Archive for May 15th, 2014

Bad Things Happen

May 15, 2014

Bad things happen, even to good Christian people.  How should we respond?

I.  When Bad Things Happen:  Lamentations 3:37-41

Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass,
When the Lord has not commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That woe and well-being proceed?
39 Why should a living man complain,
A man for the punishment of his sins?

40 Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord;
41 Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven.

We need to recognize that everything that happens has been at least allowed to happen by God.  The devil may attack us, but not without God’s permission.  So should we blame God?  I would suggest that we examine our ways.

    A.  One explanation is that we have sinned and God is allowing us to experience difficulty so that we would recognize and repent of our sin.  The Old Testament gives us example after example of people being punished for their sin by God, even as they were being called to repentance.  The first thing that I would encourage people to do is to examine their lives.  If they are living in unrepentant sin, or if they are resisting the direction of God for their lives, then the answer is simple… repent and do what God is calling you to do.

    B.  Sometimes the bad things that happen in our life are the result of our own wrong choices.  If you feel awful all morning at work and things are going badly for you because you can’t seem to focus, it might be because you stayed up until 3am watching something on Netflix.  Go to bed at a decent hour and you will have a better morning.  Now, not everything is quite so simple, but God will give us wisdom if we ask.  We should ask God why something is happening and if there is something we should do differently.

    C.  This is only a test.  Sometimes bad things happen because God is allowing our faith to be stretched and tested.  Satan hopes that these tests will destroy our faith, God is expecting them to strengthen us as we turn to Him for help.

When bad things happen, we should ask God why they happened and what we should do.  If we have sinned, we should repent.  If we have made a mistake, we should learn from our mistake.  If we are being tested, we should remain firm in our faith.

II.  Call Upon the Lord:  Lamentations 3: 55-57

I called on Your name, O Lord,
From the lowest pit.
56 You have heard my voice:
“Do not hide Your ear
From my sighing, from my cry for help.”
57 You drew near on the day I called on You,
And said, “Do not fear!”

When bad things happen we should call upon the Lord.  If we have sinned, we will be forgiven.  If we have made a mistake, God will give us wisdom and strength to do the right thing in the future.  If we are being tested, God will see us through to the end.

III.  God Will Draw Near

We are not alone in this life.  When we call upon the Lord, He hears us.  He will draw near to us.  We can be aware of His presence in our lives.  His presence gives us strength, hope, peace, and even joy in the midst of the troubles of this life.

We do not need to be afraid.  Ever.  God is with us and “greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world.”

Bad things happen, but we do not need to be afraid. “Mourning may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  God will see us through the times of darkness and a new day is dawning.

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