Your Creator; the Almighty who has made you in HIS image; who sacrificed HIS Son for you; the one who designed you for a purpose; is calling you! He desires to have a relationship with you! Will you answer HIM?
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Here's A Thought...
HERE'S A THOUGHT... Here are some "THOUGHTS" that will hopefully answer some of the questions that you may have about what the Bible has to say about our everyday lives. These articles are here to provoke thought; provide answers, guidance and resources; all in an effort to bring you into a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father!
GOD BLESS and KEEP SMILIN'!
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Why Bad Things Happen
Have you ever noticed that whenever you are talking about
your faith to a non-believer; inevitably you will hear the statement along the
lines of; “If God is so powerful and so loving, why does he allow all these bad
things to happen?” I have also noticed that when I am a bystander to these
conversations, most Christians don’t have an answer to the question. Or if they
do, it is such a weak uncertain response that they are better off saying
nothing. Answers such as; “You just have to trust that God is in control.” Or,
“You just have to have faith.” Even as a person with a strong relationship with
my Heavenly Father, those responses make me go…“WHAT?!” So what I would like to
do is take you to the word so that you have an answer to these questions; not
only for others, but for yourself.
So let’s get to the question. Why does such a loving God
allow all these “bad” things to happen? The first thing you need to do is get
yourself out of the way of His thinking. What I am trying to say is; it’s not
all about you. (pause for effect…) Second, you need to understand that there
are many things that bring about perceived “bad” events. I am going to focus on
some of the things that contribute to the “bad” things that happen.
Let me start by planting a phrase in your head that I
will explain at the end; God did not plan sin, but he has a plan for it. (Let
that sink in.)
“bad” events can be brought about by and for many different reasons. Some of
these reasons include; perception, discipline, consequence and position. Stay
with me while I spend some time explaining these concepts. I am sure there are
some great theologians out there that have a more extensive list, but these are
the ones that cover most of the circumstances in our lives.
Sometimes an event that we perceive as a “bad” event is
just a problem of distorted perception. There are countless testimonies of
people who have avoided tragic events through the intervention of God bringing
on “bad” events in their lives. Stories of being stuck in traffic, that causes
you to miss a flight, that crashes. Stories of lost keys that cause you to be
late for work while also missing a huge accident that you could have been
involved in, had you been on time. Stories of not getting the mate that you so
desperately wanted God to put you with, only for God to bring you someone
better. Garth Brooks sang a song with the line; “some of God’s greatest gifts
are unanswered prayers.” So some of our “bad” things; come from God intervening
in our lives and we just having a wrong perception.
We also have to remember that Jesus set the example as he
referred to God as Father and instructed us in how to pray…to our Father. As
our Father, a father who truly loves us and wants to see us grow and mature,
God is not afraid to discipline his children. Discipline not as an owner beats
a dog; but discipline as a loving Father who corrects his children so that they
may grow. In the ESV translation, the word “discipline” appears 42 times all in
reference to God correcting our actions or behaviors.
My son, do not
despise the LORD's discipline
be weary of his reproof,
the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
a father the son in whom he delights.
(Proverbs 3:11-12 ESV)
discipline loves knowledge,
he who hates reproof is stupid. (Proverbs
Whoever spares the
rod hates his son,
he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24 ESV)
Those whom I love,
I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19 ESV)
It is for
discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son
is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without
discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children
and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and
we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits
and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them,
but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the
moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields
the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews
understand that even though we may not be happy with our circumstances, we must
know that God may be disciplining us to grow us, to shape us, to mature us and
to refine us…all because he loves us.
This is the one that gets everyone a little upset. But
let me see if I can give you a little milk to help rinse this down. For
starters you have to understand that the greatest gift God gave to all of us is
the gift of free will. God does not make us do anything, we have a choice. Now
along with that gift come’s some strings. We need to understand that choice
comes hand in hand with the concept of consequence. Every choice yields a
consequence; good choices yield good consequences, bad choices yield bad
consequences. If you have sex outside of marriage and end up with a child you
didn’t want or plan for, you cannot blame God. If you kill someone while
driving drunk, you cannot blame God for being in jail. If you are in financial
shambles because you cannot manage your money, you cannot blame God.
Now the second part of this consequence concept is the
understanding that we also sometimes suffer the consequences of others. If your
boss cannot manage his money, he may have to close his business and lay you
off; you have unfortunately suffered the consequences of a poor boss. God will
not take away the free will of your boss just to protect your job. But He will
find you another one.
you are raised in foster care because your parents didn’t want you; you have
suffered the consequences of your parent’s poor judgment. God will not take
away your parents free will just to keep you from being born into a difficult
circumstance; but He will help you through it and if you let Him, use your
circumstances to bless you and bless others.
a drunk driver kills a family member of yours. God will not take away the free
will of the drunk driver to protect your family; but if you let Him, He can and
will bring you through it, He will bless you and use you to bless others
through the trials that we endure.
God gave us free will. With free will comes sin. When we
sin, we not only hurt God, we not only hurt ourselves, but we affect those
around us. Why does God allow this to happen? The only way to stop it is to
remove free will and God loves us all too much to do that.
If you had a hard time taking in the consequence concept;
this one will also take you to task. One of the things that we can easily
forget, especially when we are in times of trials or hurts, is our position.
God created the universe. Nothing exists that was not created by God;
everything that exists only exists because God made it so. We exist only
because God says so. Bill Cosby made the comment referring to his kids; “I
brought you into this world and I can take you out!” It’s a funny statement,
but when referring to God it is eternally true.
