Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? And Vice Versa

The cliche question I was doomed to ask on my blog. People often use this question to disprove a loving God. How could a God who loves us allow such terrible things to happen to such good people? It’s a toughy. Good people don’t deserve to lose a child or get cancer or have their identity stolen or be raped. And bad people–the ones who you know are just out for themselves, who are selfish, or rude to you or never do what they say they’re going to do or cause genocide–don’t deserve to make all the money they do or have perfect children or get the last diet coke from the machine.

So why do bad things happen to good people and good to bad? The answer I found sufficient was: It’s a part of God’s plan and good will somehow come of it. That was sufficient for about a second, until I didn’t see good come from something tragic that happened to someone. Instead, the bad thing that happened to the good person wrecked the family or destroyed the business or caused a domino effect of other terrible things. Meanwhile, bad people continued to thrive and make ‘A’s and buy fancy cars without being brought to their knees like the good people.

That answer no longer being sufficient, I’ve decided this: we have absolutely no clue what the definitions of “good” and “bad” are. Therefore, have no right to throw those words around like we own them or even partially understand them. When God created the earth He methodically declared the individual creations good. And here we are running around that earth declaring our own things and occurrences good or bad. We have taken God’s word and warped it to meet our points of view that are so incredibly limited we could not, even if we dedicated our lives to it, begin to expand them to the width necessary to know what’s actually going on here.

So the question dead ends. And the words used in the question are meaningless. We made up this question in attempt to convince ourselves we are capable of quantifying our lives and determining their meaning. We made it up in attempt to be our own gods, and I think it’s time to stop asking it.

Lonely but not being Alone!

Some of you reading this at times in your life you have felt very lonely. Jesus described this scenario of being left alone, but not being alone. He verbalized to His disciples how they were about to be scattered and how Jesus would be left by Himself to face His accusers. In Christ’s greatest time of need those He needed most fled from His presence. As Jesus faced His arrest, trial and death the disciples’ fear superseded their loyalty to Christ. Jesus was left alone by many who loved Him the most, yet He was not alone. His Father was with Him. Loneliness can strike down the most devout followers of the Lord, but they are not alone. Have a wonderful day in the Lord’s presence. Love you all.

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“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” John 16:32

Have you been left alone by those you thought would never leave you? Have life’s pressures driven people from your presence? If you are in a season of loneliness, do not be surprised if some do not remain with you. Friends can be fickle when you face adversity. Family can grow silent when they don’t know what to say. In fact, it is during your hardest times that you learn who loves you the most. Do not fall into a pit of pity. Rise above self pity with your focus on your heavenly Father. When you get down, let God’s grace get you up. You are not alone when the Lord is with you!

It’s in our loneliness that the Lord can become the most real. Our aloneness is our opportunity for authenticity. We see our true faith when solitude strips away the trappings of trust. As long as we are sucked in by stuff’s distractions and the world’s noise, we become deaf to the deeper things of God. Our spiritual ears eventually close when waxed by constant stimulation. Hence loneliness, especially during painful periods, is our divine appointment to commune with Christ. Trust learned at this level of desperation is not soon forgotten. We may be lonely, but we are not alone!

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What was God doing before He created the universe?

In our finite minds find it is hard to comprehend that before the universe was created, God existed alone. We know from John 1:1 that Jesus also existed: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The preincarnate Christ was intimately united with the Father, so as to partake of His glory and to be appropriately called God. He has Himself explained it in John 17:5: “And now Father, glorify Me with Yourself with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

We also know that the Holy Spirit was present before we were created. Genesis 1:2 describes the Spirit “hovering over the face” of the dark and formless earth

Before time even existed, God existed in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity existed in perfect harmony and flawlessness, having all they needed in one another. David said in Psalms 16:11 that “joy and pleasures forever more” are in the presence of God. That means to be in the presence of God carries with it an overwhelming sense of joy, fulfillment, and pleasure. Before creation, God felt complete joy and fulfillment as He perfectly beheld and communed with Himself. God has and always will experience complete joy because He has complete and perfect knowledge of Himself. So before He created the universe, God experienced absolute satisfaction in Himself. God dwelt joyfully alone in eternity as the Trinity. These three were together in fellowship with one another from all eternity. They loved each other. We know at some point they discussed the redemption of mankind (Ephesians 1:4-5; 2 Timothy 1:9; John 17:24), but everything else lies in mystery.

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Kissed by God

“Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.” Psalm 31.21a

As I sit here this morning in quiet time I find myself with a longing deep in my soul to bring to light all the ways that God has met me. His provision. His Love. His kisses from heaven. Heaven’s grace: the simple gifts God uses to whisper to us, “You are loved, you are special. You are Mine!” These blessings often wrap themselves in the simple and ordinary, but they are love gifts just the same. We see them in a spectacular sunset, the warm touch of a friend, a loved one’s whisper, “God put you on my mind and I prayed for you today.” Sometimes these kisses come in disguise.

