A common question with a simple answer: because we live in a fallen world. We were never meant to live here or to deal with the evil that rules this place.
I believe the overall assumption of most people is that we basically live in a good world that has some bad things in it. Bad things happen, for some unknown reason, to good people.
Or worse yet, there are those that believe God allowed something bad to happen to teach them a lesson.
Both assumptions, according to the Bible, are wrong.
The Book of Genesis tells us that God created heaven and earth, crafting them, forming them. He divided night and day, added water , land and creatures.
After he prepared this place, he created a being: a man. The Bible says He created this man in HIS own image (Genesis 1:26), a spirit being, clothed in the full glory of God and given “dominion over the all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” In verse 27, it states that He created male and female in His image. And in verse 28 “He blessed them.”
When God created humans, both male and female, we were created in His image, as spiritual beings, clothed in His glory and wanting for nothing. He supplied everything that we would ever need in this world. He was our source, our supply house, and we would never want for anything.
The only thing he told Adam to obey, was to avoid eating the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They could even eat the fruit of the tree of life, but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve both ate of it (the original sin had less to do with eating this fruit than about blaming God for it). Adam blamed God for giving him Eve, who gave him the fruit. (Genesis 3:12) Many people today still blame women for the original sin, but Scripture states that Adam was with her. (Genesis 3:6) He was right there too, and God told him, not Eve, not to eat the fruit. Eve received the information 2nd hand, from Adam.
When the serpent (satan) questioned Eve about eating from the tree, Eve replied, “God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die”. (Genesis 3:3)
The thing is, God never said anything about not touching the fruit. He told Adam, “Don’t eat it.” Eve added “touching” to it, because she got the information 2nd hand.
That was satan’s “in” with her. He knew that if he could convince her to touch it, and it didn’t kill her, he could likely get her to eat it.
Well, it worked, as we know.
As a result of Adam’s disobedience to God’s Word, Adam and Eve were stripped of their spiritual glory and placed in a fallen world. A cursed world.
Instead of having everything provided for them, humans were now “on the outs” with God. They had to toil on their own. Humans were not the only ones affected by this, the whole world fell. All the animals, all the plants…everything was now cursed.
But God’s love for mankind was evident even then. In Genesis 3:22, God hid the tree of life from them, for if they ate of that, they would have been cursed and lived forever. Not good.
God set into motion that day, a plan to redeem us back to Him, back to His blessings and to His Glory through Jesus. It was an act of mercy. An act of Grace.
This is a fallen world, with an enemy that hates us. While we are here, satan has access to us. His job is to try every single day to destroy us through manipulation and lies. He will try at every chance to influence our decisions, to maneuver us to a place where he has better access into our lives.
Some people don’t believe in satan. Or his legions. The only I can say about that is: it doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. It neither negates satan’s existence, nor protects you from him. In fact, it likely opens you up to allowing him access into your life. He needs permission to operate, and by doing nothing at all, the default is him. That’s his permission. This is the world in which he operates, has authority to operate, and unless you choose God, the default is satan. Not the other way around. This is not a good world with a little bad, this is a fallen world that satan is allowed to operate in, and the only good things in your life here come from God. Sorry, but that’s the truth. You have an enemy, whether you “believe” in him or not. (1 Peter 5:8-9) and unless you choose God, you are part of this world by default and your father is satan. (John 8:44)
So, why do bad things happen to good people? Because we live in a fallen world and satan has access to anyone here. Becoming born again and allowing God to transform your life through the renewing of your mind with His Word will mitigate satan’s control of your life, but I’m not going to lie. As long as we occupy space in this world, we will have to battle satan, but he is a defeated foe. His only power left after Jesus stripped him is to influence your mind. He has to convince you to allow him access by manipulating your thoughts. He will use people, emotions, situations, circumstances…anything to get you to believe that God cannot help or that God “did this to you”. God isn’t in the business of punishing people. He sent His only Son to take the punishment that we deserved. He’s not even in a bad mood where we’re concerned, but we have to BELIEVE this. And choose Him.
Additionally, through ignorance, people inadvertently allow satan access. By not knowing the Word of God, you are at a greater disadvantage to being influenced by the forces of darkness. Someone that’s deemed “good” can just as easily be caught up in worldly affairs as someone deemed “bad”. The world and its views are inherently antagonistic, by nature, to God and His Word. Most of what passes as “good” today, finds itself lacking within the pages of the Bible. People want to “go along to get along” and not seem old fashioned by adhering to some dusty old manual, but this will come at a cost. And sometimes, a very grave and great cost. You see, satan also knows God’s Word. And he is a master at twisting it. The way to defeat him, is to know the Word, know what God said, so that when darkness shows up, you can use the Word to make it go away. (James 4:7) It will, no doubt, come back at a later date, but that will just give you more time to bone up on God’s Word, so that you have more ammo. I won’t guarantee a life free from bad things happening, but I can guarantee that a bad day with God, is better than a good day without Him.