The story of Job is complicated for many. But what you
need to understand is that Job did not “deserve” anything that happened to him.
God counted him as righteous. God allowed the devil to put Job through
trials for the sole reason of bringing God glory through Job’s faithfulness.
The story finishes with Job being rewarded with ten times of what the devil
took away from him. Now it is easy to sit back and say that God is
unreasonable, selfish, mean spirited and self-serving. But let me let God
answer that with the same way he answered Job when he asked God the same
question (please read carefully):
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and
is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
for action like a man;
will question you, and you make it known to me.
were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
me, if you have understanding.
determined its measurements—surely you know!
who stretched the line upon it?
what were its bases sunk,
who laid its cornerstone,
the morning stars sang together
all the sons of God shouted for joy?
who shut in the sea with doors
it burst out from the womb,
I made clouds its garment
thick darkness its swaddling band,
prescribed limits for it
set bars and doors,
said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
you commanded the morning since your days began,
caused the dawn to know its place,
it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
the wicked be shaken out of it?
is changed like clay under the seal,
its features stand out like a garment.
the wicked their light is withheld,
their uplifted arm is broken.
you entered into the springs of the sea,
walked in the recesses of the deep?
the gates of death been revealed to you,
have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
if you know all this.
is the way to the dwelling of light,
where is the place of darkness,
you may take it to its territory
that you may discern the paths to its home?
know, for you were born then,
the number of your days is great!
you entered the storehouses of the snow,
have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
I have reserved for the time of trouble,
the day of battle and war?
is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
a way for the thunderbolt,
bring rain on a land where no man is,
the desert in which there is no man,
satisfy the waste and desolate land,
to make the ground sprout with grass?
the rain a father,
who has begotten the drops of dew?
whose womb did the ice come forth,
who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
waters become hard like stone,
the face of the deep is frozen.
you bind the chains of the Pleiades
loose the cords of Orion?
you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season,
can you guide the Bear with its children?
you know the ordinances of the heavens?
you establish their rule on the earth?
you lift up your voice to the clouds,
a flood of waters may cover you?
you send forth lightnings, that they may go
say to you, ‘Here we are’?
has put wisdom in the inward parts
given understanding to the mind?
can number the clouds by wisdom?
who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
the dust runs into a mass
the clods stick fast together?
you hunt the prey for the lion,
satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
they crouch in their dens
lie in wait in their thicket?
provides for the raven its prey,
its young ones cry to God for help,
wander about for lack of food?
you know when the mountain goats give birth?
you observe the calving of the does?
you number the months that they fulfill,
do you know the time when they give birth,
they crouch, bring forth their offspring,
are delivered of their young?
young ones become strong; they grow up in the open;
go out and do not return to them.
has let the wild donkey go free?
has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
whom I have given the arid plain for his home
the salt land for his dwelling place?
scorns the tumult of the city;
hears not the shouts of the driver.
ranges the mountains as his pasture,
he searches after every green thing.
the wild ox willing to serve you?
he spend the night at your manger?
you bind him in the furrow with ropes,
will he harrow the valleys after you?
you depend on him because his strength is great,
will you leave to him your labor?
you have faith in him that he will return your grain
gather it to your threshing floor?
wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
are they the pinions and plumage of love?
she leaves her eggs to the earth
lets them be warmed on the ground,
that a foot may crush them
that the wild beast may trample them.
deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear,
God has made her forget wisdom
given her no share in understanding.
she rouses herself to flee,
laughs at the horse and his rider.
you give the horse his might?
you clothe his neck with a mane?
you make him leap like the locust?
majestic snorting is terrifying.
paws in the valley and exults in his strength;
goes out to meet the weapons.
laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
does not turn back from the sword.
him rattle the quiver,
flashing spear, and the javelin. With
fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’
smells the battle from afar,
thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
it by your understanding that the hawk soars
spreads his wings toward the south?
it at your command that the eagle mounts up
makes his nest on high?
the rock he dwells and makes his home,
the rocky crag and stronghold.
there he spies out the prey;
eyes behold it from far away.
young ones suck up blood,
where the slain are, there is he.”
the LORD said to Job:
a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
who argues with God, let him answer it.”
Enough said; we need to
understand our place. We need to understand that God is the almighty and He
will be glorified. I would like to leave one more story to illustrate our place
in and under the creation of the great “I AM”:
As he passed by, he
saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned,
this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not
that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be
displayed in him.(John 9:1-3 ESV)
have to understand our place that we are all part of God’s creation and that we
will not understand all that God does or God allows; but we are all His
creation and a part of His creation. Now this brings me back to the statement I
made in the beginning. God did not plan sin, but he has a plan for it. In the
beginning, God created everything and found it to be good. God’s plan was for
perfection and for use to reside in the Garden of Eden with Him for
eternity. He did not plan for Adam and Eve to sin against Him, but he had a
plan for it; our redemption through the sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ. God
does not plan sin, He does not desire for us to hurt and it was not in his plan
for evil to have such an influence in this world. But He has a plan for it; if
we will place our faith, our trust and our lives in the one true living God
through His son Jesus Christ.
pray that we all come to a place in our relationship with our Heavenly Father,
through Jesus Christ, of understanding that our hurts and pains are a result of
sin and not a result of God. I pray that we come to know that our Heavenly
Father has such a desire to either take the burden of our pains, or use them. All
so that He may be glorified. In Him being glorified through us, He promises
that our rewards will be great in Heaven.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you
meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith
produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you
may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.(James 1:2-4 ESV)
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast
under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life,
which God has promised to those who love him.(James 1:12 ESV)
our glorious Father guide you, bless you and keep you!