“If God is good, why does He let bad things happen?” This is the age old question called “the problem of evil”, more specifically said, “If God is all powerful and good, then why does evil exist? Something must give.” The cheating, easy, faulty answer is that “God is all powerful, but not all knowing” and other lazy solutions that diminish God. The better and shorter answer is not that God is “less” than we think of Him, but God is more than we think of Him. God is not “good”; God is “Holy”, ultra-good, and thus remains ultra-good without evil harming Him or His ultra-good plans.
Dealing with this question is essential to understanding the Biblical-Christian worldview. Part of the Biblical-Christian worldview and “the problem of evil” both relate to “redemption”, that moral rules are not sticks to beat others with in the public square; moral rules guide us to happiness and when we stray away from those good, helpful morals, we come back to them in love and friendship. That concept of “the good path”—stay on the path, return if you wander off—is the essence of Biblical-Christianity and the reason God is good because He allows bad things to happen.
God is the God of Means—He works through others. Jesus did miracles giving the fishermen many fish, but the fishermen still had to let down their nets as Jesus told them. Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish—but the people had to pass the food around. Peter walked on water, but he first had to step out of the boat. God does miracles that we can’t, but He always—always, every time, no exception—does His work in a way that we have some ownership, responsibility, and participation in the results.
Sometimes life is hard because winning is tiring work. Other times jealous people are cruel. But, in everything, we have some ownership—of the bad so we can learn something and the good so we aren’t immoral to enjoy the results. That is good and that requires letting bad things happen. So, God doesn’t put an end to evil because ending evil is our responsibility.