We have all heard the question, “Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” In this episode of The Good Path we are going to explore what that question really means, and why bad things do happen to believers in Christ, and how bad is turned into good forever.
Do you think you’re better than someone else? Do you think you do more good in the world than others?
The Psalmist wrote, “They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:3
I know that wherever you are or whenever you are, there will be trouble around you. Bad things are happening all the time and they will continue to happen until Jesus changes our world. Jesus told His disciples that they would always have trouble in the world, but He encouraged them because He overcame the world… John 16:33
Believers will never find peace in this world. Why? John 15:19
The Apostle Paul told the believers of Galatia that there is a war raging between the physical world and the spiritual world; Galatians 5:17
- Flesh vs. Spirit
- Spirit vs. Flesh
The flesh & the spirit aren’t competitors, trying to win a battle or a prize, they are opposite each other. They are adverse to each other. There is no common ground between the flesh and the spirit. They are very different from each other, as different as we are from God; Isaiah 55:8 & John 4:24
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan offered Him things that were appealing to the flesh – food, fame, & fortune; Matthew 4:1-11
But Jesus responded to Satan according to the ways of the spirit. He answered Satan in opposition to the ways of the world. He responded in the ways of the spirit – faith, trust, & reverence in and for God…
Every believer is a “New Creation” in Christ; 2 Corinthians 5:17
God washes away our sin from the past, but we are the same person physically. But spiritually we are a “New Creation”, even though physically we are the same. To God, Paul said our physical selves are dead physical; Romans 6:4
We have trouble in the world, just like Christ said, but He overcame the world. Bad things happen to us physically, but as Paul said God works everything together for our good; Romans 8:28
When trouble and bad things that happen to believers are meant for our good according to God’s purpose. So what is God’s purpose for the bad things that happen to believers? Paul says it’s, “So that (the purpose is) you won’t do the things we want to do (the things we prefer).”
If we had no resistance to our faith, how would we know what faith means or how could we grow in our faith? If we had no resistance to the Gospel message, how would we know what it means to be saved and appreciate the Grace of God? If we had no resistance to living in this world, how would we know that God has prepared a better place for us? If we didn’t have to physically resist death, how would we know the hope of eternal life?
This is why we have trouble in the world, this is why bad things happen to believers. So that we can be exercised spiritually in preparation for eternity.
What does this all for believers?
- Bad things happen here to prepare us for eternity
- Trouble will increase, but Christ is never diminished
- Bad things happen here to prepare us for eternity;
- When we believed, God made a new you and me. He made us spiritual beings.
- When illness, death, injustice, brutality, crisis, hunger, and poverty strike we can resist our physical preference.
- The spiritual response to the world’s judgment of us isn’t trying to show we are innocent or good. It’s to point out our forgiveness in Christ.
- When tragedy strikes believers Christ tells us how to respond; Luke 6:29-31
- Trouble will increase, but Christ is never diminished;
- There will always be trouble in the world. For those who believe in Christ that trouble will be more apparent because we aren’t of this world.
- The world hates believers because our ways are spiritual instead of worldly. The physical world and the spiritual are in constant opposition to one another and that opposition will escalate in the future.
- But Christ overcame the world’s trouble with His resurrection. Trouble can’t diminish Him because He died to its power and He lives eternally beyond the influence of physical tragedy.
This is our calling as believers, to overcome this world by following Christ to a world God has prepared for all who believe. This is God’s purpose for the tragedy and trouble that we physically experience, that we might be spiritually strengthened in preparation for our eternity.
As we journey in this world, our spiritual selves are resisting the preference of physical selves to deal with these tragedies the way the world deals with them by blaming someone else, to fighting back, wrestling with our circumstances. But when we react spiritual to tragedy our spiritual selves are exercised in perseverance, faith, mercy, grace, compassion, hope, and love, which is being laid up for us in heaven, where there will be an end to tragedy forever.
When tragedy strikes a believer, it is a reminder to the “NEW” us, that God has something better that He’s preparing for us. This world is neither our home nor our destination. It can’t defeat us, or destroy us, because we are new in Christ, and just as Christ overcame this world, we will overcome every tragedy because Christ is in every believer, and we live with Him forever!