“His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'” (John 9:2-3)
“Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is a very popular cosmic question that tries to assign blame for any number of reasons we may find ourselves in difficult life situations.
Sometimes our own sinful choices that go against God’s design for us and our lives, result in painful consequences. Sometimes it’s the sin of others that bring us turmoil. And regardless, the world’s inherited-sin from Adam and Eve’s decision that fateful day in the Garden of Eden, has resulted in the fallen world we live in, where mental, emotional, and physical sickness abound. Because of sin, there are no intrinsically “good people”.
Instead of focusing on the numerous reasons why we may be in the difficult situation we’re in, put your focus instead on the only One who IS good, and has the power to create beauty from ashes.
Regardless of the origin of our trials, Jesus reminds us that all suffering gives equal opportunity for the work of God to be displayed in our lives. Even within my core and extended family, there are numerous things we are battling, be it sickness, depression, addictions, or broken relationships. I need to seek God through these trials and trust that He will use them for good.
For those of us who consider ourselves followers of Christ, we have a decision point. One path we can take is to wring our hands and repeatedly ask why we’re in it, which often results in blaming God when we can’t find a suitable answer. (That already sounds depressing and futile.) Alternatively, we can turn to God to give us the peace to withstand the trial, the joy to appreciate what He’s going to do through it, and the strength to rise above it!
Romans 12:12 reminds us to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Dependency on Christ through our pain and suffering is how we gain the spiritual blessing He has for us on the other side.
Brothers and sisters, let’s stop pointing fingers when we find ourselves in a challenging situation, but rather, find comfort in the fact that bad things may happen to good people, so that the work of God might be displayed in our lives.
[From January 9, 2019]