Not sure how to answer this

rtm3039

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I all, I have a question and general commentary.

This morning, I was engaged in a conversation with a good long-time friend (phone). My friend, Bob, made a comment that I tried to reply to, but was unsure of how. Since I am still dealing with the newness of my re-faith, I did not want to provide a wrong comment: Bob made the comment that, "if there is a God, He is responsible for the evil people do to each other" and the fact God lets "bad things happen to good people."

Some background on my friend: Bob is a really good person that I have known for almost 30 years; we served in the US Army together in Germany and DC. He retired, medically, in 2009. Aside from some serious spinal damage that requires him to spend most of his time in a wheel-chair, he was also diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. He is in remission for over five years; however, he can't hardly stand on his own and looks like he is starting to show additional physical issues with his right hand/arm. Bob is divorced and has two grown sons. He lives by himself and is financially very stable.

Bob claims be believes in God, but is not sure He is whom we believe He is. Bob is also not into organized religion.

So, how best do I remark about Bob's comments?

rtm3039
 
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bobinfaith

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Hello rtm3039;

This is a great question. I couldn't pass by your thread without replying. God is not responsible for allowing evil to breed evil against one another. God also does not let bad things happen to good people.

You, everyone, Bob and myself were not forced by God to love Him, obey Him and behave ourselves. We were given freewill since the beginning of Creation so we could decide right from wrong, obedience and disobedience.

Along with freewill, God has always provided the tools (Biblical knowledge and wisdom) to submit in obedience to Him. Jesus spread the Gospel for our submission to do right in the Lord's sight.

So when someone does evil to me, God is watching and will not condone evil. Woe to the evil doer who will one day go before God for judgment. For the righteous, those of us who desire to do right in God's sight will be delivered.

God works out His purposes to oppose the proud (evil) and exalt the humble (the righteous.) James 4:6 and 10.

We are all broken and speaking for myself, I'm a hypocrite. How many times in my life did I do evil to another, especially the weak, and then cry foul when evil takes a shot at me, or witness evil of the world and do nothing.

There are scriptures that align with my post but will leave it for others to join in.

I'm sorry to have to leave for now but will be back later tonight and continue.

God bless you, brother, and am keeping Bob in my prayers.
 
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rtm3039

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Hello rtm3039;

This is a great question. I couldn't pass by your thread without replying. God is not responsible for allowing evil to breed evil against one another. God also does not let bad things happen to good people.

You, everyone, Bob and myself were not forced by God to love Him, obey Him and behave ourselves. We were given freewill since the beginning of Creation so we could decide right from wrong, obedience and disobedience.

Along with freewill, God has always provided the tools (Biblical knowledge and wisdom) to submit in obedience to Him. Jesus spread the Gospel for our submission to do right in the Lord's sight.

So when someone does evil to me, God is watching and will not condone evil. Woe to the evil doer who will one day go before God for judgment. For the righteous, those of us who desire to do right in God's sight will be delivered.

God works out His purposes to oppose the proud (evil) and exalt the humble (the righteous.) James 4:6 and 10.

We are all broken and speaking for myself, I'm a hypocrite. How many times in my life did I do evil to another, especially the weak, and then cry foul when evil takes a shot at me, or witness evil of the world and do nothing.

There are scriptures that align with my post but will leave it for others to join in.

I'm sorry to have to leave for now but will be back later tonight and continue.

God bless you, brother, and am keeping Bob in my prayers.
Thank you, bobinfaith

Yes, I too have done ?bad" things to others; however, not sure it has been many times. I guess once is once too many. Looking forward to part two of your response.