Sometimes the “kisses” we experienced haven’t always seemed like His whispers of love in our lives; when a child seemingly derailed his or her life with one poor decision, when a family member had serious medical issues, when a friend was broken and hurting and there couldn’t be there to comfort them, or a myriad of other things. But through it all I have seen God bring beauty from the ashes in ways I never dreamed possible and blessing upon blessing. I have been overwhelmed by His love as I pause to look back. Take some time today to reflect on how you have been “kissed” this past year by God.

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Strength in Him

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So many times we
feel our weakness,
tremble in fear,
worry to no avail,
and shrink in defeat,
because we fail to remember and are quick to forget
that our powerful God,
the great I AM,
is with us.

In and through Jesus Christ,
you and I are A LOT stronger than we think we are.

In and through Jesus Christ,
you and I can do A LOT more than we think we can.

Maybe you find yourself in a situation that has you up against the wall,
scratching your head,
wondering what to do next.

Maybe the shape of your life has changed overnight and suddenly no longer seems to fit.

Maybe all you keep hearing yourself say over and over and over again is “I have NO idea”.

Take heart.
You have the Spirit of the Living God living inside you.

In and through Jesus Christ,
you and I are
more than conquerors,
more than able,
more than equipped,
more than ready,
more than enough.

We can do ALL THINGS through Christ.

We just need to look to Him.
We simply need to believe.
We need only to be quick to remember and fail to forget
that our powerful God,
the great I AM,
is with us.

You may have no idea, but you do have God.
And, because you do,
You, dear one,
yes,
YOU –
you are A LOT stronger than you think you are.

Offended

There have been moments when we’ve all been tempted to throw in the prayer towel, but one promise will sustain us through the toughest times: “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Here’s the context of that promise. Jesus is doing miracles right and left. He is healing diseases, driving out demons, and restoring sight to the blind, but John the Baptist misses the miracle train. It seems like Jesus is rescuing everybody except His most faithful follower, who is in prison. And John is His cousin, nonetheless. It seems like Jesus could have, and maybe should have, organized a rescue operation and busted him out before he was beheaded. Instead He sends a message via John’s disciples. He tells them to tell John about all the miracles He is doing, and then He asks them to relay this promise: “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

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Have you ever felt like God was doing miracles for everyone and their brother, but you seem to be the odd one out? It seems like God is keeping His promises to everyone but you? I wonder if that’s how John the Baptist felt. “What do you do when you feel like God is answering everyone’s prayers but yours?”

We need to live our lives un-offended by God. Jesus promises that we will be blessed if we aren’t offended. Obviously we aren’t in prison about to be beheaded, but maybe you have seen many answers to your prayers for other people when you have prayed for their finances, their health, and their kids. Yet in our your own lives, well …” That’s where most of us live most of the time —When we’re waiting for God to answer a prayer, it’s a period of ellipsis. You can give up or hang on. You can let go or pray through it. You can get frustrated with God or choose to live un-offended.

The thing that sustained John during the ellipses in his live was a fresh encounter with the love of Christ. The Savior’s long-suffering on the cross inspired him, inspires us, to press in and pray through. And we don’t just live in the shadow of the cross; we live in the light of the” “resurrection, even in our darkest days.

So my friends let me encourage you to chose to live un-offended: “Living an un-offended life is living a life surrendered to His sovereignty, His mystery, and His love. Jesus promises blessing if we are not offended when He does things for others. I don’t know why God does what He does when He does it, but I know i’m to keep praying and not be offended.

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♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
Have a wonderful day in the presence of the Lord. Love you all. If you need prayer or to talk, I’m on Facebook or you can leave a comment. God bless you!

Only God’s Love Renews us when we Lose Hope!

What a powerful promise in this passage below that we have from God! When we put our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that things will always go our way. There may be temporary disappointments, but we will never be permanently disappointed. Somewhere down the road, God will cause it to all work out for our good. With God on your side, you will always end in victory! Have a wonderful day as you put your hope in the Lord. Love you all.

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“…those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:23, NIV)

What a powerful promise we have from Almighty God! When we put our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that things will always go our way. There may be temporary disappointments, but we will never be permanently disappointed. Somewhere down the road, God will cause it to all work out for our good. With God on your side, you will always end in victory!

Are you carrying frustration, worry or aggravation about something? That’s usually a clear sign that your hope is in the wrong place. If you hope in circumstances, it will deplete you of joy and peace. But when you turn those circumstances over to God, when you refuse to worry, when you refuse to allow the temporary things of this world to dictate your happiness, that’s when God can do a work in your life. When you trust in Him, He will make your crooked places straight; He will cause you to mount up with wings like the eagle.

