Faithlife Corporation

Bad Things-Good People

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            It does not settle right in our minds when bad things happen to good people.  It does not seem “just”, so we then try to fix the blame.  Many people try to blame such actions on God.  This is not a new practice.  It is as old as the Book of Job (the oldest book in the Bible).  Job 1:13-16 

            One of Job’s servants had his own explanation for the disasters that had fallen on Job.  He came running with this message:  “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” He was by no means the last to mistakenly blame God.  Many insurance policies continue the practice to this day by referring to natural disasters as “acts of God.”

            Job wasn’t the only one to face hard times at Satan’s instigation.  Peter faced them too.  Lk. 22:31-32

            We need to keep in mind that the Bible sometimes records people’s misunderstandings of God, even though inaccurate.  Another example is Job’s wife, who said, “Are you still trying to be godly when God has done all this to you?”  (Job 2:9)  As in this case, and Job’s servant, the Bible merely records their conclusion, which was to blame God for the tragedy.  Fortunately, God included the reason for Job’s sorrows in the first chapter.  Job 1:6-12  The true interpretation of Job’s suffering is that Satan instigated the trouble, God allowed it.

            Job wasn’t the only one to face hard times at Satan’s instigation.  Peter faced them too.  Lk. 22:31-32

            So, let’s not let frustrated people tell us who is to blame.  Let’s let the Scriptures teach us about God.  First of all, God is good.  More times than you can count, the Bible demonstrates God’s concern for man.  His concern went to the extent that He sacrificed His own Son on our behalf.  Just because God is all-powerful, it doesn’t mean God causes everything that happens in the world.  Not everything that happens is exactly the way He wants it to be, and it doesn’t mean that He caused everything to happen.

            Some people have wrongly concluded that bad things happen because of personal sin.  They conclude you must have some unresolved sin in your life, and therefore this is God’s discipline.  That’s not always the case.  God does discipline those whom He loves (Heb. 12:5-6), but not all bad things happening to us are a direct result of God’s discipline.  If that were the case, what did Jesus do so wrong that He had to experience all the trials and suffering that He did?  (And He was sinless!)  Take into account that all the Apostles died as a result of their faith…not as a result of personal sin.

            But the good news of the Scriptures is that God is at work during times of suffering to bring about some ultimate good.  Rom. 8:16-28  Here’s a precious truth:  For those who love God, God is intermingling all things for our good!  When we begin to see and believe this truth, we begin to see a change in what we once thought were disasters…we see them work out for better blessings.

            The promise is this:  Nothing can happen to the one that loves God which God is not able to turn into a blessing a little further down the road!  Paul later states in the same chapter a marvelous thought.  Rom. 8:35-39  The marvelous thought is this:  You can think of every terrifying thing that this, or any other world, can produce, but no one of them is able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!    

God has a way of being able to take the trials and sufferings of this life and refine our faith into something more precious than gold or silver.  1 Pet. 1:6-13



            Let’s let one last Scripture shape our view of how we should consider bad things happening to good people, and God’s role in it.  This passage will also tell us what our stance is to be in the midst of the trial. 

Ja. 1:2-4, 12-13

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