Bless you back,

rtm3039
 
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Simplest answer is to read the book of Job to find we will be tested by God and Satan and how we deal with Sin is up to us.
Even when it means losing everything we still have to decide who we will worship and follow.
Job questioned God, even blamed Him, yet in the end it was God’s faithfulness that drew Him back around to thinking straight.
Btw tell your Friend Bob to check out Dr Berg on YouTube and intermittent fasting and healthy Keto which will help him health wise, best thing for the body to heal
 

rtm3039

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Simplest answer is to read the book of Job to find we will be tested by God and Satan and how we deal with Sin is up to us.
Even when it means losing everything we still have to decide who we will worship and follow.
Job questioned God, even blamed Him, yet in the end it was God’s faithfulness that drew Him back around to thinking straight.
Btw tell your Friend Bob to check out Dr Berg on YouTube and intermittent fasting and healthy Keto which will help him health wise, best thing for the body to heal
Ok, will do that.

Thanks
 

bobinfaith

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Thank you, bobinfaith

Yes, I too have done ?bad" things to others; however, not sure it has been many times. I guess once is once too many. Looking forward to part two of your response.

Bless you back,

rtm3039
Hello Brother rtm3039;

I feel Bob is a smart man and may not have received the Biblical study of who takes responsibility for evil upon others, or the bad things that happen to good people. No doubt, if Bob, like most of us receive the teaching of this area would see God differently.

Sad to say, many who hear the Word still choose to deny Jesus, which, ironically, is evil. Evil who apostasize Christianity is renouncing Jesus Christ and remain evil. Evil is sin's cousin.

Christians who do evil are consciously prompted by the Holy Spirit and repent - to turn from sin/evil and are forgiven. Forgiveness ties with redemption and salvation.

As brother Walker shared, Job is a good book to read and teaches us how Job remained firm in his trust in God, how God delivers us from evil, including evil that festers evil.

Brother rtm3039, please pray and ask God to speak to you as you read Job, especially chapter 38 when the Lord addresses Job. I shudder everytime I read chapter 38.

God bless you and your family.
 
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There is a view that is much too common, even among believers that it is God's 'job' to make our lives pleasant.

God truely does desire what is best for each of us and has a plan for our best. He loves us all individually as well as collectively, but our best cannot exist apart from or independant from His plan.

It is a poverty to allow personal expediency to overshadow the sovereignty of God in our thoughts.
 

bobinfaith

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There is a view that is much too common, even among believers that it is God's 'job' to make our lives pleasant.

God truely does desire what is best for each of us and has a plan for our best. He loves us all individually as well as collectively, but our best cannot exist apart from or independant from His plan.

It is a poverty to allow personal expediency to overshadow the sovereignty of God in our thoughts.
Hello Siloam;

Please elaborate. I'm trying to connect what you're sharing that interests me.

God bless you and your family.
 

rtm3039

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Hello Brother rtm3039;

I feel Bob is a smart man and may not have received the Biblical study of who takes responsibility for evil upon others, or the bad things that happen to good people. No doubt, if Bob, like most of us receive the teaching of this area would see God differently.

Sad to say, many who hear the Word still choose to deny Jesus, which, ironically, is evil. Evil who apostasize Christianity is renouncing Jesus Christ and remain evil. Evil is sin's cousin.

Christians who do evil are consciously prompted by the Holy Spirit and repent - to turn from sin/evil and are forgiven. Forgiveness ties with redemption and salvation.

As brother Walker shared, Job is a good book to read and teaches us how Job remained firm in his trust in God, how God delivers us from evil, including evil that festers evil.

Brother rtm3039, please pray and ask God to speak to you as you read Job, especially chapter 38 when the Lord addresses Job. I shudder everytime I read chapter 38.

God bless you and your family.
I will read this tonight. Thanks,
 

rtm3039

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There is a view that is much too common, even among believers that it is God's 'job' to make our lives pleasant.

God truely does desire what is best for each of us and has a plan for our best. He loves us all individually as well as collectively, but our best cannot exist apart from or independant from His plan.

It is a poverty to allow personal expediency to overshadow the sovereignty of God in our thoughts.
Yes, can you elaborate. Not sure I understand your meaning.
rtm3039
 
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God does want us to have a joyous life, but that joy must proceed from our relationship with Him, not from the circumstances around us. In every life, there will be things that sometimes appropriately bring us sorrow. But however appropriate that sorrow, we should still have joy in our relationship with God.