Today, choose to put your hope in the Father; you won’t be disappointed. Trust Him because He is faithful. Find rest for your soul in knowing that He is good, and He has good things in store for your future!

Overcoming Shame

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“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood” (Isaiah 54:4).

I spent the approximately the first forty-four years of my life shackled by shame. Looking back, I realize I had always felt it. It had been a part of my life from my earliest memories. I felt it when I was rejected. Made to feel unworthy. Of no value. I felt it when I was abused. And couldn’t tell anyone. And believed it was somehow my fault. I felt it when I tried to hide who I was, apologize for who I was, minimize my talents or overachieve and compensate for feeling somehow “less than.”

Have you felt it? If you’re human, you have—and the result is always the same.

Shame makes us feel small. Flawed. Not good enough. And controlled.

Shame is the fear of being unworthy, and it adversely affects our relationship with God, ourselves and others. It greatly hinders our ability to receive God’s unconditional love—and share it with others.

Because of God’s great love, I began to discover the power of God’s Word to break through the lies I had believed—and to reveal the truth of who I am and why I was created. Notice that the key word in that sentence is began.

Breaking free from the shackles of shame is not an overnight experience or a quick-fix, ten-step process. It is, however, a grand, ongoing adventure of discovering the depths of God’s love and the huge scope of God’s power to transform us, recreate us and continually renew us.

I am still discovering deeper aspects of those things, after all this time, and I know the process will not end until I meet Him face to face. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

God has been writing a great story in my life—of His power to invade and transform a shamed woman into a beloved daughter, a treasured vessel of His Holy Spirit, a vital member of His Body at work in this hurting world.

He wants to do the same for you. God created you for a unique purpose; He has a specific plan for your life; and He has a powerful destiny He wants you to fulfill. And guess what? Shame has no place in that purpose, plan and destiny. Jesus came to set you free from shame.

A Fresh Perspective

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There are times when we need fresh eyes. We need to pull over and get a new perspective.

Often God lovingly pulls us over and makes us stop what we are doing—maybe through a health crisis, or the loss of a job or a loved one—because He knows we need to see things differently. Actually, He wants us to see Him differently.

Over and over in Scripture, when people came to a critical juncture in their lives, they got a fresh view of God. Moses got it. Elijah got it. Abraham, Isaiah, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, got it. And guess what? You’ve got to get it too.

Your Heavenly Father may be saying to you right now, “All right. Let’s get back to who I am.” Pulling over brings perspective. 

That’s why the psalmist says, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me!” It’s not that we need to make God bigger than He is. We need to see God for His actual greatness. We need to see our problems in proportion to the majesty of Almighty God. Small God? Big problems. Big God? Small problems.

“Greatness” and “majesty” are good words to describe God, but an even better word is “transcendence.” The word transcendence means surpassing, beyond, above in excellence, in splendor, in majesty, in attribute, in beauty. Beyond all else. Beyond compare. It’s what you feel on a mountaintop, looking out over a valley or an ocean. It’s what you feel standing on the edge of a volcano at sunrise.

You need a fresh view of the greatness of God, or you’re not going to have the strength for what’s to come. Let God take you apart. See His majesty. Hear His Word. If you’re losing that sense of the transcendence of God, it’s time to pull over.

JOURNAL

What is it in your life that threatens to keep you from seeing the transcendence of God? Confess that to the Lord and ask Him to remind you of His greatness and His power to change you.

PRAY

Holy God, I agree with the psalmist who wrote, “Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised” (Psalm 48)! Thank You for lovingly pulling me over to give me a renewed view of Yourself. I confess that I am tempted to see my problems as big and You as small. But You are a good Father who knows how to give good gifts to Your children, so give me a fresh glimpse of Your transcendence today, I pray. In the matchless name of Jesus, amen.

Strength gained in the Wait

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

In my quiet time I was led to mediate on this passage and share it with you. What a reassuring passage for us! Life can make us weary and challenging… it can deplete us from the strength we need to get out of bed and do the things we are required to do. We need additional inner strength to be able to function well, that’s where God can help.

A meaningful and personal relationship with God can give us inner energy and strength that can sustain us. Engaging in spiritual exercises like prayer, reading the Bible and abiding in God’s presence can help us tap into special power that only God can provide. When we are alone with God… when we “wait” on him, we are able to receive His strength. When we believe and trust what we read in scripture and in how God works, our hope is bolstered. This strong belief and hope, grounded in scripture, can give us strength. It’s the same strength that the Psalmist writes about in Psalm 138:3 when he says “As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.”

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