When Bad Things Happen to Good People

By Michael Christian

If God is such a good God, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? Does God allow evil to teach us moral lessons through our sufferings? The following video message is a comprehensive overview of God and human suffering that draws positive conclusions about the role of God in the world today. An outline is included below along with the times in the message where each topic is addressed.

We Will Have Trouble in This World.

God never promised us a life without trouble, but told us to “be of good cheer.”

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 4:12-15, 5:8-9, Hebrews 10:32

Trouble at Times May Be Overwhelming. 5:17

It may be more than we can handle, at first. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, 4:8-9, 16-18.

The Holy Spirit once said, “God tailors (adjusts, fits) the back to the burden, not the burden to the back.”

As we pray, He strengthens us to get through the trial.

Three Kinds of Bad Things Can Happen to Us. 11:24

Some things are the just consequences of our deeds. Galatians 6:7-8, 1 Peter 4:15

Some are done to us by others: various kinds of abuse, abandonment, rejection, betrayal, foster homes, loved ones trapped in addiction, (unexpected) divorce.

Sometimes things happen that we don’t understand: loved ones dying, cancer, violence and war, disease, accidents, unemployment, miscarriages, still births, the birth of premature or special needs children.

In Trouble We May Experience… 13:35

A broken heart, broken dreams, and shattered expectations.

We may ask the “Why?” question, get confused, and pull back from God.

We may get angry and blame God, either openly or secretly.

We may get negative, bitter, depressed.

We may become lukewarm and give up, quit trying, quit going to church, quit reading the Bible, quit fighting, and say, “I don’t care anymore.”

We may do foolish, hurtful, and stupid things to try to escape the pain through drugs, alcohol, sex, and risk-taking, or channel our frustration into busyness or career.

What is the result? Our faith in Christ may wither and we may become lukewarm, depressed, broken, angry, isolated, perhaps addicted, with a defeated attitude and a victim’s mindset.

God Does Not Send Evil into Our Lives. 16:22

Evil came because Adam and Eve desired the knowledge of evil and gave the devil permission to operate in the earth. God had given them dominion and never took it back.

In John 10:10, Jesus taught us to discern the hand of God from the hand of the devil, “The thief does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

God does not send the devil to teach us lessons. That would be like you hiring the Mafia to teach your child a lesson. God is a better Father than that. He disciplines through the rebuke of His Word and the promptings of His Holy Spirit.

The devil causes tribulation to make us quit serving Jesus Christ. Matthew 13:20-21

We withstand evil through prayer, understanding, and putting on the armor of God.

Three Vital Things You Must Know When Bad Stuff Happens. 31:00

God does not punish believers for their past sins. All punishment for sin was laid on Jesus. Isaiah 53:4-6, 1 John 2:2

Bad doesn’t always come because we did something wrong!

Our typical reaction is, “What did I do wrong now?”

We’ve been trained by a performance based culture. Do right, get right. Do bad, get bad.

The devil persecutes believers for what they are doing right.

Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

When the enemy can no longer get to us personally, he’ll try through our kids, family, work, friends.

How the Devil Snared Job—a Classic Case. 32:59

It was a simple plan: Get Job to blame God for what the devil did.

The plan worked until God showed up and enlightened Job.

The devil successfully drove a wedge between Job and God. Job began to see God as his ENEMY and his PROBLEM, not his ANSWER. Job 13:24, 16:9, 16:12, 19:21, 27:2, 34:37

As soon as we begin questioning and/or blaming God, we have pulled back and are separated from Him, who is our strength and restorer.

The Restoration of Job. 39:40

The Lord in His compassion opened Job’s eyes to see that he had been attacked by the devil, whom he knew little or nothing about.

The Lord could not restore Job until he quit blaming Him for evil and the consequences of the Fall.

When Job saw God’s heart was with him, not against him, he repented in sackcloth and ashes. Job 42:5-6

He wrote the book of Job so we would know about the devil and not make the same mistake he did by blaming God for evil.

God Always Trumps Evil. 42:30

The Lord is an expert at turning bad things around for good.

The Lord is “in control” even though He does not control everything that happens on earth or send the evil.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

We see dramatic turnarounds in the lives of Joseph, Moses, David, Jesus, and Paul.

As we go through trouble and stand against evil, God gives us a life-sustaining relationship with Him, plus wisdom, patient endurance, and a faith tried in the fire.

Six Things to Do During a Trial. 44:06 

Keep the Faith! (God is not doing this to you.) Psalm 16:8, Proverbs 18:10

The Lord guarantees He will be with you and strengthen you. Matthew 1:23, 28:20, Hebrews 13:5, Romans 8:37-39, Isaiah 41:10, 43:5, 2 Timothy 4:17-18, Acts 18:9-10

         Boast of God in tribulation. (“Glory” here means “to boast.”) Romans 5:3, 2 Timothy 4:18

God gives big rewards after the trial if you keep the faith during the trial.

God’s purposes for your life will be fulfilled despite the setbacks.

When you are surrounded with darkness, light a candle.

Sing, praise, pray, boast on God, read the Word, worship, go to a church that will encourage you, inspire you, and build you up. Acts 16:24-25

Some of the Best Advice I Ever Received. 55:00

When you go through life, you will experience trouble from time to time. But learn never to blame God. He is not the one doing it to you, and He will be with you and strengthen you through it.

2 Timothy 4:17–18 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

Prayer to Forgive God (if you blamed Him for trouble). 58:47

Father, I willingly lay down on Your Altar all the things I was expecting You to do that did not happen. I place there my broken heart, broken dreams, and shattered expectations. Although I don’t understand everything, I (your full Christian name) choose to give 100 per cent of my heart to You from this day forward. I will be Your servant and You will be my God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.*

*Modified from the “Prayer for Restoration” by Joan Hunter in Healing the Whole Man Handbook.

Have a question or a comment or a testimony of how God was with you in trouble? Feel free to join the discussion.

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