It is not up to us to decide what blessings we want, nor to require of God to provide whatever comes into our minds. God is preparing us for His kingdom. But, for heaven to be a blessing to us, we must have already learned who is properly in control. Heaven is a place where we will be both able and willing to do what HE wants.

When my sons were young, if you asked them how I was good to them, they probably would have talked about taking them on hikes in the mountains, trips to the beach or leading their scout group. They probably would not have said how loving I was when I made them go to school, or had chores for them, or how I made sure they respected my authority. I think that now they would understand that both the fun stuff and the responsibility stuff are necessary.

If you take God’s viewpoint, whatever privations his people suffer in preparation for His kingdom is insignificant when compared to an eternity with Him.

As far as my use of the word ‘poverty’, I have noticed that those that look to the Lord do not ‘feel’ the effects of being poor nearly as much as those that are continually comparing what they have with what they think they should have (whatever the meaning of ‘should’ is).

To those that continually grouse about not deserving the trials they endure, I cannot think of a greater punishment than getting what we sinners deserve.
 

bobinfaith

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God does want us to have a joyous life, but that joy must proceed from our relationship with Him, not from the circumstances around us. In every life, there will be things that sometimes appropriately bring us sorrow. But however appropriate that sorrow, we should still have joy in our relationship with God.

It is not up to us to decide what blessings we want, nor to require of God to provide whatever comes into our minds. God is preparing us for His kingdom. But, for heaven to be a blessing to us, we must have already learned who is properly in control. Heaven is a place where we will be both able and willing to do what HE wants.

When my sons were young, if you asked them how I was good to them, they probably would have talked about taking them on hikes in the mountains, trips to the beach or leading their scout group. They probably would not have said how loving I was when I made them go to school, or had chores for them, or how I made sure they respected my authority. I think that now they would understand that both the fun stuff and the responsibility stuff are necessary.

If you take God’s viewpoint, whatever privations his people suffer in preparation for His kingdom is insignificant when compared to an eternity with Him.

As far as my use of the word ‘poverty’, I have noticed that those that look to the Lord do not ‘feel’ the effects of being poor nearly as much as those that are continually comparing what they have with what they think they should have (whatever the meaning of ‘should’ is).

To those that continually grouse about not deserving the trials they endure, I cannot think of a greater punishment than getting what we sinners deserve.
Hello Siloam;

Yes, when I read your post it spoke to me of believers who are in union with Christ through all seasons, which are life circumstances. As we all mature spiritually we will either receive (have hope) or react (negatively) to our challenges differently which many times can be unpleasant.

The Good News is, as you wrote, our relationship with Him that brings about a joy should remind us everyday;

There are two aspects of our relationship with Christ. One is positional, when our Lord and Savior, and all His accomplishments on the cross become our accomplishments ordained by God. The other is experiential, when we receive the benefit of our transformed conversion and filled with the Holy Spirit.

This is the work of God and is huge. It is His purpose of salvation. God delivers us from sin and brings us back into restoration with Him with the promise of eternity. This reminder helps us receive our life struggles and are able to bear our sufferings because the Holy Spirit is our Helper. He intercedes to God and by this action will accomplish what we pray for, or when we cannot express what is troubling us.

rtm3039's friend Bob has a different circumstance and will reiterate. I feel Bob is a smart man and has many physical challenges that may hinder his faith. He may not have received the Biblical study and I can understand his position of who takes responsibility for evil upon others, or the bad things that happen to good people.

No doubt, if Bob has the opportunity to receive the teaching of salvation would see God differently. This is what rtm3039 was asking, how do we get to that point in sharing the Gospel with his friend of 30 years?

Let's keep Bob in our prayers.

God bless you, Siloam, and your family.
 
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rtm3039

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Hello Siloam;

Yes, when I read your post it spoke to me of believers who are in union with Christ through all seasons, which are life circumstances. As we all mature spiritually we will either receive (have hope) or react (negatively) to our challenges differently which many times can be unpleasant.

