|Why are bad things happening all the time?||| Print ||
If you have been in church for any amount of time, you have heard someone try and answer one of life’s reoccurring questions; “Why are bad things happening all the time?”
When you are trapped in a situation that is challenging, it is difficult to find an answer that will be completely acceptable, I did want to take a stab at this. I pray that the Holy Spirit would infuse my thoughts, not only with truth, but truth that brings peace and offers hope. Because this is such a personal issue, words offered can often times be honest, but not comforting…may God not only answer the questions intelligently, but may he soothe the wounded soul and mend the broken hearts.
Well, if we are going to look at this glaring question, I think it would be valuable to examine a biblical character who experienced his share of pain and disappointment…after we have looked at his life, we will then consider some practical habits we can adopt to help us as we walk through these trials.
Jesus promised us in John 16:33 that in this world we would have trouble. And few men have experienced as many difficulties as Paul.
In II Corinthians Paul shares portions of his story, declaring that he has worked hard, been in prison frequently, been flogged many times and been exposed to death over and over. Five times his back was ripped up with the cat of nine tails. Three times he was beaten with rods. Once he was stoned. Three times he was shipwrecked, even spending 36 hours in the open sea. The index of tests that were placed before him is long, yet the bad things in life did not knock him off of his resolve.
And, He was devoted to the cause of Christ.
It is amazing to me that a man who experienced such an incredible array of challenges did not give up hope; instead, he persevered. He remained true to His God and to Himself.
But how? How did Paul do it? And, what can we learn from Him?
I believe there are two reasons:
He has made it his goal to steal, kill, and destroy as much as he can. He stands in opposition to God and everything that he loves. That is why he came after Paul, and that is why we experience some of the challenges we do. He is the one who brings division into relationships. He is the one who causes pain. And, he is the one who causes injustice to take place. Actually, the bible says he comes simply to steal, kill and destroy.
Often times the devil uses people as the instruments with which he can hurt, but it is his influences that drives them to cut deep leaving scars.
Many people want to blame God for all that is wrong in their world, but God is the lover of your soul. The devil is the one who hates you. God’s heart breaks when you are wounded. The devil smiles with a sinister grin.
God’s commandments are not rules that bind; they are directives that bring freedom. If you heed them, you will experience a better life, then if you do not.
There are some things that are never your fault. Divorce is never the fault of the children. Abuse can never be blamed on the victim. The same with injustice. Don’t start blaming yourself for things that were done to you or as a result of someone else’s poor choices, but if there are some areas of your life where you are ignoring God’s voice, then you could be causing your own pain.
But, how are we to deal with those difficult things in our life? How should you deal with life’s challenges as you face them right now? Let’s explore.
When you understand that others face pressure and they haven’t physically imploded it helps you to gain perspective. Whey you look into the life of Paul and realize that he had it much worse than you (have you ever been beaten with an instrument designed to rip the flesh off of your body) and not only survived, but served God faithfully and effectively in the midst of his trials, it gives you hope. If he made it, you can make it too.
In Psalms 139:23-24, King David prayed a dangerous prayer. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” As crazy as it sounds, he quieted his heart before the Lord and gave God permission to examine his heart. If you do this on a daily basis and then respond in forgiveness as he reminds you of sins and attitudes that aren’t pleasing to him…you will alleviate a lot of your pain and experience more joy.
Paul is not complaining that life wasn’t perfect…he was saying that he had learned to be satisfied no matter what life would bring. Whether he was in prison for the cause of Christ, or experiencing freedom. Whether he was wealthy or in poverty. Paul was satisfied. He knew God didn’t promise him a perfect world, he simply knew that God would give him the supernatural strength to deal with whatever came his way.
Jesus longs to help you find comfort in the midst of the difficulties and peace in the middle of chaos. Even when you are incredibly weak and the world seems to be closing in all around you, you can lean on Him; He will be your strength.
John 16:33 doesn’t start off well. It doesn’t promise fame, fortune, or perpetual happiness. It guarantees trouble…but the verse sure ends well. It denotes that God is in control, He is on your side, and things will turn out alright.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
Now that is good news.
If you are in a difficult situation right now and you are trying to discover the peace that will get you through, pray the prayer below and ask God to help you through these difficult times.