When something bad happens to us, is it because God is punishing us? My husband is dying of cancer, and I can't help but wonder if God is punishing us, since we've never gone to church or been religious or anything.


Sometimes bad things do happen to us because we’ve chosen to disobey God and do things that are clearly harmful. For example, someone who deliberately ignores God’s moral laws and becomes wildly promiscuous may pay a terrible price by contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

But don’t misunderstand me; most of the bad things that happen to us aren’t a result of God’s punishment. In fact, only rarely can we trace any connection. The world is imperfect and infected with all kinds of evil — and we are part of it. No matter who we are, we’ll all experience bad things in life. Job discovered this; he loved God and was a man of great faith, yet he went through terrible suffering. Later he wrote, “Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7).

The real question for you and your husband, however, is this: What does God want you to do right now? So far, you’ve left God out of your life, but why leave Him out any longer? Someday soon, your husband will die and enter eternity, and right now he isn’t prepared for that momentous day.

But he can be! God loves you both, and the proof is that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for your sins. He took upon Himself the judgment you deserve — and now He offers you salvation as a free gift. Accept that gift today, by turning to Jesus and committing your life and your future into His hands.