The Good News is, as you wrote, our relationship with Him that brings about a joy should remind us everyday;

There are two aspects of our relationship with Christ. One is positional, when our Lord and Savior, and all His accomplishments on the cross become our accomplishments ordained by God. The other is experiential, when we receive the benefit of our transformed conversion and filled with the Holy Spirit.

This is the work of God and is huge. It is His purpose of salvation. God delivers us from sin and brings us back into restoration with Him with the promise of eternity. This reminder helps us receive our life struggles and are able to bear our sufferings because the Holy Spirit is our Helper. He intercedes to God and by this action will accomplish what we pray for, or when we cannot express what is troubling us.

rtm3039's friend Bob has a different circumstance and will reiterate. I feel Bob is a smart man and has many physical challenges that may hinder his faith. He may not have received the Biblical study and I can understand his position of who takes responsibility for evil upon others, or the bad things that happen to good people.

No doubt, if Bob has the opportunity to receive the teaching of salvation would see God differently. This is what rtm3039 was asking, how do we get to that point in sharing the Gospel with his friend of 30 years?

Let's keep Bob in our prayers.

God bless you, Siloam, and your family.
Those are good observations, bobinfaith. Bob is a good man who has spent almost his entire life in the service of others. He claims he does believe in God, which I have no reason to question. His comment was something like "If you believe in God then you also have to believe that he allows good people to suffer at the hands of bad people or to develop physical issues."

Bob has had more that his share of physical issues, but he does take it well. Having been retired from the military under medical conditions (he actually served 32 years), he has no financial worries. In fact, between military retirement, VA disability, and social security, he has more money than he knows what to do with. On the other hand, all this money does not change the fact that he is in a wheelchair all day and his spinal injury is not impacting his right arm and hand. The cancer thing was an unrelated issue that came up during one of his physicals.

Being single, Bob is just lonely. He had a dog, but Wolf has been gone for a while. He has two sons, but they do not some by very often and are involved in their own lives. To be honest with you, he is still technically married, but he and his wife have lived apart since the mid 1980s. He does not leave his apartment often, usually only to go to his medical appointments and to buy food once a week. He is a good friend that you can count on all the time.

What I do not want to do is become one of those people that wants to push religion down his throat. I believe, as it was in my case, that people will come to the Lord when they feel the calling. Until then, they will just struggle. At some point; however, he will no longer be able to take care of himself and that is when he will have to make some hard decisions. All of this and he is only 63.
 
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I am reminded of the teaching of Jesus in the Lord's prayer, which shows us that God prefers to deliver us from evil and not lead us into trials (a better translation from the Greek word than temptation, as God tempts no-one and does not want us to sin, so never leads us into temptation). This is why Jesus taught us to pray this, because God's heart of love prefers to bless and deliver us from the evil that harms us. He is our heavenly Father who wants His children to have life and more abundantly.

This means that any trial we do end up going through cannot be avoided, as it was with Jesus in the garden of Gesthemane when He prayed that God would take the cup of suffering from Him if there was any way it could happen. There was no other way that evil would be disarmed and dealt with forever, and so He suffered for us. God has personally tasted the evils of this world. He has not stood aloof and watched us suffer without compassion and constant intervention, help, healing and deliverance. He has beautiful compassion for your friend Bob and is always with Him, as He is with every unwell and suffering person, because He is love. I am in awe of his faith considering his circumstances and look to such people with honour and respect. No doubt he could teach us all many things about patient endurance.

It makes sense of evil for me to understand that there was no other way to end evil forever, than for God to create this world, allow the Fall of humankind and all the suffering that has resulted, and in so doing show us and all the angels exactly how unthinkable evil and suffering is. In this way no angel will ever rebel again and neither will we, once we are angels, and evil will be over forever. We will live in a painless, war-free and suffering-free Paradise always. This shows us what God really wants for all of us. He is the Prince of Peace.

