Sometimes You Have To  Feel The Pain Before You See The Light.

This is an age-old question and one of the most difficult in all of theology to answer. Atheists like to throw this thunderbolt at God’s people whenever they get the chance to hopefully nail us to the wall. Some like to word it this way “If God is all-good, He would destroy evil and if God is all-powerful, He could destroy evil. But evil is not destroyed; hence, there is no such God .”

The book of Job deals with this way. God had allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to Job except kill him. What was Job’s reaction? “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” Job did not understand why God had allowed the things He did, but he knew God was good and therefore continued to trust in Him. Ultimately, that should be our reaction as well. (Job 1:21).

Why do bad things happen to good people? The biblical answer is there are no “good” people. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that all of us are tainted by and infected with sin.  The Bile could not be clearer on the subject. (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). Romans 3:10-18

There is only one person who is totally good and that is God. None of us will want what we deserve when we stand before God in the judgment.   Every second we spend alive is only by the grace and mercy of God.

The good news of the gospel is that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Despite our willful sinful nature God still loves us. He loved us enough to die to take the penalty for our sins. (Romans 5:8, 6:23, 8:1)

However, the fact remains that sometimes bad things happen to people who seem undeserving of them. But we have to believe that God allows things to happen for His own reasons, whether we understand them or not. We must keep in mind that God is good, just, loving, and merciful. When things happen to us that we cannot understand. our first reaction should be like that of Job; “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. Regardless our reaction should be to trust Him.  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Job 13:15: Proverbs 3:5-6). Bad things make us look at good things in a whole new light Bad things only happened to Bad people we would not be pondering this question. But when good things happen to bad people we can’t help but wonder ‘Why?”

The 73rd Psalm is our answer to the questions that also tormented the psalmist. Finding himself in terrible distress and agony of soul he writes, “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (Psalm 73:2-3).

The writer of this Psalm was a man named Asaph, a leader of one of the temple choirs. Obviously, he was not a wealthy man, but rather one who had dedicated his life to serving God. But, like us, he had experienced some difficulties and questioned the injustice of it all. He watched the evil people around him living by their own rules, enjoying all the wealth and pleasures of the world and piling riches upon riches. He complains, “They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills” (Psalm 73:4-5).

Asaph was looking at these people who didn’t have problems. They could pay their bills. They had plenty to eat and plenty of luxuries. But poor Asaph was stuck with directing the choir and trying to live godly. It didn’t seem to be getting him anywhere. He began not only to envy these people, but even to question God as to why He would allow such a thing to happen!

How often do we find ourselves relating to Asaph? We dedicate our lives to serving God. Then we witness the wicked, the ungodly people around us get new cars, luxurious homes, promotions, beautiful clothes, and take fabulous trips, while we struggle to pay the electric bill. The answer lies in the rest of the psalm. Asaph envied these evil people until he realized one very important thing. When he entered the sanctuary of God, he fully understood their final destiny: “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies” (Psalm 73:16-20). Those who have temporary riches on earth are in reality spiritual beggars because they do not have true riches—eternal life.

In this life time we will never understand the reason Why regarding so many injustices here on earth. But if you can’t trust God who can you trust! Asaph ends Psalm 73 this way, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge . . .” (Psalm 73:25, 27-28)

Sometimes bad things put us on back on the right road that we wandered from. Sometimes bad things are blessings in disguise for they open up our spiritual eyes to the eternal things we were not paying attention to. Bad things can cause us to see life in a whole new perspective.  God often allows them to happen so that he can reverse things in our life for the better as he did to Job. Our happy can end up very unhappy and God’s unhappy can end up very happy. He can make all things work together for your good.  (II Cor. 4:18)

If God is all-good, He WILL DEFEAT evil and if God is all-powerful, He CAN DEFEAT evil. Evil is NOT YET defeated; therefore, God can and will ONE DAY defeat evil.”

That Is Our Ultimate Joy and Our Comfort!

Pastor Robert Bryant