January 20, 2014

Question: why do bad things happen to “good” people?

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” – 1 Peter 5:10

The answer: so that the goodness of God might prevail in their lives. Joseph suffered for thirteen years of anguish, rejection and hardship in preparation to becoming a prince of Egypt. David lived running and hiding, fearing the hand of Saul in preparation of becoming king of Israel. Sure bad things happened to them …but all for the sake of preparation. Just as Jesus died as a criminal so that He could reign as King. Bad things happen so the good might flourish. None of us are exempt! God loves us more than we can imagine, always having our best interest in mind.

Adversity proves the man, prepares the man, builds character in the man, and allows God to show Himself strong on behalf of the man. When man is at his worst, God is at His best! The world is constantly in trouble; God is a haven from a messed up world. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

When storm clouds are on the horizon, God hides us in the cleft of His hand. When others seek to harm us, God becomes our protective grace. When temptations all but overwhelm, Jesus comes to our rescue. The same God who rescued men like Lot, Joseph, Daniel and many others knows how to rescue His children.

When life becomes impossible, Jesus takes us by the hand and leads us to still waters and green pastures. When the pain of rejection and the fear of failure loom larger than life, our Father gathers us in His arms and says, “Fear not for I shall never ever leave you” (Deuteronomy 31:8)!

When our fears run rampant, it is His hands that steady us as we waver. His love overwhelms, His presence guides and his thoughts inspire us. When the future looks bleak and there is no relief, it is HE who restores hope and joy. When we feel unloved and forgotten, it is HE who reminds us that we are never alone, nor forgotten. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

And when it seems that the battle is lost, Jesus comes as the Captain of the Armies of God. According to Romans 8:37 it is then that we know we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. Bad things? They are simply opportunities for God to demonstrate His good things whether that is in us, by us or through us!