This, for me personally, is worth the suffering I have experienced throughout my life - and I was abused as a child and have been chronically unwell for 25 years, largely house-bound for years now due to UV sensitivity that worsens my auto-immune symptoms. We all have a story of some kind; a reason to wonder if God knows what He is doing and why He is doing it this way. Knowing the big picture of how noble and unavoidable God's purpose is makes a wonderful difference. May we prove worthy of taking any part in His purpose by our patient endurance that builds our character and makes us like Jesus.

Blessings.
 

rtm3039

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mouse, your response
I am reminded of the teaching of Jesus in the Lord's prayer, which shows us that God prefers to deliver us from evil and not lead us into trials (a better translation from the Greek word than temptation, as God tempts no-one and does not want us to sin, so never leads us into temptation). This is why Jesus taught us to pray this, because God's heart of love prefers to bless and deliver us from the evil that harms us. He is our heavenly Father who wants His children to have life and more abundantly.

This means that any trial we do end up going through cannot be avoided, as it was with Jesus in the garden of Gesthemane when He prayed that God would take the cup of suffering from Him if there was any way it could happen. There was no other way that evil would be disarmed and dealt with forever, and so He suffered for us. God has personally tasted the evils of this world. He has not stood aloof and watched us suffer without compassion and constant intervention, help, healing and deliverance. He has beautiful compassion for your friend Bob and is always with Him, as He is with every unwell and suffering person, because He is love. I am in awe of his faith considering his circumstances and look to such people with honour and respect. No doubt he could teach us all many things about patient endurance.

It makes sense of evil for me to understand that there was no other way to end evil forever, than for God to create this world, allow the Fall of humankind and all the suffering that has resulted, and in so doing show us and all the angels exactly how unthinkable evil and suffering is. In this way no angel will ever rebel again and neither will we, once we are angels, and evil will be over forever. We will live in a painless, war-free and suffering-free Paradise always. This shows us what God really wants for all of us. He is the Prince of Peace.

This, for me personally, is worth the suffering I have experienced throughout my life - and I was abused as a child and have been chronically unwell for 25 years, largely house-bound for years now due to UV sensitivity that worsens my auto-immune symptoms. We all have a story of some kind; a reason to wonder if God knows what He is doing and why He is doing it this way. Knowing the big picture of how noble and unavoidable God's purpose is makes a wonderful difference. May we prove worthy of taking any part in His purpose by our patient endurance that builds our character and makes us like Jesus.

Blessings.
Mouse, your response to my question is fantastic. Very well written, thought through, and eloquent.

The past several months for me have been quite a journey from an agnostic to my re-birth as a Christian. I am still a work in progress but am moving along well.

As I sit now and re-assess my life, I can’t help but feel ashamed as to how selfish I have been and how ungrateful I have been for not seeing just how many “things” I have to be grateful for. I’m spending a great deal of time now praying. Actually, I almost feel like I am doing too much of it, but it makes me feel whole. Not an opportunity goes by now, where I do not stop and thank the Lord for the great live he has given me.

One of the many jobs I have applied for is with the county’s Public Housing and Community Development agency. As I prepare for my eventual interview, I have done a great deal of research on my local community (Miami-Dade, FL). In this county, there are a little over 2.7 million people. Of these people, almost half a million live below the poverty line, almost 30,000 fall into what they call the “food insecurity rate” (meaning that they cannot afford to eat on a consistent basis), and over 2,000 are presently homeless. I get to eat as often as I want and pretty much what I want. Even with me unemployed, we still make enough to pay the rent and all the bills. There are countless numbers of people struggling with physical issues, grief, financial issues, and most of the “evils” my buddy Bob talks about.

Now, not a minute goes by when I do not ask the Lord for forgiveness and bring to the forefront just how much I have to be thankful for. I have never been unemployed before, so this is freaking me out a bit. However, my plight is almost non-existent, when compared with the struggles so many of our brother and sisters deal with on a daily basis. Not a day goes by, when I do not beg the Lord to forgive me for the blessings I have taken for granted for so long.

This new experience had done so much for me, as both a human and a Christian.

Not sure why I bring all of this up, but your comments moved me and just felt the need.

My God bless you constantly and abundantly.



