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Why do the evil seem to prosper while the good suffer?


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Mónica Muñoz - published on 04/08/24

"If I behave well, I'll be fine." That’s how we think, but it doesn’t always happen that way. When things go wrong for us, we ask ourselves, “Where is God?”

When we’re children, we believe that life is simple. Everything is in the hands of our parents, who solve problems that are beyond us. They teach us that we must always behave well, so that, logically, things will go well for us. We believe this without hesitation. But what happens if our luck begins to change, and — despite our good behavior — things go badly for us?

Why do bad guys do well?

It’s very common to hear questions like, “Why do bad guys do well?” And, in response to this apparent contradiction, we might think about rebelling against God. It’s inconceivable that those of us who strive to do the will of God face countless problems, and those who don’t play by the rules seem to have it easy!

However, we would have to think with a cool head and analyze what is really happening. First, let’s remember that God “desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). He doesn’t want the death of the sinner, but rather that he convert and live (Ez 33:11).

The Lord loves us as we are and does not condemn us. He gives us the opportunity to receive the redemption that our Lord Jesus Christ won for all with his death on the Cross. Therefore, our life in this world constitutes the time that God gives us to save ourselves.

Time will run out

But beware. Our life on this earth is not eternal. One day we will die, and the time of grace for our salvation will be over. At that point, the truth will be revealed to those who have lived far from God. They will understand that they can longer escape their final destiny. Let us remember what happened to the rich man who he lived in opulence, ignoring poor Lazarus. When they both died, the rich man went to eternal punishment and the poor man to Abraham’s bosom (Lk 16:19-31). Their time was up.

And in the same way, those who remain faithful to God are purified by trials, which will help them enter Heaven without stain of sin or guilt. The book of Sirach explains:

My child, when you come to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for testing.
Set your heart right and be steadfast,
and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.
Cling to him and do not depart,
so that your last days may be prosperous.
Accept whatever befalls you,
and in times of humiliation be patient.
For gold is tested in the fire,
and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust in him, and he will help you;
make your ways straight, and hope in him.

(Sir 2:1-6)

God’s logic is different from ours

Therefore, although it seems that the wicked prosper, let us trust in the infinite mercy of God.

And when those who behave well face trials and difficulties, let us again trust in God, who promises that no suffering in this life is useless, if it’s offered to God and united to the cross of Christ.

God’s logic, which is nothing like ours, will lead us to eternal glory.

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