‘Why Do Good People Have to Die?’ An Answer for Senseless Violence and Unexpected Tragedy

By   •   August 4, 2019   •   Topics: ,

El Paso, Texas, residents gathered August 3 at a vigil for victims of a shooting that left multiple people dead and more than two dozen injured. (AP Photo/John Locher)

“Gone too soon.”

Maybe you’ve said or heard this comment as mass shootings and similar tragedies become all too prominent in headlines today. After two shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, many are asking questions about tragedy, evil and where God is through it all. It may seem impossible, but there is hope for all that’s happening in the world today.

This answer Billy Graham once gave about unexpected tragedy explains more.

Q: A few months ago, my nephew died in a car wreck, and it’s really been hard for us to understand. He had a promising life ahead of him, and it just doesn’t make any sense. Why do good people have to die? Some friends at the funeral told me God must have needed him in Heaven, but that just upset me.

Billy Graham’s answer:

No doubt your friends were well-intentioned and were trying to comfort you, but comments like this usually don’t help, and often it’s better just to let people know we care about them and share their grief. (In any case, a comment like this isn’t supported by the Bible.)

I wish I had a full answer to your question, but I don’t. I have asked it hundreds—maybe thousands—of times during my lifetime, often after learning of the kind of sudden tragedy that took your nephew’s life. Someday in Heaven we will understand, but not now. What we do know is that we live in an evil, sin-sick world—and one of life’s realities is that tragedy is never far from us.

But we also know an even greater truth: Jesus Christ came into the world to give us hope. Because of His death and resurrection we know that this life is not all there is, and ahead of us is the hope of Heaven when we know Him. Sin separates us from God—but by His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ took away our sins and has opened Heaven’s door for us.

May God draw you closer to Himself during these days. Even if you can’t understand why this tragedy happened, Jesus’ words are for you: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1).

God can bring good out of any tragedy. Find hope amid the hurt today.