Rtm3039
 
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Thank you for your encouragement, and I'm so glad my thoughts blessed you. We do have so much to be thankful for even though our lives are difficult. It always makes a difference to remind ourselves of all the positives, and celebrate them. God's goodness can be found even in very dark places, and He never leaves us. I hope your circumstances improve, but it is wonderful to hear how you are being helped by remembering the blessings and how God is providing for you. It encourages me to keep finding the good and thanking Him for it every day. God bless.
 
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rtm3039

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Thank you for your encouragement, and I'm so glad my thoughts blessed you. We do have so much to be thankful for even though our lives are difficult. It always makes a difference to remind ourselves of all the positives, and celebrate them. God's goodness can be found even in very dark places, and He never leaves us. I hope your circumstances improve, but it is wonderful to hear how you are being helped by remembering the blessings and how God is providing for you. It encourages me to keep finding the good and thanking Him for it every day. God bless.
The circumstances of how I find myself unemployed give me more than good reason to no longer have faith in people or to hate certain people a great deal. Instead; however, I make it a point to ask God to bless the people that did me harm and hope they will eventually make peace with what they did. I was obviously mistaken, when I considered them friends; however, they are still God’s creatures and my brothers.

As for you, by friend, I wish you nothing but peace and that your blessings be many.

Rtm3039
 
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Thank you, rtm3039.

Isn't it sad when there is a Judas in our lives, but we know that Jesus understands. He asked God to forgive those who crucified Him. How wonderful you're being to ask God to bless those who hurt you. This is so like Jesus. I am sure God is blessing you as a result of following His teaching, and He is so proud of you as His son. Well done.
 

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Thank you, rtm3039.

Isn't it sad when there is a Judas in our lives, but we know that Jesus understands. He asked God to forgive those who crucified Him. How wonderful you're being to ask God to bless those who hurt you. This is so like Jesus. I am sure God is blessing you as a result of following His teaching, and He is so proud of you as His son. Well done.
Thank you. I will never know why these two people did this to me, as there really was no need. I am OK with never knowing, but being betrayed in what appears ti have just been a sport is hard to accept.

Oh well, time to move on and see what's next.

Ray
 
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Hello rtm3039;

This is a great question. I couldn't pass by your thread without replying. God is not responsible for allowing evil to breed evil against one another. God also does not let bad things happen to good people.

You, everyone, Bob and myself were not forced by God to love Him, obey Him and behave ourselves. We were given freewill since the beginning of Creation so we could decide right from wrong, obedience and disobedience.

Along with freewill, God has always provided the tools (Biblical knowledge and wisdom) to submit in obedience to Him. Jesus spread the Gospel for our submission to do right in the Lord's sight.

So when someone does evil to me, God is watching and will not condone evil. Woe to the evil doer who will one day go before God for judgment. For the righteous, those of us who desire to do right in God's sight will be delivered.

God works out His purposes to oppose the proud (evil) and exalt the humble (the righteous.) James 4:6 and 10.

We are all broken and speaking for myself, I'm a hypocrite. How many times in my life did I do evil to another, especially the weak, and then cry foul when evil takes a shot at me, or witness evil of the world and do nothing.

There are scriptures that align with my post but will leave it for others to join in.

I'm sorry to have to leave for now but will be back later tonight and continue.

God bless you, brother, and am keeping Bob in my prayers.
You stated, "God also does not let bad things happen to good people. " I am sure that is not the case and would refer to Job for a scriptural example. I think if God does allow, so called, bad things to happen to good people, by faith we have to believe it is part of God's plan and it has a purpose, that at first, we may not understand. But I believe as taught in (Romans 8:28), that if we have faith and love the Lord, all things will be revealed for the purpose it was intended and not remain hidden.

I agree with what you said about a free will and would only add that the "prince of the air, the evil one, the devil, has domain over this world and our only hope when confronted by evil, weather you are the attacker or the attacked, is to put on the armor of God and appropriate the power that that God has made available to us to resist the flaming arrows of the evil one. ( Ephesian 6:16 )

John