Day 160: When bad things happen to good people (Job 18-25)

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

Moving along through Job over the last couple of nights, I am really starting to get an understanding about how fundamentally flawed the thinking was of Job’s friends as they argued with Job about his alleged “sinful life” that deserved the wrath that was being poured out on him. Why was this happening? Why to Job, a man of God?

The simple answer? Maybe Job isn’t as close to God as he claims. Maybe he has some forbidden sin he is hiding that is wreaking this havoc in his life. That’s the only explanation isn’t it?

Not necessarily. It is clear in Scripture that the things that happened were a test of his faith, and Job was walking dangerously close to the line of doubt. But his motives were pure. Underneath it all, he believed. He was broken by his circumstances, but instead of giving in to the foolish “wisdom” of his friends, he stuck true to his beliefs, held fast to the promises of God, as hard as it was, and drew close to Him.

The simple truth is – sometimes God allows terrible things to happen to His people. It’s a fact of life that we should accept, and I think I have a good reason why. Picture this life. You are an unbeliever, and the Holy Spirit works in your life, and you find yourself on your knees at the Throne of Grace, and Jesus comes into your heart, making you a new creation. Now, your life is great. Your house suddenly has a mortgage paid in full, your health immediately improves, everyone likes you, your bank account multiplies exponentially, your boss gives you a raise, you lose 50 pounds overnight, life is good! God blesses you like no one ever before. Does that sound like a life that requires faith? It sounds like a life filled with fulfilled superficial wishes and a god in a genie’s bottle. But where’s the faith?

Faith comes in when all other explanations fail. True faith expresses itself when the world labels you irrational, when all the chips are down and you find yourself facing trials and tribulations. To you, God’s voice may be faint, or even seemingly nonexistent. The storms are so loud and turbulent, you feel like you are going to get thrown overboard. Faith is the lifeline that connects you to God when nothing else will, and as it says in James 1:3, “…because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” In a perfect, charmed life in a perfect world, where is your faith ever tested? What good is faith if we are never expected to use it?

So many people think that when they start living for God, that their lives are going to get “easier,” when actually, the opposite hold more truth. The difference is that when crises hit, we have a God that we can rest in and give us peace, that can calm the storms in our lives. For Job, it took some serious soul-searching, and judging by the chapters that lie ahead, he is nowhere near done with his deep, dark thoughts, but like Job, we can rest in the fact that God is God, and we are not, and even when bad things happen to good people, it is part of a bigger plan that we may not understand. And once we come to the realization that we can and will not understand everything that happens to us, the more comfort we will  be able take when those bad things happen to us.

  1. Barrie says:

    Great posts Adam! Keep em’ comin’!!

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