Working for Good
In this final installment of “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” we will turn our attention to God. If you missed the previous posts, go check them out.
When we discuss bad things happening and God, it is easy to begin the blame game. We’ve all heard the argument “God doesn’t exist because, if He did, why would He let all these bad things happen?” Let’s get something straight before we go further. God never intended for us to live with bad things happening in our lives. Let’s not forget, there were two trees in the garden. Adam and Eve picked the wrong one – welcome to misery and suffering.
We have to understand that God has an eternal perspective. Our finite minds suffer from short-sightedness in the midst of turmoil. Our desire to stop immediate suffering often leads us to dismiss future redemption in favor of present relief. God isn’t as concerned with temporary suffering as He is with eternal glory. There is nothing in this life that is permanent; not even death. It is easy to lose sight of this when one that we love dies, when hardship comes or when pain seems overwhelming. God stands outside of time and sees you when you reunite with that loved one, when you overcome that hardship with His help, and when the pain transforms into peace.
Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
The first question that pops into my mind is, “How can sickness be for glory?” The second question is, “He ends up dying! Why did you say it wasn’t unto death?” Jesus, in His eternal perspective, knew that the only way to prove that nothing was more powerful than Him was to let that which seemed most powerful happen. Who is stronger than death? Without the death of Lazarus, we would not have the promise that Jesus states later in this verse, “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (11:25)
Remember what I said in the first post. The battle is over you. Human beings are odd creatures. We forget what doesn’t hurt and take for granted what prevents hardship. We often miss the blessings that occur around us because they seem so insignificant, normal even. We don’t enjoy breathing until right after we can’t. We don’t consider our heart beat until it doesn’t. In the same way, we exist in a world of blessings that go unnoticed and unappreciated because they are “normal.”
Why does God allow bad things to happen? Because without them, we wouldn’t even know He was there. This is the glory of which Jesus spoke. The evil that happens is not the glory. The fact that God is stronger than any hardship… But we only discover this if we trust Him. If, in the midst of the trial, we lose hope and give up, we lose the point of the trial. God is trying to reveal Himself to you as the Almighty God. He is proving to you that there is nothing He won’t see you through if you are willing to see through it to Him.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
If you are going through trouble, don’t give up on God. If it looks like the end, remember eternity. If it looks like death has claimed your loved one, remember He is the resurrection. He makes all things beautiful in His time. Don’t try to be God. See God. See Him working. Watch Him reveal Himself to you at your darkest hour, turning your midnight into a beautiful sunrise. It’s not over yet. He will see you through. That’s why bad things happen to good people. Because the world needs to see, there is no one greater, no one stronger and no one more loving than our God.