sin. If you do so the fulfillment of the Lord's Sacrifice is lost on you. Faith alone is not enough. The devil and his demons also know that Jesus is King.

Praise the Lord!
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Kentucky Gent

First of all, it should be noted that faith in God does not mean that life will be free from trials and hardships. The Bible tells us that there will be much suffering and injustice in the world.
Yes, exactly! I wish someone had told me this sooner. We are going to suffer, and God uses these sufferings to help us grow in virtue, if we cooperate with His grace.

When I was a Protestant, and trying out different Protestant/Evangelical/Pentecostal/Charismatic churches, it seems like the emphasis was on having faith for a life of endless blessings and gifts. It was only when I started studying the lives of the saints that I realized this kind of thinking is categorically heterodox.

Blade Runner

It's too much for most people, who generally just follow the religious impulses to gather with other humans as tribe/group. They all want heaven here, which is really their complaint, and it's understandable unless you have the gift of awareness and can intuit and/or reason that since heaven isn't clearly here, the world in many ways is either absurd or a trial. But we have many great things (this is what they look past) and gifts that are clearly majestic, phenomenal, and wondrous - so the world can't be silly, absurd, or an accident.

Then their ego gets back in the way, and the evil spirits make them complain again, with despair and not with faith. I have know idea where I will end up, but I have hope and faith that I'll answer some portion of the call from the Lord, and be able to suffer away sins and with repentance. It is a fearful thing. The degree to which I have hope in humanity understanding any of this, especially after the last 3 years and what I've seen, makes me disappointed (worse, I won't say it) and nauseous.