The gift of free will and the need to learn hard spiritual lessons are the answers to the age old question; “Why does God permit bad things to happen to good people?” Bad things do not happen because God wills it. They happen because of the chaotic nature of the physical world, your own free-will decisions and the interaction of your choices with those of other people. God “permits” them because regardless of their grim consequences, they allow you to use your free will and learn from them.
What matters spiritually is not so much the event but what part you had in making it happen and the way that you use your own free will to deal with it. Knowing this may not make it any easier to face the consequences that result from, say, an earthquake or a murder or being the victim of a drunk driver, but it helps to understand that God did not plan the event and He has NOT abandoned you, no matter how bad things may become.
It is also important to remember that even during periods of moral decay, the ability and willingness of the individual to discriminate between what is good and what is evil, regardless of the moral standards of the day, determine the real physical and spiritual success of that individual’s life.